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The Dragons came out to Kogarah's WIN Jubilee Stadium to play the Cowboys with a depleted outfit, but in spite of the scratchings put in a clinical performance to thrill the 13,056 Mother's Day crowd and take the game 22 points to 8.
The Dragons took their time to put their foot on the pedal in the first half, but once they did there was no turning back in their demolition of the visiting side. Cowboys put on the first points with a penalty goal, booted by Thurston in the 12th minute, Cowboys shot themselves in the foot knocking on 22 metres out in their first set after the goal. Dragons took advantage when Young scored a try out of dummy half which Stanley converted to give the home side a 6 - 4 lead.
Cowboys dominated the possession and field position for the minutes that followed. But, for all their possession, the Cowboys could not penetrate the superb St. George Illawarra defence. The points finally came in the 29th minute, but it was the Dragons who scored then after Brett Morris intercepted and streaked the length of the field to score. Stanley converted to stretch the lead to 12 - 2.
Minuted later Dragons were in again after a stunning sequence of play with a few masterful touches from Gasnier setting up a try for Kyle Stanley. Stanley converted his own try, doing a wonderful job with the goal kicking duties in the absence of Jamie Soward. Dragons were up 18 points to six, a lead they took to half time.
The opening passages of the second forty caused further depletion to the Dragons with a knee injury to fill in fullback Bronx Goodwin which could see his season prematurely ended. Despite the injury, Dragons continued to dominate and decimate their visiting opposition. Crushing them in defence wasn't enough and Dragons put on another try in the 54th minute to captain Hornby.
Dragons followed this with a clinical display grinding the Cowboys out of the game. Try as they did, Dragons were equal to everything the North Queensland side had to offer. The home side proved particularly unhospitable continuing to bash their visitors in defence all through the second half.
In the dying minutes, Cowboys were finally able to put a consolation try on the board through Johnathan Thurston, the only name on the North Queensland side of the scoreboard. JT kicked the extras and that ended the ball game. The Dragons came out well on top, winning the game 22 - 8.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 8
National Rugby League - Round 9 - Sunday May 8, 2011 3:00pm
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Adam Reid
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 18 North Queensland Cowboys 2
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Dean Young (1 Try)
2 Points - Mark Gasnier
1 Point - Matt Prior
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (22)
Tries: Ben Hornby, Dean Young, Brett Morris, Kyle Stanley
Conversions: Kyle Stanley (3/4)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (8)
Tries: Johnathan Thurston
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Afternoon and welcome to WIN Jubilee Oval, where the Saint George Illawarra Dragons will take on the North Queensland Cowboys, in a top of the tables round nine clash. Cowboys took out the NYC game played here earlier, with a smashing 34 - 6 victory.
TEAM NEWS: The Dragons see quite a few team changes following the representative matches on Friday, as reported, representative stars Jamie Soward (Country, abductor injury), Nathan Fien (Kiwis, hamstring) and Jason Nightingale (Kiwis, head knock) will all be missing from the Dragons side, as will Jon Green who has been rested. So, Kyle Stanley will move into the five Eighth position, and Bronx Goodwin in jumper 18 will replace him at fullback, Ratu Tagive takes the wing spot vacated by Nightingale and the two men being added the bench are Jack Bosden in 21 and Mitchell Rein 24.
The Cowboys have ruled out Glenn Hall, Tariq Sims will take his spot in the starting side and James Segeyaro in jumper 18 has been added to the bench.
1 min: Cowboys kick off from the Southern end of the ground and we are underway.
1 min: Dragons make good metres, but Stanley's boot goes straight down the throat of Matt Bowen for an easy return.
2 min: Good set from the Cowboys, boot really tested Goodwin who almost made a mess of it but eventually brought it out.
3 min: Dragons hitting up strongly and a better end to the set makes harder work for the Cowboys to get it out.
4 min: Good contest here and Bronx Goodwin makes a much cleaner take of the Thurston boot.
5 min: PENALTY to the Dragons! A chance for them to go right on the attack now.
5 min: Terrible pass from Stanley and it comes off Tagive's noot out the sideline.
6 min: Cowboys making some good metres now, but Dragons reading them well.
8 min: Lovely contest shaping up with teams looking evenly matched.
9 min: Dragons not kaking the metres the Cowboys are, game starting to be played in the Saints' territory.
10 min: Thurston with a banana kick at the line, wonderfully placed and Goodwin bats it out to give a line drop out.
12 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY against the Dragons from 20 out and Cowboys take the 2 off advice from the sideline, Thurston nails it and Cowboys take the lead.
North Queensland Cowboys 2-0
13 min: Cowboys knock on 22 out from their own line to gift St George Illawarra a chance to counter punch.
16 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons! Young from dummy half burrows over and scores the first try of the match and his first try of 2011. Kyle Stanley given the kicking duties in the absence of Soward and he converts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-2
17 min: Dragons have fired up after the try, a few half breaks in the set and good yardage.
18 min: Dragons look to be taking control of the game, bashing the Cowboys in defence and keeping the game their side of halfway.
19 min: Dragons with a break but Goodwin throws a pass which is intercepted by Aaron Payne.
