An injury-depleted Vodafone Junior Warriors side slipped to its heaviest loss of the season in todays final regular season NYC match against St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium in Wollongong today.
Conceding 32 points without reply in the first half, the Vodafone Junior Warriors checked the flow of points but went down 4-48 in what was their third defeat in their last four games going into the finals next week.
They arrived in Wollongong lying fifth in the competition but the magnitude of this loss will result in them falling to sixth spot if Wests Tigers beat North Queensland in Townsville tonight.
With the temperature climbing on a hot day at WIN Stadium, the Vodafone Junior Warriors took a rearranged side into the game and were further handicapped when they lost fullback Viliami Kaveinga in the opening minutes with more hamstring trouble. His loss resulted in Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard being shifted to fullback and the team already down on numbers.
Despite being right of contention running 11th in the competition, the Dragons were in as early as the third minute and had five tries in the second quarter to go to halftime in total control.
The only relief for the Vodafone Junior Warriors came in the 58th minute when centre Lafu Feagaiga scored on an otherwise hugely disappointing excursion to the New South Wales south coast.
At WIN Stadium, Wollongong
St George Illawarra Dragons 48 (Aquila Gela 3, Kayne Brennan 2, Taylor Brown 2, Jack Bird, Kem Seru tries; Jackson Hastings 6 conversions).
Vodafone Junior Warriors 4 (Lafu Feagaiga try).
Halftime: 32-0 Dragons.
Referees: Chris Sutton and Matt Noyen.
Vodafone Junior Warriors: Viliami Kaveinga; Metia Lisati, Lafu Feagaiga, Solomone Kata, Braxton Stanley; Tuimoala Lolohea, Mason Lino; James Taylor, Michael Sio (c), Kouma Samson; Stedman Lefau, Sione Feao; Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard. Interchange: Trent Bishop, Sam Lisone, Eko Malu, Katamiro Atera.