Dragons break losing streak with scrappy win
The St George-Illawarra Dragons have snapped a two game losing streak with a 14-8 win over the Newcastle Knights in front of 19,214 fans at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.
The game that saw Wayne Bennett break the record for the most first grade games coached with the match being his 670th career match in charge as well as the fact that he was again coaching against his old side the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
The game never reached any real heights during the opening half with both sides struggling to cross their opponents try line. Josh Dugan looked to have scored the first points in just the second minute however after several replays the Video Referees Luke Phillips and Luke Patten put the red lights up on the Dugan try after replays showed that Dugan had grounded the ball on the touch in-goal line.
Soon after that the Knights put the first points on the board thanks to a Tyrone Roberts penalty goal which came in the fifth minute after Dan Hunt was penalised for being too slow away from the tackle.
The Dragons were the more dominant side in the opening half with most of the possession, field position and chances but even with a pin point kicking game from Nathan Fien they were unable to come up with points, although Brett Morris did cross the line but like Josh Dugan was given the red lights from the video referees after a Dragons player was ruled to have been offside from a deflection off a Knights knock on which lead up to the points.
In the following set the Dragons got a penalty and the game saw a bit of biff after Beau Scott was penalised for a leg twist subsequently Josh Dugan took a shot at goal to level the scores but pushed the attempt wide.
The only other points of the second half came after the siren with a Penalty goal to Tyrone Roberts extended the lead to 4-0 which was the Half Time score.
The second have seemed to start similarly to the first with penalties being the early feature from the referees however eight minutes after the break the Knights were able to score the first try through Joey Leilua and the conversion was pushed wide from Tyrone Roberts.
From there the game became an arm-wrestle with both sides trying to figure out where the opposition weakness was and where they could break them. The knights were able to create the opportunities however every time they did they released the pressure and just minutes later a superman like jump from Josh Dugan gave the Dragons their opening points of the match in the 57th minute.
Over the next 20 minutes neither side were able to trouble the defence of the opposition and both sides ill-discipline cost them dearly as they were able to release any pressure that they were putting on the opposition.
As the full time siren approached it was an error from James McManus that gave the Dragons the sniff of scoring the match winning points from the set ensuing from the scrum however Josh Dugan didn’t need any extra plays scoring the match winner two minutes from full time.
The Knights had one set of six to level the match up but through strong defence the Dragons were able to shut down the Knights play and secure the win.
Next week the Dragons have the relief of playing at home when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night meanwhile the Knights don’t have it easy next Sunday afternoon having to travel down to AAMI park to take on the Melbourne Storm.
Newcastle Knights 8 St. George Illawarra Dragons 14
Venue: Newcastle International Sports Centre
Halftime Score: Newcastle Knights 4-0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Nathan Fien
2 points - Josh Dugan
1 point - Tyrone Roberts
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (8)
Tries: Joseph Leilua
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (0/1)
Penalty Goals: Tyrone Roberts (2/2)
ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (14)
Tries: Josh Dugan (2)
Field Goals: Nathan Fien (0/1)
Conversions: Josh Dugan (1/1), Cameron King (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Josh Dugan (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Welcome to LeagueUnlimited.com's LIVE COVERAGE of Super Saturday. The first match of the night comes to you from Hunter Stadium as the Newcastle Knights host the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
The teams have been confirmed for this fixture, just the one change for the home team with Beau Scott returning to the side. He comes onto the bench in jersey #19, Scott replaces Adam Cuthbertson on the bench who has failed to recover from a neck injury.
Meanwhile for the Dragons, they are unchanged and will take the field, 1-17.
1. Darius Boyd 2. James McManus 3. Dane Gagai 4. Joey Leilua 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Jarrod Mullen (c) 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Travis Waddell 10. Willie Mason 11. Robbie Rochow 12. Chris Houston 13. Jeremy Smith
Interchange: 14. Adam Clydsdale 15. David Fa'alogo 17. Korbin Sims 19. Beau Scott
Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Brett Morris 3. Nathan Green 4. Matt Prior 5. Jason NIghtingale 6. Chase Stanley 7. Nathan Fien 8. Dan Hunt 9. Mitch Rein 10. Michael Weyman 11. Bronson Harrison 12. Ben Creagh (c) 13. Trent Merrin
Interchange: 14. Cameron King 15. Tyson Frizell 16. Jack de Belin 17. Jack Stockwell 19. Daniel Vidot
1 min: Play underway at Hunter Stadium, Dragons with possession in the first set
1 min: Not the best start for the Knights with Darius Boyd taken over sideline by the Dragons defence on the kick, Dragons with possession 20m out from the Knights line
2 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Checking a possible Josh Dugan TRY, checking grounding & touchline, Referee Jason Robinson has said TRY
2 min: NO TRY - Video Referee's give Josh Dugan the red lights with Dugan grounding the ball on the touch in-goal line, Knights out to the 20m
3 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Knights get a penalty after the Dragons were ruled to be too slow in releasing the tackled player
3 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Dan Hunt ruled to have stayed in the tackle for too long, Knights taking the penalty shot
5 min: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Penalty goal attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.
