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THE St George Illawarra Dragons have pulled off a stunning comeback in the final five minutes of the match to defeat the Roosters 28-24 in their annual ANZAC Day clash in front of a 40,164 crowd at Allianz Stadium.
There was not separating the teams early in the match as both sides came up with their share of errors and great plays.
Anthony Minichiello looked like he may have snared the opening try of the match in the seventh minute on the back of a brilliant offload from Aiden Guerra, however replays revealed that Brett Morris had miraculously held Minichiello up over the line.
Mitch Rein was all class as the busted through the Roosters' defence on halfway, the young hooker made it to 20 metres out from the line before passing to Ben Creagh who scored the opening try. Jamie Soward added the extras to give his side the lead a six-pont-lead after 14 minutes.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Roosters forwards dominated the metre battle and Mitchell Pearce was ready to capitalise.
It was a perfectly weighted bomb from Pearce which enabled the Roosters to hitback in the 20th minute, with Aiden Guerra grounding the loose ball after Ben Hornby failed to diffuse Pearce's bomb. Braith Anasta added the extras to level the score.
Hornby showed his flair in the 30th minute, the Dragons' halfback showed his skill as he created a try for Matt Cooper with a pin-point chip-bomb. Soward missed the conversion.
The Roosters hitback only five minutes later on the back of another perfectly weighted kick from Pearce. Minichiello scored the try in the 35 minute after snatching the ball in the air as he contested it with Brett Morris. Anasta converted the try to give the Roosters the lead for the first time in the match.
With the lead at half-time, the Roosters returned from the break with even more intensity, as they fired up all over the field.
Despite appearing to have the upper hand from the get go in the second half, it was until 20 minutes in that the Roosters extended their lead. This time Pearce scored of his own kick, after Morris failed to bat the grubber dead. Anasta added the extras to give his side an eight-point-lead.
The Dragons bridged gap to two seven minutes later after Michael Weyman scored on the back of a Roosters' error 40 out from the Dragons' line.
A mistake from Weyman in his first hit-up following the try gifted posession back to the Roosters ad the visitors wasted no time. A quick flick pass from Pearce created an opportunity to Anasta to stroll right over the try line. Anasta failed to convert his own try, keeping the Roosters' lead to six.
An controversial call by Matt Checcin after a failed shot at goal from Pearce saw Anasta with the opportunity to extend the Roosters' lead to eight with just over five minutes left in the match. Anasta made no mistake.
With five minutes left in the game the Dragons decided to make their own luck, Hornby opted for the short kick off and Jason Nightingale was there to take it on the full to create a try for Matt Prior. With time running out Soward skipped his routine and slotted the ball over.
A good kick by Soward on the back of a strong set from the Dragons, enabled the homeside to trap Sam Perrett in goal- forcing a line dropout with less than two minutes left in the match.
With two tackles in hand, and only a minute of play left, Weyman looked like he may claim his double which attracted the Roosters' defence, the powerful Dragons' forward opted to pass to a supportng Ben Creagh who strolled over.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28 defeated Sydney Roosters 24
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Wednesday April 25, 2012 4:00pm
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Ben Cummins
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Adam Reid and Russell Turner
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 10 Sydney Roosters 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Mitchell Pearce (1 Try)
2 Points - Daniel Vidot
1 Point - Jamie Soward (3 Conversions)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (28)
Tries: Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh (2), Michael Weyman, Matt Prior
Conversions: Ben Hornby (1/1), Jamie Soward (3/4)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (24)
Tries: Anthony Minichiello, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Aiden Guerra
Field Goals: Mitchell Pearce (0/1)
Conversions: Braith Anasta (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Braith Anasta (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
Good afternoon and welcome to ANZAC Day, one of the highlight events of the NRL calendar. This afternoon, as they have for almost a decade, the Dragons and Roosters face off at Allianz Stadium. Kickoff is 4:00pm, with commemorative services leading in from around 3:15-3:20pm. This match can be discussed on our hugely popular forums, or join the conversation on TWITTER - use the tag #NRLstisyd, and make sure you're following @LeagueUnlimited Good afternoon folks and welcome to Allianz Stadium for the annual Anzac Day clash between traditional rivals the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters.
Apart from the strong northwesterly winds, the conditions are perfect for a classic football match.
Steve Price has announced a few later changes to his side. Kyle Stanley is out of the match, Matt Prior will off the bench into the vacant center position. Nathan Fien moves from starting hooker to the bench with Mitch Rein starting at hooker in the number 24 jersey. Jack de Belin will also sit his one out, with Josh Miller in jumper 18 sitting on the bench in his place.
In what- if I am not mistaken, is a first for 2012, Brian Smith has announced no late changes to his side.
1 min: Braith Anasta kicks off to bring the match underway.
3 min: The Roosters are penalised.
4 min: Ben Hornby goes to the air, 15 out on the last but Peni Tagive diffuses it easily.
6 min: The Roosters will receive a scrum just short of halfway after a knock on from Ben Creagh.
7 min: Possible try for Anthony Minichiello after wonderful offload from Aiden Guerra
8 min: No try! Minichiello was held up over the line by Brett Morris.
9 min: Mitchell Pearce puts up a bomb on the last and Daniel Vidot takes it in the field of play.
9 min: Penalty against the Roosters.
