AROUND THE GROUNDS | Junior Reps Rd 1
While there was a host of teams putting in dominant performances across the first round of the SG Ball, Harold Matthews and Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cups, it was the Illawarra Steelers who stole the show with a combined scoreline of 108-30 across the three grades.
It started with the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup side trouncing a valiant Parramatta Eels outfit 50-12, which included a hat-trick of tries from Keeley Davis, before their SG Ball and Harold Matthews squads rounded out a perfect weekend with 20-6 and 38-12 victories respectively.
INDIGENOUS ACADEMY'S PERFECT DEBUT
As part of the Sydney Roosters first-ever Reconciliation Action Plan they joined forces with the Sydney Indigenous Academy Under 18s Women's team for 2018, and they put in a classy performance to run away with a 32-16 victory over the Bulldogs in their Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup debut.
They were able to hold their opposition to just one try in the opening half to have a 14-6 advantage at the break, before a flurry of tries in the later stages saw them kick-start their first ever Tarsha Gale campaign in perfect style.
PAYING THE WAY
An array of future NRL stars were on show across the weekend, some of which making their debut in the representative arena, but the young Bulldogs players who battled it out at Henson Oval on Saturday were doing so under the watchful eye of Bulldogs head-coach Dean Pay.
Pay, who coached the NSW Under 20s State of Origin team to five straight victories between 2012-2016, was seen watching closely from the grandstands as he prepares for his first season at the helm of the 2004 premiers.
LEGENDS WATCH ON
The Panthers enjoyed a successful weekend for their junior grades after their SG Ball and Harold Matthews sides were victorious in their opening games, and while their Tarsha Gale Cup team were courageous in their 20-18 defeat to the Wests Tigers, their efforts certainly didn't go unnoticed with head coach Anthony Griffin, General Manager Phil Gould and club legend Greg Alexander all watching on at Panthers Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
SCHOUPP LIFTING STEELERS
The Illawarra Steelers SG Ball side ran in seven tries in an attacking masterclass that saw them kick start their 2018 campaign with a 38-12 victory over Western Suburbs Magpies. While it was a strong team performance, right centre Aaron Schoupp proved too hard to handle as he ran in four tries, two on either side of the break, which will undoubtedly give the dynamic outside back an array of confidence heading into the new season.