Dragons defeat Bulldogs at ANZ

St George Illawarra have run out convincing 19-6 winners over Canterbury Bankstown in front of a bumper crowd of 37,773 at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

The Bulldogs started the match the stronger of the two, making numerous half-breaks and creating a number of good scoring opportunities, whilst the Dragons looked uncharacteristically slow and disorganised. The Bulldogs capitalised on their early dominance in just the 4th minute when Josh Morris crossed after a sharp backline move.

However errors and poor decisions in attack cost the Bulldogs, who failed to score again despite launching several promising raids. As the half wore on and possession evened up, the Dragons began to exert their dominance. In the 22nd minute Ben Creagh latched on to a precision chip kick from Jamie Soward to even the scores. The Dragons took the lead in the 34th minute when Hornby sold a clever dummy and linked with replacement centre Nick Emmett, who then found Jason Nightingale for the Dragons to score in the corner.

The Dragons led 12-6 at the break.

They try of the match came ten minutes after half time when, after fielding a kick return deep in Dragons territory, each of the Dragons back three combined to release Matt Cooper down the touchline. Cooper then strongly fended off attempted cover tackles from both Patten and Idris to score in the corner. Soward converted from the sideline to put the Dragons 12 points clear.

To their credit the Bulldogs, spurred by the introduction of Ben Barba, upped their intensity and threw a lot at the Dragons. However the Dragons scrambled well and, whilst they came agonisingly close several times, the Dogs could not score again. With just over ten minutes to go Jamie Soward calmly slotted a field goal to take the lead to 13 and put the game to bed.

Match Details
Canterbury Bulldogs 6 were defeated by St George Illawarra Dragons 19
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 10 - Friday May 14, 2010 7:35pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Bernard Sutton
Video Referee: Bill Harrigan
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and David Abood
Crowd: 37,773
Halftime: Canterbury Bulldogs 6 St George Illawarra Dragons 12

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Ben Creagh (1 Try)
2 Points - Ben Hornby
1 Point - Matt Cooper (1 Try)

CANTERBURY BULLDOGS (6)
Tries: Josh Morris
Conversions: Bryson Goodwin (1/1)

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (19)
Tries: Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh, Jason Nightingale
Field Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)
Conversions: Jamie Soward (3/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary 4 min: TRY
Bulldogs have started the stronger, made several busts in a set starting from their own line. Morris finishes off a smart backline move
Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
8 min: Dragons are on the attack when Ennis smashes Dan Hunt with the shoulder, Hunt loses the ball
17 min: Bulldogs continue to dominate possession and field position. Nightingale defuses a dangerous bomb with a good catch in goal,
22 min: TRY
After a penalty gives the Dragons their first set in the Bulldgos twenty Creagh juggles, then takes, a pinpoint Soward chip to score
6 all
28 min: Steve Turner is denied after a forward pass spoils a very well-constructed try-scoring opportunity
32 min: Halatau spills the ball in his own half, giving the dragons a chance to attack
34 min: TRY
Ben Hornby cuts through with a nice dummy, links with Emmett who then finds Nightingale for a try in the corner
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-6
40 min: Half Time sees the Dragons ahead 12-6. The Bulldogs started the stronger, creating several chances and probably should have lead by more. However the Dragons held on and got back into the grind, scoring two tries to take the lead.
40 min: Half Time sees the Dragons ahead 12-6. The Bulldogs started the stronger, creating several chances and probably should have lead by more. However the Dragons held on and got back into the grind, scoring two tries to take the lead.
45 min: Both teams have started the second half full of running, creating some half chances, Michael Weyman makes a long break from his own half but the dragons fail to capitalise with a poor last-tackle option.
47 min: A beautiful dummy half pass from Dean Young puts Nick Emmett in the clear but he drops the ball with the line wide open.
51 min: TRY
A beautiful Dragons try from a kick return deep in their own half. Cooper fends off Patten then Idris for a great finish in the corner.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-6
55 min: Dragons beginning to look very sharp, only a committed cover tackle from Patten prevents Cooper going over in the corner again. Barba brought on for the Dogs.
60 min: Dogs miss a scoring chance with Idris spilling the ball a few meters short of the line.
67 min: Dogs have really lifted their intensity and are throwing everything at the Dragons to get back into the game. Paea spills the ball a couple of meters out when the Dogs seemed certain to score.
69 min: FIELD GOAL
Soward calmly slots a field goal after the Dogs make a mistake deep in their own half.
St George Illawarra Dragons 19-6
80 min: Full Time. Dragons win 19-6. The Bulldogs created a lot of half chances in the last 20 minutes, but the Dragons scrambled well and the Bulldogs could not add to their half time score.

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