20 min: Dragons bashing the Cowboys who are really struggling to make metres now.
20 min: Dragons starting to threaten with every play, Cowboys doing well to keep them out.
22 min: Fantastic defence from both sides here now.
23 min: Odd kick from Turston, but it earns the Cowboys a repeat set 20 metres from the Dragons line.
24 min: Cowboys mounting pressure on the Dragons now, forcing a line drop out and another set at the Dragons' line.
25 min: Smart little grubber from Bowen, and another line drop out when Goodwin bats it out.
26 min: Fantastic defence from the Dragons on their line with this massive assault.
27 min: Mix up and Dragons knock on to give the Cowboys another set of 6 at the Dragons line.
28 min: PENALTY to the Cowboys, they take the tap and it continues.
30 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons! Brett Morris intercepts a Ray Thompson ball and runs the length of the field to score. Stanley makes no mistake with the boot.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-2
31 min: Dragons with attacking flair and energy, looking fantastic after the try.
32 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Dragons TRY.
33 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons! Amazing sequence of play, with great work from Mark Gasnier who sets it up for Kyle Stanley to score. And Stanley converts his own try.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-2
34 min: Lack of concentration and Prior knocks on to give the Cowboys a scrum 35 metres out from the Saint George Illawarra line.
35 min: Cowboys chancing their hand at the Dragons line, but a panicked grubber goes over the dead ball line for a Dragons' 20 metre tap.
37 min: Dragons filled with flair and almost another try, called back for a forward pass to give the Cowboys a scrum 12 metres out from their own line.
38 min: Dragons terrorising the Cowboys in attack and defence, making everything difficult work.
39 min: Cowboys helped with an error givin them a scrum and one last chance to attack in this firs half.
40 min: Cowboys earn a repeat set forcing the line drop out, but the hooter blows before eitrher team is properly formed and that will be the half with the Dragons ahead 18 - 2.
41 min: St. George Illawarra kick off and the second half is underway.
43 min: The second half has started quietly, teams getting through their sets without much fuss.
44 min: Thurston forces a line drop out with a wonderful boot which forces Goodwin to bat it out.
45 min: A shocking kick from Thurston to turn over possession.
45 min: PENALTY to the Dragons to help them away from their own line.
47 min: Still some back and forth stuff now.
47 min: Bronx Goodwin clutching at his knee, looks to be in some pain and is stretchered off the field.
49 min: Thurston with a 40/20 attempt, doesn't quite get it and gives the Dragons a scrum which everyone is walking to, taking a while to form.
50 min: Beau Scott almost scores, but puts it down and Cowboys can breathe a sigh of relief.
51 min: Great set from the Cowboys, making a tonne of yardage and chance their hand running it on the last.
53 min: Dragons appear to be doing it all too easily here, real uphill battle the Cowboys are struggling to compete in.
54 min: PENALTY to the Dragons, who have a chance to put the Cowboys away.
56 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons! Beautiful shortside play, catch and pass, and captain Hornby backing up in the middle of the ruck cannot be collected by Bowen. Conversion from Stanley unsuccessful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22-2
59 min: Dragons continue their brilliant defensive display with responses to everything the Cowboys have to offer.
60 min: Fears that Bronx Goodwin has a cruciate ligament injury which could spell the end of his season, will have scans tomorrow to confirm.
62 min: Could have a Cowboys injury here now too, with Scott Bolton in a fair bit of trouble, getting treatment on the field, should be right to continue.
63 min: Thurston creates a half break, but as has been the case all game, Dragons are up to it.
64 min: Doiuble knock on, Ceccin rules the first to be against the Cowboys and Dragons get the scrum.
66 min: Kyle Stanley off the field getting his ankle strapped as Dragons continue to dominate the Cowboys and grind them out.
67 min: Interception by Hornby, a tasty gap for him, but it closes as soon as he spots it.
70 min: Dragons very easily accounting for the Dragons, absolutely schooling them.
72 min: Gasnier falls awkwardly and is clutching at his left ankle, could be a worry here. Gaz gets up to play the ball and stays out with the trainer, still hard to tell the extent of his injury.
73 min: Dragons kick it out the dead ball line for a Cowboys 20 metre tap.
74 min: A few whistle blows as the ball moves between sides, Dragons finish with it as Gasnier continues to limp at the back.
75 min: Dragons continue to exhibit fantastic defence.
76 min: Embarassing errors from Dragons players competing for a bomb and VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Cowboys TRY.
76 min: NO TRY! Knock on, first mistake was a knock on from Witerstein to disallow Tariq Sims.
77 min: Dragons give the Cowboys a 20 metre tap with a boot over the dead ball line.
78 min: Accidental offside gives Cowboys a scrum 10 metres out.
79 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Cowboys TRY.
80 min: TRY
TRY to the Cowboys! Cowboys get a consolation try courtesy of JT. Smart little blindside play from Thurston, throws a dummy on the outside and goes in to score in the corner. Thurston converts his own try.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22-8
80 min: Dragons not interested in bringing the ball back and the siren blows to end procedings with Dragons emerging victorious 22 - 8.