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A young St. George Illawarra outfit have claimed possibly the upset of the season, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 11-4 at Kogarah Jubilee Oval this evening.
The early signs were ominous for the Dragons, with Justin Hodges having a try disallowed after eight minutes after he hit the corner post in grounding the ball, and after 13 minutes Steve Michaels scored the opening - and ultimately the Broncos only - try in the corner off some slick backline play.
Following this, the Dragons got on a roll, really looking dangerous for the entire half. They took the lead after 28 minutes with a very strange try awarded to Josh Morris. A grubber kick was put through, it appeared to be grounded by Matt Cooper, however the official ruling was that he had not touched the ball, but when Josh Morris forced the ball, that was where the try was scored. The Jamie Soward conversion put the Dragons up 6-4.
Darren Lockyer was injured in the minutes leading up to the Dragons first try, copping an accidental knee in the back with attempting to cover a kick. He left the field a few minutes later and did not return.
The Dragons scored the last try of the match with Jason Nightingale scoring following a great pass from Jamie Soward finding the Broncos defence short, allowing Cooper to put Nightingale over just on half time.
In the second half, the Dragons totally dominated possession for a period over about 10 minutes, during with the Dragons had two tries disallowed. The Broncos defence was brilliant, and despite multiple sets of six on their own line, they did not crack and as a result were in the game almost to the end.
The match was sealed with the only point scored in the second half - fittingly a field goal to Jamie Soward in the 78th minute. Soward was outstanding for the Dragons, begging the question of why the Roosters let him go.
The Broncos looked nothing like the same side that posted 71 points last week, being almost totally dominated by the Dragons defence. The result shows there may still be life left in the Dragons, while it further highlights the Broncos inconsistency in 2007.
Match Details Round 12 - Full Time :: June 1st, 2007 07:30 PM Venue: Oki Jubilee Stadium Crowd: 10,302 Referee: Shayne Hayne
St George Illawarra Dragons 11 Tries: Josh Morris, Jason Nightingale Field Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1) Goals: Jamie Soward (1/2) Brisbane Broncos 4 Tries: Steve Michaels Goals: Darren Lockyer (0/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Jamie Soward (Dragons) 2 Points: Jason Ryles (Dragons) 1 Point: Josh Morris (Dragons) Live Commentary
Welcome to Kogarah Oval where the Dragons host the Broncos tonight.
Jamie Soward is making his debut for the Dragons after switching clubs mid-year and will start at halfback.
Changes: Both clubs as per the program.
1 min: We're underway here at Kogarah.
8 min: VIDEO REF - For a Broncos try to Justin Hodges
8 min: NO TRY - Hodges ruled to have crashed into the corner post before dotting the ball down.
13 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos After getting repeat sets, the Broncos spin the ball wide to Michaels who dots down in the corner. Conversion attempt by Darren Lockyer unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 4-0
19 min: Cooper goes extremely close for the Dragons, before Soward earns the side a drop out.
21 min: Creagh knocks on with the Dragons on attack.
23 min: Michaels knocks on from a Rangi Chase bomb, and the Dragons get a penalty.
23 min: Ricky Thorby injured inches out from the line. Again, Soward picks up the Dragons a drop out.
25 min: VIDEO REF - For a Dragons try, with Darren Lockyer down injured.
25 min: NO TRY - A kick goes through, Lockyer loses the ball after being accidentally kneed in the back, Adam Peek is ruled to have knocked on trying to ground the ball. Broncos in possession. Lockyer back up, but not looking great.
28 min: VIDEO REF - For a Matt Cooper try. Both Lockyer and Hunt are struggling with injuries.
28 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons A grubber is put through for Morris who grounds the ball just ahead of Darius Boyd. Lockyer leaving the field. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 6-4
31 min: The Dragons kick early in the set, earning a drop out.
32 min: INJURY - David Stagg injured, Brad Thorn penalised for the high tackle.
28 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The previous Dragons try was in fact awarded to Josh Morris, who dotted the ball down after the initial contest, evidently Cooper missed the ball attempting to score. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 6-4
36 min: The Dragons work the ball to Cooper who throws a pass to the touch judge - Nightingale probably should have been where the ball was.
38 min: The Dragons have a great set of six, put up a bomb which is spilled by Hunt.
39 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons A great cut-out pass from Soward to Cooper finds the Broncos defence lacking out wide, and Nightingale crosses in the left corner. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful. St George Illawarra Dragons 10-4
Halftime, and the Dragons really deserved their lead against the Broncos who are really struggling. Lockyer reportedly has soft tissue damage on his back and may not return tonight.
40 min: Back underway!
44 min: Broncos opening the second half with two forward passes.
44 min: VIDEO REF - For another Dragons try...
44 min: The Dragons put in a grubber, the ball bobbles around in the in goal and ultimately the Dragons are ruled to have knocked on.
48 min: The Dragons put up a bomb, Tate loses the ball and Hodges is penalised for offside.
49 min: Soward picks up another drop out.
50 min: A penalty goes for the Dragons just on the goal line. They lead the penalty count 6-0.
51 min: Morris is held up on the second tackle.
51 min: VIDEO REF - For a Dragons try...
51 min: NO TRY - Lulia has the ball kicked out of his grasp while about to score a try. The Dragons get another drop out from the good defensive play by Boyd.
53 min: Yet another drop out picked up for the Dragons by Soward. The Roosters management must be brainless.
54 min: A Soward cut out pass is knocked into touch by Justin Hodges. Outstanding Brisbane defence. Rangi Chase kicks early in the set and gets a dropout.
56 min: The Dragons put up a bomb and Tate makes a magnificent catch. The Broncos defence has kept them in this game. This is their first possession in i-don't-know-how-long.
57 min: A blunder by the officials here, Chase Stanley puts his foot on the sideline playing the ball and the ball is given to the Broncos - but a player is allowed to step out whilst playing the ball. The Broncos get a penalty.
59 min: The Broncos get another penalty on the goal line.
61 min: VIDEO REF - For a Broncos try...
61 min: NO TRY - Darius Boyd is ruled to be in touch, as well as knocking the ball on just short of the goal line.
64 min: UPDATE - Lockyer will now not be back.
68 min: Josh Morris saves an almost certain try, putting Steve Michaels into touch only a few metres out.
70 min: Woolford leaving the field with a head cut, inflicted by the touch judge no less.
75 min: The Broncos got on attack off the back of a penalty.
78 min: FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons Soward takes the win for the Dragons with a field goal. St George Illawarra Dragons 11-4