The Gold Coast Titans under 20s have suffered a heavy 48-18 defeat to an energetic St George Illawarra outfit at Cbus Super Stadium this afternoon.
After an even opening 20 minutes, the young Dragons scored a flurry of late points to take a commanding 22-6 lead going into the half-time break.
Desperate to avoid the wooden-spoon, the Dragons continued their dominance in the second-half crossing for five tries including an unlikely double to prop Blake Lawrie on their way to the 48-18 victory.
After an end-to-end start to the match it was the Dragons who opened the scoring in the 21st minute after an enterprising backline play resulted in Tom Carr diving across the line superman like to score in the corner before Ryan James converted to give the away-side a 6-0 lead.
The Titans managed to hit-back through in the 31st minute when Greg Leleisiuao snuck over the line from dummy-half to give Brayden Torpy an easy conversion to level the score up at 6-all.
With both sides finding the try-line, the game opened up and the Dragons took the advantage with centre Rueben Garrick slicing through the defensive line to score out wide. With James adding the extras the Dragons took a 12-6 lead after 35 minutes.
The Dragons went back-to-back with a slick attacking play ending with utility forward Nathan Leatigaga cutting back through a gaping hole to score next to the posts to give the Dragons a 26-6 lead.
The Dragons continued their late flurry of points with a spectacular chip-and-chase try by Patrick Herbert in the dying minutes of the half to extend the visitors lead out to 22-6 going into the half-time break.
It was a poor start to the half for the Titans with an error from the opening set gifting the Dragons a great opportunity to extend their lead and they took full advantage with Topiese Taufa crossing in the corner before James added the extras to give the away-side a 28-6 lead with 38 minutes remaining.
With the momentum in their favour, the Dragons capitalised with second-rower Jacob Host running a great attacking line before carrying two Titans player over the line to plant the ball down and take the Dragons lead out to 32-6.
The Dragons continued their dominance in the 50th minute with Herbert grabbing his second try of the afternoon to extend the away-side’s lead out to 36-6.
There was no stopping the Dragons outfit with front-rower Lawrie crossing for two tries in the 55th and 61st minute to extend the away-side’s lead out to 48-6 going into the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Titans put in a more competitive final 15 minutes posting two late tries through Josh Berkers and Chris Law to reduce the full-time deficit back to 48-18.
The young Titans will look to hit-back next week when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys in the final round of the regular competition.
St George-Illawarra Dragons 48 (P Herbert 2, B Lawrie 2, T Carr, R Garrick, N Leatigaga, T Taufa, J Host, tries; R James 6 goals) defeated Gold Coast Titans 18 (G Leleisiuao, J Berkers, C Law tries; B Torpy 3 goals).