Tyrone Roberts has no problems converting the Penalty, Knights with the first points
Newcastle Knights 2-0
7 min: Set after points is a good one for the Knights, Dragons to work it away from their own end 25m out from their own line
8 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Trent Merrin penalised for a shoulder charge, Newcastle find touch 30m out from Dragons line
8 min: Willie Mason gets over the line but is ruled to be held up on the fourth tackle
9 min: Knights outside attackers can't take a bomb cleanly, Dragons get the handover 10m out from their own line
10 min: Dragons don't get the luck of the bounce, with the kick bouncing into the corner post meaning that the Knights get the 20m restart
11 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Chris Houston penalised for being too slow away from the tackle, Penalty count now 3-1 to Knights
12 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Josh Dugan penalised for taking the Newcastle player in the air close to the Knights line
14 min: Nathan Fien puts a good kick in for Jason Nightingale but he can't take it cleanly, Knights get the handover 10m out
16 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Neville Costigan penalised for being too slow away from the tackle, Dragons have possession on halfway
17 min: Nathan Fien again puts a pinpoint bomb across field, Jason Nightingale taps the ball back to Matt Prior who can't clean the ball up, Knights with possession 10m out from their own line
19 min: Nathan Fien finds touch around 2m out from the Knights line, Knights with the scrum feed 10m out from their own line
21 min: Knights put the kick in for the corner but rolls over the touch in-goal line, Josh Dugan takes the tap on the 20m
21 min: Robbie Rochow dives on the loose ball, hint of offside possibly but referee Jason Robinson happy that Rochow came from behind the deflecting player
22 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Again the Knights penalised for being too slow in releasing the tackled player
24 min: Nathan Fien tries a banana kick that is taken comfortably by Kade Snowden who's then taken back into his own ingoal, Dragons to get a repeat set
26 min: A good kick from Mitch Rein creates problems for the Knights defence and Tyrone Roberts gets the ball out of the ingoal however referee Henry Perenara ruling an ingoal forward pass from the Knights
26 min: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Jason Nightingale makes an unforced error.
Some good scrambling defence causes Nightingale to drop an offload, Knights get some relieve
28 min: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Chris Houston makes an unforced error.
Chris Houston can't take a pass and will give possession back to the Dragons 30m out from their own line
30 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Checking a possible double knock on, First knock on from Jeremy Smith though checking if Jack Stockwell got a touch - Referee Henry Perenara says NO TRY
30 min: NO TRY the ruling with the Dragons player ruled to be offside though the initial infringement was by Newcastle
32 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Beau Scott concedes the penalty for a leg twist, a bit of biff comes afterwards, Ben Creagh the instigator but luckily not penalised
32 min: UNSUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Penalty goal attempt by Josh Dugan unsuccessful.
Josh Dugan pushed the kick wide, and the ensuing 20m dropout has to be cleaned up just short of the Dragons dead ball line
Newcastle Knights 2-0
34 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Beau Scott again the man penalised this time for a crusher tackle and is on report for the tackle
36 min: Josh Dugan makes a half break and has an unmarked Brett Morris on his outside but can't get the pass away
36 min: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Jason Nightingale makes an unforced error.
Jason Nightingale drops a pass from Nathan Fien whilst on the attack, Dragons work it away from there own end
38 min: Joey Leilua takes the bomb and manages to get the offload but ruled to have been tackled by referee Jason Robinson
39 min: Inside the final 60 seconds, Knights working the ball out of their own half
40 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Jason Nightingale penalised for not being square when playing the ball, penalty 39m out from the Dragons line, Knights to take the penalty goal
40 min: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Penalty goal attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.
