Dragons dominate dour Wests Tigers

Gareth Widdop was the star again today at ANZ Stadium with the St. George Illawarra Dragons comfortably accounting for a surprisingly poor Wests Tigers 28-12 in front of 22,000 fans.

The Dragons produced an outstanding first half, overcoming some early pressure from the Tigers to score four unanswered tries in the first stanza. It all began with Gareth Widdop scoring his side's first off a Brett Morris break and in-field kick. The Red V boys backed this up with back-to-back tries through Gerard Beale and a second for Widdop.

A moment of controversy earned the ire of the Tigers' home fans late in the half when Tim Simona appeared to have scored - the grounding in question and ultimately ruled he didn't have downward pressure on it. The Dragons subsequently went up the other end and scored in the shadows of halftime through a powerful effort to Jason Nightingale. The halftime lead was 22-0 to the Dragons and the home side looked listless.

Quickfire tries to the Tigers opened the second half and seemed to have shifted the momentum of the game with both converted and the Dragons looking to tire in defence - but their own tired legs and simple errors coming out of their own end continued to cruel the hosts as they did in the first half. A 58th minute penalty goal to Widdop was helped along in the 68th minute with a try to Brett Morris which pushed the Dragons back out to a 28-12 lead which they maintained through to fulltime.

Much of the focus both before and after tonight's match was on Tigers' coach Mick Potter and captain Robbie Farah - the former deflecting reports the club's board were keen to sack him while the latter was forced to defend himself from accusations he was leading a player revolt against Potter. The pair presented a united front at the post-match press conference, where Farah offered his full support to the coach before Potter himself asked the gathered media to focus back on the game or they'd vacate their seats and end the presser.

Potter or no Potter, the Tigers have an important clash with Melbourne next Monday night at Campbelltown where they'll honour retired player Simon Dwyer, while the Dragons hit Allianz Stadium on Saturday night in their Iron Man Marvel jersey to face the 'Captain America' Roosters.


Match Details
Wests Tigers 12 St. George Illawarra Dragons 28
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Crowd: 22618
Halftime Score: Wests Tigers 0 St. George Illawarra Dragons 22

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Gareth Widdop
2 points - Brett Morris
1 point - Benji Marshall

WESTS TIGERS (12)
Tries: Blake Austin, Robbie Farah
Conversions: Pat Richards (2/2)

ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (28)
Tries: Gareth Widdop (2), Gerard Beale, Jason Nightingale, Brett Morris
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Gareth Widdop (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS - the Tigers lose Chris Lawrence to injury, with Bodene Thompson moving to the centres as his replacement. Dene Halatau will start in the second row while Sauaso Sue will take the vacant bench spot. For the Dragons they're 1-13, with Charly Runciman, Nathan Green and Shane Pumipi all dropping out to allow Trent Merrin to come in.

1: We're underway and IT'S BOUNCED OUT! Lulia's let it go into touch.... Dragons scrum 10m out!!!!

2: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Gareth Widdop makes an unforced error.

Widdop puts Mike Cooper over the tryline but it's ruled FORWARD. Tigers scrum.

4: Hot potato from the Tigers on the last but the eventual kick from Robbie Farah goes dead. Dragons 20m restart.

8: Dragons with a dash down the left but brough to ground. Tigers work it away now.

9: Double knock on, Tigers scrum 30m from the Dragons line.

10: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Blake Austin makes an unforced error.

Wow, from the scrum Austin's been thrown a dud pass and has spilled it. Dragons get it back now.

13: Dugan down with what looks like a leg injury. Nothing in the tackle.

14: Dragons grubber... and Moses has it. SPRINTS AWAY! Finds Austin! Austin makes it to 30m, finds Simona! Tackled... play on though...

15: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Curtis Sironen makes an unforced error.

Sironen spills an Austin offload and it's a Dragons scrum. They now work it off their own line.

17: Tigers penalty as they enter the danger zone. Pressure on the Dragons defence now.

18: Woods held up on the last for the Tigers. Dragons with the handover on their own line.

18: Galloway is OFF - straight up the tunnel.

20: VIDEO REFEREE possible Dragons TRY to Gareth Widdop. Morris with the kick assist.

21: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Gareth Widdop. Kick to come.

Widdop wins the race to the ball after Morris kicks it ahead after a break.

23: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop converts his own try.

23: The kickoff is taken... Marshall looks to have taken that dead! It's ruled out on the full though and is a Dragons penalty on halfway.

24: Benji's grubber on the last in that set goes dead. Dear me. INJURY UPDATE - Keith Galloway off with a shoulder problem. Could be back today.

25: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Gerard Beale. Kick to come.

Widdop puts it up cross-field and Morris bats it back - TRY for Beale!

27: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop makes easy pickings of the conversion.

29: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Benji Marshall makes an unforced error.

A bit of karma hits Benji after the previous kickoff, this time he's spilled it. Tigers scrum.

30: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Gareth Widdop. Kick to come.

Dominating Dragons! They break away to the opposite end - Rein puts a kick through which Widdop pounces on to score!

32: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop converts to push the lead to 18 points. Completely different Tigers side to the one that trounced Canterbury last week!

34: Tigers committing ridiculously bad errors inside their own half, here's another and it's a Dragons scrum inside the Tigers' 40m.

40: VIDEO REFEREE possible try for Tim Simona (Tigers).

40: NO TRY - Simona's dropped it in the grounding. It went up as NO TRY and there's not enough to overturn it.

40: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Jason Nightingale. Kick to come.

"Gypsy" scores a great try in the corner after bouncing off defenders down the right edge.

40: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop unsuccessful.

Widdop misses this one from the near touchline.

40: We're back underway for the second half. Dragons have it first up.

44: Moses and Brooks both carrying shoulder issues early in this second half - Brooks had his strapped at halftime. Galloway WON'T return.

46: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Blake Austin. Kick to come.

Austin sells the dummy and sprints away from the defenders, covering 30m to score under the sticks.

48: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards adds the extras from in front.

49: Tigers force a line drop out from the Dragons. Another injury for the home side as well with Sauaso Sue coming off and heading to the rooms.

51: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Robbie Farah. Kick to come.

The fightback is on - Farah barges over from dummy half and the game is alive now!

52: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards makes no mistake again and we have a ten-point ballgame.

58: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Penalty goal attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop adds a penalty goal after the Tigers concede plenty of metres in a set. Tigers players ruled offside.

60: Tigers penalty inside the Dragons' 20m. A try here could make this contest very interesting!

63: Dragons get a full set but Beale's tackled on the last.

64: Tigers drop ball just inside the Dragons' half. Saints come back upfield now.

67: Dragons with the pill inside the Tigers 20m after an error from the hosts.

68: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Brett Morris. Kick to come.

The Dragons extend their lead. Great try in the corner for "B Moz"!

69: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop unsuccessful.

Another assignment from the sideline for Widdop... he's missed this one.

70: Short kick off... Tigers ball now...

74: Long kick drilled into touch by Widdop. Tigers scrum on their own 10m.

77: Aaron Woods held up over the line. Dragons back with it now at their own end.

79: Less than two minutes remain at ANZ and the Dragons have a repeat set through a line drop-out, Simona forcing it dead.

79: Now a 20m restart for the Tigers. Game winding down here.

Like

Your Two Cents...

No one has commented on this page yet. Why not kick things off?