St George Illawarra Dragons under-20s fall in 2016 Holden Cup preliminary final 26-20 to Sydney Roosters

St George Illawarra have missed out on the Holden Cup grand final after falling to the Sydney Roosters 26-20 in their preliminary final.

The young Dragons blew a 14-0 half-time lead as the Roosters produced an impressive second half comeback to book their place in next Sunday’s decider against Penrith.

Dragons captain Patrick Herbert put the Red V in front with a try after five minutes before Luciano Leilua crashed over six minutes later from a slick Matt Dufty flick pass.

Dragons halfback Jack Payne then scored on the stroke of half-time, with Jai Field’s conversion extending St George Illawarra’s lead to 14-0 at the break.

But the Roosters came out firing in the second half, with back-rower Reuben Porter scoring two minutes after the restart to reduce the deficit to eight points.

Roosters’ hooker Grant Garvey scored seven minutes later to have his side trailing 14-12 before Dragons’ Australian Schoolboys representative hooker Reece Robson took St George Illawarra’s lead back out to 20-12.

But late tries to Bernard Lewis, Poasa Faamausili and Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck sealed the six-point win for the Roosters and ended the Dragons’ season.

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