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The Roosters made the Dragons work for it, the ladder leaders trailed 12-6 at the break before scoring 28 unanswered points against the Roosters. It must have felt like deja vu for the teams after the Dragons scored 29 unanswered points against the Roosters earlier in the year.
The Roosters began with the most intensity seen by the tricolours throughout 2009, scoring quickly through captain Craig Fitzgibbon after a great pass from Jake Friend. The Dragons quickly fired back however. A stunning run from Matt Cooper turned into a try for Papua New Guinean Neville Costigan.
The teams kept the intensity up but the scoreboard remained untouched until the last minute of the half. Mitchell Pearce fired a 40/20 and Craig Fitzgibbon was sent over the line for his second try.
The Dragons were never out of the contest as they started the second half with a bang. First Jamie Soward scored from a loose ball over the line, then Wendell Sailor received a long ball to score in the corner and give his side the lead.
From then on the match was no contest for the Dragons. Matt Prior scored his first try in the top grade from some soft defending mid-way through the second half and after failed raids from the Roosters attack, he scored his second, again through soft defence.
The match was capped off with a trademark Jamie Soward 80 metre run to the line. A high five to the Dragon mascot and another 18 points to his tally against his former club made it a perfect night for Soward and the Dragons.
Match Details St George Illawarra Dragons 34 def Sydney Roosters 12 Round 17 - Friday July 3rd, 2009 07:35pm Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah Referee: Tony Archer & Tony De Las Heras Sideline Officials: Steve Carrall & Mohamad Fajajo Video Referee: Sean Hampstead Crowd: 12,472 Halftime: Sydney Roosters 12-6
St George Illawarra Dragons 34 Tries: Neville Costigan, Jamie Soward (2), Wendell Sailor, Matt Prior (2) Goals: Jamie Soward (5/6) Sydney Roosters 12 Tries: Craig Fitzgibbon (2) Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary UNDER 20's Toyota Cup Scoreboard - Full Time Dragons 58 (Kalifa Fai Fai Loa 2, Kane Linnett, Shannon Wakeman, Kyle Stanley, Joe Vickery, Jared Brodrick, Mitch Rein, Ken Edwards, Chase Stanley tries, Cameron King 5, Joe Vickery 3, Henry Raiwalui goals) Roosters 10 (Grant Nelson 2 tries, Luke Towers goal)
Talk about the game as it happens - Dragons v Roosters forum discussion - click here!
DRAGONS: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Brett Morris 3. Matt Prior 4. Matt Cooper 5. Wendell Sailor 6. Jamie Soward 7. Ben Hornby (c) 8. Justin Poore 9. Dean Young 10. Jon Green 11. Jarrod Saffy 12. Ben Creagh 13. Neville Costigan Interchange: 14. Dan Hunt 15. Trent Merrin 16. Mathew Head 17. Jason Nightingale ROOSTERS: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Sandor Earl 3. Mitchell Aubusson 4. Ben Jones 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Setaimata Sa 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Nate Myles 9. Jake Friend 10. Lopini Paea 11. Anthony Cherrington 12. Willie Mason 13. Craig Fitzgibbon (c) Interchange: 14. Shane Shackleton 15. Frank Paul Nuuausala 16. Tom Symonds 17. Nick Kouparitsas
Josh here tonight, welcoming you to this Friday Night encounter.
Here at WIN Jubilee Oval the table topping Dragons will face the struggling Roosters in this Friday night encounter. The Dragons, as premiership favourites, have been in great form and once again showed that form last week against the Tigers. The Roosters ended a long streak of losses to defeat the Sharks.
This match won't be far from kicking off, we're hoping for a blockbuster. Stick around.
3 min: Good defensive set from the Roosters, highlighted by a catch from Sandor Earl from a Soward kick.
5 min: Great take from Soward from a Pearce kick. Good start to the game.
6 min: Bad play-the-ball from Lopini Paea. Dragons scrum on their own 30.
