The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Go Sport Balmain Tigers were outclassed by a strong St George-Illawarra Dragons team 32-0 at Oki Jubilee Stadium on Sunday.
It was another day when the Tigers turned up eager & enthusiastic, but weren't able to complete the little things that could have kept them competitive throughout the match.
The Dragons scored 2 tries in succession in the first 15 minutes to lead 8-0, but the Tigers were able to mount some pressure through possession & field position to hold the Dragons out until they rampaged a length of the field effort, completed by a clean bomb catch 11 minutes from the break to take the score to 12-0.
The Tigers had opportunities of their own which they failed to capitalise on but were still in the match at half time, even allowing for another Dragons try right on the bell following a play the ball penalty which took the score to 16-0 at the main break.
It was a similar tale in the second half. The Dragons were first to score after 11 minutes following a Tigers turnover, then posted another try next to the uprights soon after which they finally converted to lead 26-0.
The Tigers then held strong until 11 minutes from the end when the Dragons took advantage of a player in the sinbin to cross in the right hand corner off the overlap. They sent over a beautiful conversion from the sideline to extend their lead to 32-0 and that was the winning margin to the Dragons at full time.
The match was another example of the inconsistent form displayed by the Cubs all season following their gutsy victory over the Magpies last weekend. The absence of Rangi Chase through injury was notable, with the team lacking spark & cohesion at critical times of the match. Best performances were turned in by Franco Kmet, Luke Fahy, David Gower & Samu Wara.
Next week both teams are back at their favourite stomping ground, Leichhardt Oval, as they provide the leadup to what should be a titanic clash between the Wests Tigers and the Manly Sea Eagles on Friday night. Jersey Flegg commences the afternoon at 2.30pm, followed by a round of the Arrive Alive Cup schools competition at 4pm, with Premier League scheduled to kick off at 5.40pm. Both teams are desperate to record wins to stay in touch with the top 8 and keep their semi final hopes alive and your support is vital to lift the boys when the pressure is on. Get down to Leichhardt to support the Black & Golds doing us proud. See you there!!