Red, white and blue, family loyalties tested

Friendly fire: Steve and Debbie Mason do battle for their son Bailey, 1, sporting allegiance. Picture: Lisa McMahonTHERE are few more bitter rivals in Australian sport than Cronulla and St George Illawarra fans.
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Dragons fans have held the bragging rights over the years but Sharkies supporters are loyal and quick to defend their team.

In homes across Sutherland Shire and St George there exists the interesting scenario of families divided by their club loyalties.

In the Mason household at Sutherland there is no love lost in the lead-up to a local derby clash despite husband and wife celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary recently.

Steve, a passionate Cronulla fan and wife Debbie, a mad Dragon, won’t even sit next to each other come Saturday night as family loyalty is tested.

‘‘There are little snipes here and there,’’ Steve said. ‘‘Marrying a Dragons fan is an extremely strange thing to happen but they say opposites attracts.

‘‘I’ll sit in my season ticket and she can struggle to find a spot in the big crowd.’’

In the middle of the tug-of-war sits their one-year-old son Bailey.

Although both want Bailey to follow in their allegiance, Steve has all but conceded he is raising a budding red and white fan.

‘‘Most of Deb’s family are Dragons fans and they buy him all the stuff,’’ he said.

‘‘Bailey listens to them but hopefully when he gets a little older he’ll see the light.’’

Debbie added: ‘‘He is a Dragon. He’ll always be a Dragon.’’

The pair don’t bet on the derbies with household chores — bragging rights alone are enough satisfaction.

No matter who wins the clash on Saturday, Debbie will be crowing for a while yet.

‘‘Whenever he pays me out I just remind him about 2010,’’ Debbie said of the Dragons premiership win.

‘‘It’s going to be tough on Saturday but we’ll get there.’’

Posted by at 14/05/2018
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