NRL Round 13 – Match 6 Results: Warriors 20 v 22 Dragons

Last Sunday the competition leaders again proved why they are this year’s Premiership favourites when the Dragons travelled across the Tasman and held on to beat the Warriors 22 – 20 in cold, nasty conditions.

St George Illawarra are back on track after a couple of Origin-related losses, having scored their second win in as many weeks after thrashing the Eels 30 – 0 in Round 12. They are now securely in the number one spot on the ladder with 10 wins and 20 competition points.

New Zealand, on the other hand, just couldn’t find the same form that saw them secure two home ground wins a couple of weeks back and have now lost their last two after huge 50 – 6 loss to the Tigers the week before.

On Sunday the Warriors got off to an energetic start, with James Maloney scoring their first try just three minutes in. He then converted his own four-pointer to give the home side a six point lead after the first five minutes.

It was a grinding rest of the first half, New Zealand able to get just one more point in with a 31st minute penalty kick as Maloney scored all of the Warriors first half points.

Just as it looked like the Dragons would head into half-time scoreless, Jason Nightingale finally opened their account in the 39th minute after catching a great kick from Soward, who then converted so they trailed by just two after the first 40 minutes.

Back from the break St George picked up the pace, with centre Matt Cooper scoring an impressive second half double. Cooper’s first came just two minutes in to give the Dragons the lead 12 – 8.

In between Cooper’s double the Warriors Simon Mannering scored in the 48th minute and Maloney’s kick pushed the home side in front again 14 – 12.

But then Cooper scored his second a few minutes later, his 99th try for the Dragons, and the see-sawing continued as St George lead once more 16 – 12. They backed this up when Soward got over in the 58th minute after some poor Warriors defence, converting his own try to give the Dragons a total of 22 points.

The Warriors managed one more four-pointer when Isaac John scored in the 62nd minute after a 40m run, but even with the conversion they lost by a mere two points.

In a major blow for New Zealand centre Brent Tate broke his jaw, ruling him out for four to six weeks, meaning he also misses out on a chance to play in State of Origin II.

This week the Warriors have another tough ask when they play the Knights, and the in-form Dragons get a week off for a bye. Get the odds for the Knights v Warriors match and for all the other Round 14 games on this weekend at Ladbrokes.com.au.