May 13, 2018 by admin
Finals bound: A St George player (right) in action against Illawarra Lions. Picture: Sylvia LiberA YOUNG St George side upstaged some of their more fancied rivals to qualify for their first finals series since 2008.
The Saints finished the regular season in fifth spot with 12 wins from 18 games.
The club’s division two side and under-18 team also progressed to the finals with all three grades playing semi-final football for the first time since 1997.
Head coach Terry Mudge, in his second season in charge of the club, said it was a credit to how the side had developed in recent years.
“Last year was about gathering everyone together and this year it was about keeping everyone and building on what we had learnt,” Mudge said.
“We have 13 players under the age of 21 and four of those are still under-18.
“We should be playing finals for the next five to six years and all those young guys are local juniors.”
The Saints have been in a purple patch of form winning their past five games while kicking more than 100 goals and conceding just 23.
St George finished the regular season with a 40-point victory against Balmain on Saturday in which Nick Ryan kicked seven goals.
The two sides meet again in an elimination final at Blacktown International Sportspark today.
“They didn’t lay down last week and they threw everything at us,” Mudge said.
“We couldn’t go any higher or lower than fifth but we wanted to make sure we went into the finals on a winning note.”
Mudge signed a two-year deal with St George but said discussions had opened to take up a mutual option for next season.
“We generally believed we would make the finals this year,” Mudge said.
“We’re not far off the top teams at all.”
St George finished sixth last year winning eight games, and were seventh the year before winning six.
The match starts at 3.15pm.
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