Tyrone Roberts has no problems and converts the penalty from 39m out
Newcastle Knights 4-0
40 min: HALF TIME at Hunter Stadium, the home side take a 4-0 lead at the break thanks to two penalty goals from Tyrone Roberts, Knights the happier team of the two but both sides will be disappointed with their attack in the first half time especially the Dragons who were the more dominant side
40 min: Sides about to come back on to Hunter Stadium for the second half, fans hoping the quality of the game will increase
40 min: Second Half underway with Henry Perenara calling time on with Knights to have first posession
41 min: Dane Gagai tries to put a kick through the Dragons defensive line but gets cleaned up 20m out from the Dragons line by Brett Morris
41 min: After a good first half kicking game by Nathan Fien, the second doesn't start as well with the Kick finding Dane Gagai 35m out
42 min: Newcastle end a good set of six with a poor kick finding Matt Prior on the full
42 min: PENALTY DRAGONS- Knights penalised for hand on the ball, Dragons to start their set on halfway
44 min: Nathan Fien puts the ball to the air again & is taken cleanly by Ben Creagh but he can't get an offload free on the sixth, Knights get the handover
45 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Dragons penalised for have a hand on the ball
47 min: Knights to get a repeat set after Josh Dugan is forced to take the ball dead off an Adam Clydesdale kick
48 min: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Joseph Leilua. Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts unsuccessful.
First try of the match comes after just 47minutes, Leilua gets the ball down in the corner after building pressure, Roberts pushes the kick across the face of the posts
Newcastle Knights 8-0
49 min: Good set after points takes the Knights upto the Dragons 30m on the last tackle
50 min: Knights force another line dropout after some instinctive play from Jarrod Mullen
51 min: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Willie Mason makes an unforced error.
Willie Mason makes a simple error for a player of his level, letting pressure of the Dragons
54 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Chris Houston penalised for not being square at marker
57 min: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Josh Dugan. Conversion attempt by Cameron King successful.
Josh Dugan takes a superman like leap and outjumps the defenders and scores off a Nathan Fien cross field kick, though Dugan has taken a knock, Cameron King has no problems converting, margin back to 2 points
Newcastle Knights 8-6
58 min: Nathan Fien puts a good kick in which James McManus has to clean up on his own tryline
59 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Dragons penalised for being too slow away from the tackle, Penalty count now at 7-7
60 min: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Robbie Rochow makes an unforced error.
Robbie Rochow makes an error close to the Dragons line releasing the pressure
61 min: Some sloppy play on the last tackle almost costs the Dragons but Dan Hunt is able to get a kick away that found Darius Boyd on the full
63 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Jeremy Smith penalised for not realising the legs of Brett Morris, Dragons find touch 45m out from the Knights line
64 min: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Trent Merrin penalised for pushing attacking Jeremy Smith after trying to milk a penalty, Knights work it away from their own half
67 min: Tyrone Roberts finds touch around 6m out from the Dragons line
68 min: Nathan Fien puts a chip over the top that is taken by Josh Dugan who gets upfield but can't get an offload
69 min: Beautiful take from James McManus, he earns a 20 metre tap. Dugan unlucky not to score off his line break
70 min: Dragons try offloading the ball deep inside their own half and almost goes wrong, luckily the referees rule that the Dragons were in possession
71 min: Dragons get more luck with the Knights ruled to have touched the ball
72 min: PENALTY DRAGONS - Knights penalised for a high tackle
72 min: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Penalty goal attempt by Josh Dugan successful.
Josh Dugan resumes the kicking duties and converts the Penalty goal to bring the scores back level
74 min: Knights having to work the ball out from deep inside their own half after another beautiful Nathan Fien kick
76 min: UNSUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Field goal attempt by Nathan Fien unsuccessful.
Nathan Fien takes the shot at Field Goal and ends up closer to the corner post than the goal posts
76 min: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
James McManus makes an unforced error.
James McManus drops the field goal, Dragons to get the scrum feed 10m out from the Knights line
78 min: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Josh Dugan. Conversion attempt by Josh Dugan successful.
Josh Dugan scores what could be the match winning try next to the posts
St. George Illawarra Dragons 14-8
79 min: Inside the final minute and the Knights regather the short kickoff, and get their way up to 10m short of the Dragons line
80 min: FULL TIME at Hunter Stadium and the Dragons have scored a 12-8 come from behind win with Josh Dugan score the match winner in the 77th minute