CRUNCHING TACKLE: A saints players look to offload the ball against Chinchilla on Sunday.
CRUNCHING TACKLE: A saints players look to offload the ball against Chinchilla on Sunday. Contributed

Saints aiming high

RUGBY LEAGUE: The St George Saints have gone down to Chinchilla in close encounter in their season opener at Rowden Park in St George in front of a parochial home crowd on Sunday.

After leading 12-6 at half time, the away side came back a different team in the second half run over the top of the Saints who were valiant in their attempts in keeping at bay one of this year's flag favourites.

It was a Jeff Gilbert 40-20 early in the second half that put Chinchilla on the front foot and allowed them to maintain the momentum throughout the second half.

The final score was 22-12 to Chinchilla, but there was plenty to be encouraged about from the St George performance.

Club President and coach, Gary Popp said he was impressed with his side's round one performance and said the team could only get better with such a young side.

"Our defence was pretty good, we were just a little unlucky towards the end of the game.

"We're a very young side and have a very new squad as well

"Lachie Pollock, Hayden Beardmore and Reece Jackson all put in a good performance.”

It was only Lachie's third A grade game he has played while Hayden's defence was outstanding.”

Gary is expecting a good season on the back of good signs in training and a squad that is showing plenty of promise.

"I expect us to go well this year,” he said.

"Everyone has been training really well and fitness is half the key.”

This season holds special significance for the Saints with the club celebrating 100 years of competition and are due to release their 'team of the century' and will be named at their last home game of the season.

The club will also play its combined day with union on April 21 at Rowden Park.

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