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The St George Illawarra Dragons have ensured Dean Young and Ben Hornby will have fond memories of their final home game by thumping the New Zealand Warriors 38-6 in front of 11,261 fans at Win Stadium.
Neither side was impressive in the opening 10 minutes, withe both sides uninspiring in attack despite a handful of opportunities.
The home side finally hit their stride in the 14th minute, with Will Matthews scoring his first try of the season courtesy of a Jamie Soward cross-field bomb. Soward converted to give the Dragons a six-point-lead.
The Dragons continued to dominate in the next passage of play but failed to extend their lead despite dominating possession and terrible defence from the Warriors.
The Warriors were finally able to find their way in the 28th minute when a pin-point James Maloney cross-field bomb was plucked out of the air from Shaun Johnson who scored. Maloney converted to level the scores.
Poor ball handling followed by some terrible defence from the Warriors saw the Dragons back on the front foot in the 32nd minute when Chase Stanley scored. Soward added the extras.
The Dragons were back on the attack a few minutes later but failed to execute leaving scores unchanged at the break.
It was all the Dragons in the second 40 as the Warriors' defence was found wanting again and again.
Jason Nightingale went over in the 47th minute for the first try of the half. Nightingale was over again nine minutes later.
The Dragons were over again in the 64th minute through Josh Miller. Ben Creagh finished off a team try in the 66th minute.
Creagh was creating tries in the 78th minute when he put Matt Cooper into a hole close to the Warriors' line. Ben Hornby was giving goal kicking duties but missed.
The Dragons will head to Parramatta next weekend where they take on the Parramatta Eels who will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon.
As for the Warriors they will host the Canberra Raiders next week at Mt Smart Stadium.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38 defeated New Zealand Warriors 6
National Rugby League - Round 25 - Saturday August 25, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Adam Gee
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Shane Rehm
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 New Zealand Warriors 6
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Ben Creagh (1 Try)
2 Points - Jason Nightingale (2 Tries)
1 Point - Leeson Ah Mau
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (38)
Tries: Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh, Jason Nightingale (2), Chase Stanley, Josh Miller, Will Mathews
Field Goals: Jamie Soward (0/1)
Conversions: Ben Hornby (0/1), Jamie Soward (5/6)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (6)
Tries: Shaun Johnson
Conversions: James Maloney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening NRL fans and welcome to WIN Stadium where the St George Illawarra Dragons host the New Zealand Warriors.
Both sides have struggled to find consistency this year and are out of the running for a finals spot. The Dragons will be looking to give Ben Hornby a win for his final home game.
For the Daniel Vidot is out for the home side, Matt Prior will shift into the centres with Will Matthews coming off the bench and into the starting side. Josh Miller will also start, replacing Dean Young at lock, Young will start on the bench.
Sione Lousi and Sebastine Ikahihifo are out for the Warriors they will be replaced by Konrad Hurell and Ben Matulino join the Warriors bench.
1 min: We are under way at Win Stadium.
7 min: The Dragons are on the attack after Trent Merrin puts Jason Nightingale into a gap with a nice off load.
8 min: Manu Vatuvei diffuses a Jamie Soward kick in his own in-goal and the Warriors are off the hook.
9 min: The Dragons receive a penalty.
10 min: Lewis Brown saves the day for the Warriors.
13 min: Jamie Soward forces a line drop out.
16 min: TRY
TRY! Soward puts up a cross-field bomb from 10 out and Will Matthews scores close to the posts. Soward adds the extras.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
18 min: Dragons are on the attack after a busting run from Brett Morris.
19 min: A Soward grubber goes dead and the Warriors are off the hook.
21 min: The Dragons are all over the Warriors at the moment.
24 min: Ben Henry loses the ball 40 out from the Dragons' line.
25 min: Matthews loses the ball 10 out from the Warriors' line.
26 min: Ben Hornby is pinned for a forward pass 35 out from the Warriors' line.
28 min: Shaun Johnson might have a try here.
29 min: TRY
TRY! James Maloney puts up a cross-field kick from ten out, and Vatuvei is there to bat the ball back into the arms of Johnson who scores close to the posts. Maloney adds the extras.
32 min: Ukuma Ta'ai loses the ball a few metres into Dragons' territory.
34 min: TRY
TRY! Matt Cooper busts through the Warriors' defence after the lost ball and puts Chase Stanley over in the corner. Soward's conversion attempt is successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-6
35 min: The Dragons are 30 out with two tackles in hand after some terrible defence from the Warriors.
36 min: Soward butchers an opportunity with a poorly weighted kick.
37 min: The Dragons will get a piggyback up the field after the Warriors concede another penalty.
38 min: Time is off with Johnson down with an injury.
39 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Soward attempts a field goal and it hits the upright before bouncing into the arms of a Warriors player who is tackled by some offside Dragons' players. Penalty to the Warriors.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-6
40 min: Dan Hunt loses the ball on his own 30 and the Warriors rush to pack the scrum with 10 seconds left in the match.
40 min: The Warriors are tackled with the ball as the hooter hounds and that's the half.
41 min: Maloney sends the ball deep into the Dragons' half to get us underway in the second half.
43 min: Dragons are right on the attack on the back of a penalty.
45 min: Dan Hunt loses the ball a few metres out and the Warriors are off the hook.
49 min: TRY
TRY! Soward puts up a bomb from 20 out and Jason Nightingale plucks the ball out of the air and scores. Soward's conversion attempt is unsuccessful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 16-6
52 min: The Warriors are on the attack after Stanley loses the ball for the Dragons.
53 min: Morris diffuses a Maloney cross-field bomb in goal, he races away from the 20 metre restart and offloads to Soward who is tackled by Mara 40 out, Mara is pinned for a second grab and the Dragons will go on the attack.
55 min: The Dragons will get a scrum ten out from the Warriors' line after Hurrell knocks the ball out off Nightingale's arm.
57 min: TRY
TRY! Ben Creagh puts on a step before offloading to Nightingale who scores. Soward adds the extras.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22-6
61 min: The Warriors will get a scrum 10 out from the Dragons' line after Stanley knocks a Maloney bomb into touch.
63 min: Russell Packer loses the ball and the Warriors butcher another opportunity.
63 min: Morris streaks down the the left touchline but is ankle tapped by Tuimavave 30 out from the try line.
64 min: TRY
TRY! Josh Miller is too strong for the Warriors' defence and he scores. Soward adds the extras.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28-6
68 min: TRY
The Dragons go 70 metres in one tackle to score. DeBelin puts Nightingale into a hole with an offload, Nightingale passes to Coopers who gives the ball to Creagh who throws a dummy and scores. Soward adds the extras.
St George Illawarra Dragons 34-6
71 min: The Dragons gets scrum 35 out from the Warriors' line after another mistake from the Warriors.
72 min: The Warriors are pinned for an illegal strip.
73 min: The Dragons force a line drop out.
74 min: Bill Tupou cleans up a Soward chip kick and the Warriors are off the hook.
75 min: The Warriors are 40 out on tackle two after a nice off load by Mateo.
75 min: Vatuvei throws a loose pass on tackle three and the Dragons are off the hook.
77 min: The Warriors give away another penalty.
80 min: TRY
TRY! Coopers scores in the left corner courtesy of a nice flick pass from Ben Creagh. Hornby is giving goal kicking duties and misses and that will be the game.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38-6