9 min: Jamie Soward makes a break down the left side and the Dragons will go right on the attack.
9 min: Soward puts up a chip bomb on the last and Minichiello takes it on the full.
10 min: Jake Friend puts through a terrible kick on the last and the Dragons are 10 short of halfway after the first tackle.
10 min: Soward puts up another chip bomb 30 out from the Roosters' line and Minichiello takes it easily again.
14 min: TRY
TRY! Mitchell Rein makes a break straight out of dummy half on halfway, he beats Minichiello with a clever dummy and offloads to Creagh 20 out who races to the tryline to score. Soward adds the extras.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
17 min: Vidot knocks on five meters out from his own line after the Roosters makes great meters during their set. Tagive takes the ball and passes to SKD who knocks on to give the ball back to the Dragons.
18 min: Roosters will get a line drop out after driving Morris back into the in goal after he diffused a Pearce bomb.
20 min: Possible try to the Roosters! Pearce goes to the air on the last and Ben Hornby loses the ball trying to clean it up and Guerra falls on the loose ball to score.
21 min: TRY
TRY! Guerra scores the Roosters' first try. Anasta adds the extras.
22 min: Roosters get a penalty on half way on the the third tackle of their set.
23 min: Minichiello loses the ball ten out from the Dragons' line on the second tackle.
24 min: Roosters get six to go on halfway after a Dragons' players knocks the ball out of Guerra's hand.
25 min: Pearce grubbers into the in goal on the last and Minichiello is knock down. Penalty to the Roosters.
26 min: The Roosters try to keep the ball alive on the last and the referee finds a knock on in the play.
28 min: Anasta is penalised and the Dragons get a piggyback up the field.
32 min: TRY
TRY! Hornby goes to the air on the last and Vidot knocks it back, Matt Cooper picks up the loose ball and scores. Soward's conversion attempt is unsuccessful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 10-6
36 min: TRY
TRY! Minichiello scores under the black dot off a Pearce bomb. Morris appeared to have the kick covered but Minichiello raced through to steal the ball as Morris was catching it. Anasta adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 12-10
39 min: Josh Miller knocks on five meters short of halfway.
39 min: Jake Friend loses the ball ten out from the Dragons' line.
40 min: Vidot is tackled with ball as the half time hooter sounds.
41 min: Matt Chechin blows time on and the second half is underway.
42 min: The Dragons will get a full set of six on halfway after the Roosters are penalised for being offside.
43 min: Tagive tackles Prior into touch only a few meters out from the Roosters' line
46 min: Roosters get a penalty on halfway after the Dragons are pinned for being offside.
48 min: Dragons receive a relieving penalty after the Roosters are pinned for being offside.
50 min: Soward puts up a chip bomb ten out from the Roosters' try line, Creagh knocks it down and Pearce dives on the loose ball.
51 min: Possible try for Soward here after Minichiello loses the ball.
52 min: No try! 20 meter restart. Minichiello leaps from the in goal to diffuse a Soward chip bomb it is then knocked out of his hands from Creagh, Soward grounded the loose ball.
55 min: Roosters are penalised for stripping the ball 40 out from the Dragons' line.
56 min: Fien chips down field on the first and Jason Nightingale chases through but Minichiello scoops up the bouncing ball.
57 min: The Roosters receive a penalty and should be on the attack at the end of this set.
57 min: Mitchell Aubusson throws a forward pass to Anasta 40 out from the Dragons' line.
58 min: Dean Young gets pinned for a forward pass only 30 out from the Roosters' line.
59 min: Possible try to Pearce here.
61 min: TRY
TRY! Pearce grubbers into the in goal 25 out from the Dragons' line, Morris attempts to bat it dead but Pearce races through and grounds it just inside the line. Anasta adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 18-10
61 min: Dragons right on the attack after a mistake from the Roosters.
63 min: Hornby passes to Morris on the last who loses the ball in a tackle a few meters out from the Roosters' line.
65 min: Minichiello makes an excellent kick return and the Roosters are ten short of halfway after the first tackle.
65 min: Roosters loose the ball 40 out from the Dragons' line.
67 min: TRY
TRY! Michael Wayman burrows over the try line from dummy half. Soward adds the extras.
Sydney Roosters 18-16
67 min: Weyman loses the ball 20 out from his own line on the first tackle.
69 min: TRY Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
TRY! Pearce throws a wonderful flick pass to Anasta who races over to score. Anasta misses the conversion.
Sydney Roosters 22-16
73 min: Young throws a terrible pass that bounces along the ground and Minichiello dives on the loose ball 25 out.
74 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Pearce attempts a field goal and hits the up right, Vidot picks up the ball in the in goal and the Roosters defence cannot stop him from getting back into the field of play, but the Roosters' defence push him back into the in goal. The Dragons are then penalised.
Sydney Roosters 22-16
75 min: PENALTY GOAL Dewsbury Rams (NL1)
Roosters decide to go for the two and Anasta kicks it.
Sydney Roosters 24-16
77 min: TRY
TRY! Hornby goes for the short kick off and Nightingal grabs it on the full and passes to Matt Prior who scores. Soward adds the extras.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22-24
79 min: The Dragons will get a line drop out after Perrett is trapped in goal.
80 min: TRY
TRY! Weyman offloads to Creagh who scores. Hornby adds the extras from right in the front.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28-24