NRL Round 26 – Match 8 Results: St George Illawarra Dragons 38 v 24 South Sydney Rabbitohs

In the final match of the regular NRL season for 2010, the Dragons boosted their Premiership claims with yet another win, this time beating the Rabbitohs 38 – 24 and putting to bed any faint hopes Souths had of sneaking into the top eight.

The Bunnies had one last chance of pushing into finals contention, but were unable to get the better of the back-to-back Minor Premiership winners at WIN Jubilee on Sunday and were forced to end the season in ninth spot on the NRL ladder.

A brilliant early match hat-trick by St George second-rower Ben Creagh set the tone for the Red V’s who found themselves 20 points in front after the opening quarter.

The Dragons are now the hot $2.55 favourites at to win the 2010 Premiership Shield

Creagh opened the scoring six minutes in and then got his second three minutes later before crossing for the Dragons third try in the 17th minute.

Kyle Stanley booted three from three and the home side lead 20 – nil after just 19 minutes.

Before the shell-shocked Rabbitohs had a chance to get any points on the board, the Dragons increased their lead by another two when Stanley kicked a 25th minute penalty.

Three minutes later Souths finally opened their account when Fetuli Talanoa scored and Chris Sandow converted to bring the score to 22 – 6.

But answering back quickly and stamping their dominance firmly back in the minds of their rivals, St George scored their fourth try of the night when the flying Brett Morris got over in the 32nd minute, the kick pushing them to a 24 – 6 advantage at halftime.

Back in the second half the Dragons were first to score again when Darius Boyd got a four-pointer in the 56th minute and Stanley booted another beauty giving them an extra six point buffer.

In a thrilling final quarter Souths gave it everything they had and ran in three unanswered tries, but under the pressure of ‘finals-like’ footy just couldn’t find enough to outclass the premiership favourites.

Jamie Simpson and Dylan Farrell scored two tires in three minutes getting over in the 61st and 64th minutes, Sandow successfully converting both to narrow the margin 30 – 18.

With 15 minutes still left on the clock the Bunnies were still in the game, but that soon changed when Matt Cooper scored the Dragons sixth and final try of the night pushing them to 38 points.

With four minutes left on the clock the Bunnies scored a final consolation try via Eddy Pettybourne but even with the kick they still went down by 14 points.

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