St George Illawarra have announced the re-signing of talented youngster Zac Lomax.
Lomax extended his contract with the Dragons by one year until the end of the 2020 season.
The 18-year-old made his first grade debut against South Sydney in round 10 but has not appeared since after suffering a hand injury.
The two-time Australian Schoolboy and NSW under-18s State of Origin representative said it was a good decision to extend his stay at the Dragons.
“My family and I are very happy to stay at the club. To come through the junior reps to now with the first grade squad, I can't thank the Dragons enough,” he said.
“The goal for me is to earn a spot in the first grade side and hopefully I'll play a few more before the season is out. It was a dream come true making my NRL debut so I'm looking forward to what's ahead.”
Matt Dufty is confident the Dragons can still finish in the NRL’s top four despite their recent drop in form.
St George Illawarra have lost five of their last six games to sit fifth, two points outside the top four with three rounds remaining.
But the Dragons have a relatively friendly run home. They face the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday before hosting Canterbury at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah and a trip to Newcastle to face the Knights.
And the young fullback has asked the club’s fans to keep the faith.
“I’d say [to the fans] don’t lose faith. It’s easy to lose faith when we’re dropping a few games,” he said.
“But we’ll finish strong. We’ll be top four and I think they just need to remember how well we started. And just keep faith and stay positive with the boys because we’ve got this.
“We’ve got a good team. We’ve got to just come together the last three games. I’m sure the coaches aren’t worried. We’re not worried. I think everyone has just got to remember we were first for 18 rounds.
“I think we’ll get back to playing good footy when the time is right.”
Ben still Hunt-ing title
Halfback Ben Hunt believes St George Illawarra are still a premiership-winning side despite their slide.
Hunt led the Dragons to the top of the table but a form slump has seen the Dragons slip out of the top four.
But the Queensland and Australia representative believes the Dragons can still compete at the end of the season.
“When we’re at our best I think we are [a premiership-winning team]. We showed earlier in the year when we’re at our best we can match it with any side. But at the moment we’re not at our best. If we want to get to our best before the finals it has to start pretty quick,” he said.
“We started the year really well. We’re not playing too good at the moment but I don’t want to call us chokers. We’re still in the race for the finals. We’ve still got a quality team here.
“Personally [my confidence is] still pretty good. I’ve been pretty happy with how I’ve played most of the year.
“Obviously I’ve had a couple of ordinary games of late. [But] I’m still feeling pretty good.”