Dragons bounce back as Wests crumble

One week is all it took for the Dragons to rectify their defensive problems as they downed the Wests Tigers 36-12 in front of 18,726 fans at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah. It was an intense physical battle and the crowd were making sure that the Tigers players knew exactly where they were. After a controversial first forty minutes, the boys in the Red V ran away with the match.

It was an extremely physical first ten minutes, as the Dragons posted the first points of the match through Mitch Rein in the ninth minute. The hard-hitting packs of both sides were in a true battle of attrition as Adam Blair and Michael Weyman shared a few words midway through the first half. Dragons' winger Jason Nightingale started the game very well setting a precedent for the other backs; as Brett Morris slipped through the Tigers defence, Tom Humble was unable to wrap the ball up, Morris offloading to Dan Hunt who crashed over to score.

The first half was riddled with controversy including multiple high tackles, however, only one tackle was deemed to be illegal. In the eighth minute Blair copped Nightingale around the head. Later, Beau Ryan scored an interesting try, after losing the ball, he regained possession to plant the ball down, as two more high tackles went unpunished after Benji Marshall and Ryan received facial treatment. After Blair and Robbie Farah's massive hit on Trent Merrin, the Dragons were able to pile on the tries just before halftime, taking a 24-6 lead at the break.

The dying moments of the second half summed up the whole stanza for the Tigers as Marshall threw a forward pass to Beau Ryan. Earlier on however, the two sides were battling it out for field position and the Tigers quickly gained the upper hand. But the Dragons held on, received two penalties back to back, as Soward slotted over an easy two points. Things were not getting any better for the Tigers but Beau Ryan managed to channel his aggression into solid defence, coming up with great shoulder charges. Some awesome attack from both sides (but even better defence) saw the game deteriorate into a tennis-like state until Joel Reddy scored a crucial try for the Tigers.

But it was all downhill from there - the Dragons piled on the points. The Tigers could not account for 10 further points from the opposition throughout the second half as they fell to 36-12 behind. Dragons' hooker Nathan Fien said his side's attitude got them over the line after the embarrassing loss to Canterbury last week.

The Dragons now look ahead to hosting Manly next Saturday evening as the Tigers will look to beat Canberra next Monday night back home at Campbelltown.

Match Details
St George Illawarra Dragons 36 defeated Wests Tigers 12
National Rugby League - Round 3 - Friday March 16, 2012 7:45pm
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Referee: Tony Archer and Phil Haines
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Dave Abood and Grant Atkins
Crowd: 18,726
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 Wests Tigers 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Jason Nightingale
2 Points - Brett Morris
1 Point - Nathan Fien (1 Try)

Tries: Ben Creagh, Ben Hornby, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Daniel Vidot, Mitchell Rein
Conversions: Jamie Soward (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)

Tries: Joel Reddy, Beau Ryan
Conversions: Benji Marshall (2/2)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLstiwst.

You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. Hey guys! Joshua Wells here! ready to update you with all your footy needs! the Dragons take on the Tigers at Kograh!
Teams are on the field! let's go! Gareth Ellis out for Tigers, Cooper and Scott out for Dragons
1 min: Tigers kick to Dragons!
1 min: Great work up the field for the Tigers! over halfway
2 min: Vidot makes a mistake in the play the ball! Scrum tigers!
4 min: Farah drops a Dragons player on his head in a sloppy tackle. Penalty Dragons.
5 min: After no dummy half for the dragons, Moltzen dives on the ball only to knock it on!
6 min: Tigers survive an onslaught as Lawrence smashes Stanley
7 min: Blair feels like he is at Brookvale Oval again as Blair cops Nightengale on the shoulder at best, altercation and words between Blair and Weyman
9 min: TRY
Rein dummies his way to the first try! Soward converts!
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
12 min: Moltzen penalized for not getting back the ten!
12 min: Interesting fact: Penalty count 3-0 in favour of the dragons
15 min: TRY
Brett Morris slips through the line, gets held up and offloads to Dan Hunt as Hunt crashes over for a try next to the posts! Humble unable to rap the ball up for the Tigers. Soward Converts
6 all
16 min: possession: 79% to 21% in favour of the Dragons
16 min: Sorry for the technical difficulties! they are on their way to being resolved
18 min: Soward concedes a penalty for being offside! As the Tigers receive a penalty 10 metres from the Dragons line.
20 min: Tony Archer is going upstairs for a possible Tigers try!
21 min: TRY
Beau Ryan scores. The ball separates from his hands, before he regathers mid air to score the try! Sideline conversion for Benji Marshall!

