In the most anticipated match of Round 22, the Sydney Cricket Ground was home to a gritty showdown between the Roosters and the Dragons on Sunday afternoon with St George narrowly edging out Sydney to secure their Minor Premiership title for the season.
Having sat at the top of the ladder all season, the Dragons were coming into this match on the back of two losses and were determined to maintain their dominance once again.
After a strenuous and exhilarating 80 minutes of footy Bennett’s boys did exactly that in front of a massive crowd of 37,990 eager fans to give their coach a reason to celebrate his record 600th first grade game as a coach.
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The Roosters were gallant in defeat, however, putting in a top class effort and holding on despite their obvious lack of energy towards the end and were not embarrassed.
Sydney are still third on the ladder and a great chance to rise above and beat the Dragons if they meet again in the finals.
The Roosters were first to score on Sunday when Anthony Minichiello got over in the eighth minute, Todd Carney kicking a beautiful conversion from the sideline to give them an early six point lead.
They held onto the lead right through the first half, with the Dragons sole points coming from Jason Nightingale who scored in the 32nd minute but without the conversion it was the Roosters who lead heading into half time.
Back in the second half the Dragons were first to get more points on the board when Jamie Soward went for a field goal in the 55th minute.
Just four minutes later St George were then able to score through Ben Creagh, Soward converting this one to push St George in front 11 – 6.
A penalty kick by the Dragons in the 68th minute extended their lead 13 – 6 and the Roosters were losing steam and confidence quickly.
After a thrilling second half show down, the Roosters were not to be outdone and ignited hope within their fans with a Todd Carney special in the 70th minute.
Carney converted his own try to bring the Chooks within one point, but a late try by Dean Young for the Dragons in the 76th minute, converted by Soward, saw St George secure victory 19 – 12.
The Dragons have another big game this week against the Sea Eagles. To check out the full range of betting options and odds for this great match don’t go to the TAB, instead head to Australia’s leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.