8 min: Soward puts a bomb high up in the air and no-one is able to take it. Soward regathers eventually and makes a run to the right, attempts to chip, which Mitchell Pearce gathers. Soward tackles Pearce in-goal so it will be a line drop-out.
9 min: Great defence continued by the Roosters, Sailor tried to take on five of them on the right touchline but is eventually taken over the side.
10 min: Penalty Dragons Aubusson makes a good break from a Friend pass. On the next play Pearce kicked and Sailor was hit in the back by Shaun Kenny-Dowall before the ball landed.
12 min: Sailor spills the ball on his own ten metre line, bit of a slip too. Roosters with a shot.
13 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The passing of Jake Friend continues to hurt the Dragons as he sends a short one to the chest of the captain Craig Fitzgibbon, who scores under the posts. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 6-0
17 min: Pearce puts an attacking bomb up but Shaun Kenny-Dowall spills it close to the line. Great defence from the Dragons in the set.
19 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Matt Cooper makes a stunning break following a run-around play. The ball went to Nightingale who sent a small pass to Costigan to score a stunning try for the ladder leaders. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. 6 all
23 min: Costigan blunders, spilling the ball while playing it.
25 min: Soward kicks into the corner, Earl waits but is forced to knock it dead. Line drop-out coming up here.
26 min: Sailor is sent out of the field once again. Kenny-Dowall had come in quickly seeing Sailor with half a chance.
29 min: Dragons pull of a great series of offloads but Aubusson saves the day cutting down a rampaging Boyd.
29 min: To the days of old there! Mason makes an absolutely rampaging run. The kick is rushed from Pearce, scrum to the Dragons on their 10 metre line. They've handled him well so far.
34 min: Pearce attempts a chip and chase, was ready to regather but a bad bounce stops the play, Soward grabbing it and getting his side prepared for attack.
35 min: Great defence again from the Roosters, five to go. The Dragons offloading abilities are looking great, they're making plenty of metres with it.
36 min: Pearce with the breeze kicks it beautifully, wait, it's a 40/20! That is more like a 30/20! Great kick! The Roosters section of the crowd is up, here they come.
37 min: The Roosters spill the ball, Sa attempting to fire a short ball to Symonds. Nightingale is down from the collision.
39 min: TRY Sydney Roosters The team on the bottom will lead the team on the top at the break. Kouparitsas flew from dummy-half, was held and passed to a rampaging Fitzgibbon who scores his second of the night against his former club. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 12-6
HALF TIME - SYDNEY ROOSTERS 12 lead ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 6 The Roosters have a stunning half-time lead and that try at the end of the half will help a lot. Exciting match so far, join me for the second half.
We're underway for the second half now.
42 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The try is awarded. Great work from Soward there to score under the sticks to level the game up. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. 12 all
45 min: Perrett emulated Sailor with a knock-on near his own line. Dragons will fire up here. 15 metres out, here come the ladder leaders!
46 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons It's a try! Good work by the big man, Dragons on fire here though! Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful. St George Illawarra Dragons 16-12
53 min: Nuuausala spills the ball, another let off for the Dragons.
55 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Strange call by the referee to award the Dragons a scrum calling the Roosters player to have played at the ball on the way over the sideline. On the next set a good set of running ends with Matt Prior getting over the line to give the Dragons a buffer in this match. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 22-12
63 min: Soward intercepted and stopped the play but the Roosters were able to begin another one soon after. Friend chips and chases to earn his side another set of six.
64 min: For the second time in minutes Soward ends up with the ball ending the Roosters unsuccessful attacking.
69 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The match looks sealed after Matt Prior gets through two defenders extremely softly. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 28-12
73 min: Morris spills it but the Dragons are obviously well on top. The Roosters look completely down in this second half.
79 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Is it Anzac day again? Jamie Soward runs eighty metres to the line for a try as simple, yet elogant as you can get. The nearest Rooster was forty metres away. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 34-12
Full Time ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 34 def. SYDNEY ROOSTERS 12 Rooster fans dared to dream at half-time but the Dragons ran riot against a disappointing Roosters outfit to score 28 unanswered points to claim the win.