Swindon St. George boss Richard White said that he is still targeting the playoffs despite a 56-18 home defeat against Birmingham Bulldogs.

It was a difficult home debut in the Midlands Premier Rugby League competition for Swindon, but the display showed that lessons have been learnt from last week’s defeat at Oxford, and that progress has been made, even with the game getting away from them at the end.

Head Coach White was positively upbeat about his young charges, pointing out that no fewer than three 17-year-olds, with two of them making their debuts during the match, were representing St George against Birmingham.

He said: “For such a young and inexperienced line-up, we showed enormous promise. The way they all worked for each other and went toe-to-toe with very physical opponents gives me great optimism.”

He went on to confirm that, in his belief, a top four play-off place is within reach for the Dragons and that his squad will be making every effort to make that dream come true.

Finally, with a string of superb performances to choose from, the Head Coach plumped for a shared man of the match award, selecting jointly Jamie Davison and Chris Toon for sterling work in defence and attack.

The game started brightly enough for the Power Wash Dragons as they made their more experienced guests work hard for what they could get, but the visitors soon came into their own and broke through the resistance, racking up 3 tries in a lethal 25-minute burst.

Undaunted though, St George hit back with a fine effort from John Jewell, followed swiftly by a Nathan Hayes cross-over to see the game with everything to play for at the break with Swindon trailing 18-8.

The second period opened with another Bulldogs score from a breakaway to further reduce the deficit, but Swindon were not done yet and continued to make a real game of it.

Jamie Davison charged over on the last tackle of the set to keep the home scoreboard turning, but fatigue began setting in and the hosts started to fade.

Birmingham managed to pull clear and sealed the game through six late tries before the Dragons’ final reply came from Josh Palmer and John Jewell kicking the extra two points.

The Dragons now change focus to their next contest, a visit to Sherwood Wolf Hunt on Saturday, June 1 at Debdale Park in Nottinghamshire.