St George climbing the table
Ta’au Savaiinaea and his team are in rare territory.
The St George Dragons coach was a happy man following his side’s excellent 34-18 win over Upper Hutt at Cannons Creek Park in Wellington premier rugby league on Saturday.
It’s the Dragons’ second successive win, lifting them to fifth in the table.
Despite heavy early losses to Wainuiomata, Randwick and Whiti Te Ra, Savaiinaea still had faith his young team would come good.
‘‘We started this season not even knowing if we’d field a team, so to be where we are is good,’’ he said.
‘‘The way we beat Upper Hutt shows how far we’ve come. The self-belief is there, we’re getting good things happening off the field too, and there’s a nice buzz around St George.
‘‘But we’re not getting carried away and Te Aroha is the acid test for us this Saturday.’’
Savaiinaea’s opposite at the Porirua Vikings, Matt Kilgour, is in a much tougher position.
Rooted to the bottom of the table after just one win in four matches, Kilgour’s team is still aiming to make the top five for the playoffs.
The Vikings are struggling for numbers – they have just one senior team – and have injuries, so it’s been an uphill slog.
The 80-4 loss to Wainuiomata on Saturday at Wise Park was hard to bear, Kilgour said.
‘‘Players are out of position because of a lack of personnel and we lose shape often – it’s a weekly battle,’’ he said.
‘‘The commitment is there, but we have lost experienced players and our defence needs to improve.’’