On Friday night the NRL Women in League round opened with another dominant display by the Dragons, who once again proved their worthiness of the top spot in the competition when they flogged the Wests Tigers 34 – 10 at WIN Jubilee Stadium.
St George Illawarra are now on a four-game winning streak to the finals, still the clear cut leaders with 12 wins and 26 competition points. Despite the big loss, their first in their past five matches, the Tigers remain in the third spot on the ladder and are in a good position to make a solid run at the premiership.
It was a gritty start to the night with the scoreboard staying blank throughout nearly the entire first quarter. Then the Dragons, sporting pink V’s on their jerseys in support of breast cancer, got the first points when a penalty kick gave them two points in the 19th minute.
Five minutes later Darius Boyd scored the opening try for the Dragons, just his second for the club, and Jamie Soward, who had a perfect record on Friday night, booted it through the posts so St George lead 8 – nil.
The Tigers fought back with Chris Lawrence opening their account with a 30th minute four-pointer in the corner, but Benji Marshall missed the conversion and they still trailed 8 – 4.
Extending their lead minutes before the break, Kyle Stanley got in a second try for St George after the Dragons got possession following a horror forwards pass from Marshall. Soward converted it in the final minute of the first half so the Dragons took a 14 – 4 lead to the sheds.
Back from the break the Wests Tigers looked fired up and ready to make a comeback, with winger Lote Tuqiri scoring just four minutes into the second half. This time Marshall converted, narrowing the deficit to just four points.
The score remained the same for the next 15 minutes of play, as both teams struggled to dominate. Then a 57th minute penalty to St George gave them the edge, Soward kicking another two points.
Just three minutes later Ben Creagh broke the try scoring drought for the Dragons in the 60th minute, the conversion pushing St George further in front 22 – 10.
With 20 minutes still left on the clock, the Wests Tigers had plenty of time to get back in the game, but they couldn’t find the momentum and failed to amass any more points.
It looked like the final score would be 22 – 10, but with just a couple of minutes left St George added some gloss to the score with two converted tries in two minutes.
First Soward scored in the 78th minute, followed moments later by winger Brett Morris getting over in the final few seconds. Soward kicked both through the posts to bring his personal haul to 18 points and making sure the Dragons finished on a high note.
However, it wasn’t all good news for St George as powerhouse Michael Weyman was put on report for a dangerous spear tackle on Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon that is likely to rule him out of contention for Origin III Wednesday week.
The Dragons now have a nice long turn around and will play next Monday night in a show stopping battle against the Panthers. The number one v number two game will be a beauty so make sure you get in on the betting action at SportsBet. Meanwhile, the Tigers will take on the rising Broncos on Friday night, which is set to be another cracker match.