Wests Tigers 12-6
23 min: Dragons lose the ball in prime attacking position
26 min: Difficulties resolved. Beau Ryan and Jamie Soawrd have altercation but missed by the cameras, tennis like Rugby League, back and forth and the Dragons save an almost certain try by Tigers. 28-10 U20 victory for the Tigers
28 min: Knock on in the line, Lawrence claims he had hands on him. Dragons scrum ten from the Dragons line.
30 min: Loses the ball after an accidental swinging arm by Trent Merrin
30 min: Creagh loses the ball!
31 min: Former Melbourne Storm player Adam Blair continues the trend
32 min: Knock on from the scrum base; the crowd goes wild
34 min: 20 metre tap for the Tigers
35 min: Tigers make solid metres, to the Dragons 40 metre line as Marshall puts a bomb up and a Tigers player is offside and the Dragons receive a penalty.
38 min: TRY
Merrin is put through the line and he passes to Nathan Fien as the Dragons extend their lead. Blair makes a crucial error in defence.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-6
38 min: Tigers concede Penalty on halfway!
40 min: TRY
Ben Hornby scores off a good run by Fien, as the Dragons extend their lead!
St George Illawarra Dragons 24-6
40 min: Halftime and Dragons lead 24-6 over the luckless but physical Tigers. Have your say on the Forums!
40 min: We are back under way here with the Dragons giving the ball to the Tigers
41 min: Great metres by the Tigers as the play breaks down as Morris links up to Nightengale
41 min: Farah comes up with the ball 40 metres from the line; as Dean Young concedes a penalty
42 min: Penalty count 5-3 to the Dragons
43 min: Cregh has the ball after some sloppy work by the Tigers
44 min: The New Zealand captain drops it stone cold.
45 min: Penalty to the Dragons! The momentum for the Tigers now stemming
46 min: Moltzen offside! Penalty Dragons 10 metres from Tigers line
After a silly offside penalty, Soward extends the lead.
St George Illawarra Dragons 26-6
48 min: And here we go again! Trent Merrin plays it 20 from his line!
50 min: Can the Tigers mount a comeback in similar fashion they did in 2011 over the Warriors at Mt Smart? Only time will tell. Have your say on the forums!
52 min: Ryan smashes Green!
52 min: Tony Archer laying down the law! Scrum Tigers
55 min: TRY
Joel Reddy scores a Tigers try after Lawrence pops the ball over head! Benji slots another sideline conversion
St George Illawarra Dragons 26-12
57 min: Dragons on the attack! close to the Tigers line
57 min: Cregh goes close but throws it away to the Tigers
58 min: Farah gets a great bounce from a chip kick but it breaks down and Hornby has the ball
59 min: Double knock on; Tigers play the ball
60 min: Robbie Farah has a bloody hand and is sent off to the blood bin!
61 min: Kick by Benji Marshall to Soward, Jamie does well to nearly run it out before being trapped in goal
62 min: Knock on by the Tigers as Morris makes a great run up field!
64 min: Knock on Dragons, ten metre play the ball
66 min: Great turnaround by Dragons after being put under pressure as Soward runs 80 metres before the shift to the corner, pass out in the sideline, let off with penalty
66 min: Morris throws the ball inside to Stanley, Dragons fans celebrate try but the refs call it back....forward.
67 min: Tigers need to mount their comeback now
67 min: Knock on Tigers and Nathan Green is fearing an injury
68 min: Video ref checking Vidot's possible try
71 min: TRY
The green light is sent back as Vidot scores a great try. Soward misses the kick
St George Illawarra Dragons 30-12
74 min: Five minutes to go and the Tigers lose the ball. The game is over, but can the Dragons score again?
76 min: Jack DeBelin goes close but the Tigers D is just too strong!
77 min: Soward kicks, the ball comes down, Morris collects, offloads to Cregh and it is now up to the video ref to see if he scored!
78 min: TRY
Ben Creagh scores as the Tigers fans begin to walk out! Soward converts
St George Illawarra Dragons 36-12
80 min: Full-time and the Dragons destroy the Wests Tigers.

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