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THE St George Illawarra Dragons have broken a five match losing streak to defeat the New Zealand Warriors 26-22 in front of a 15,732 crowd at WIN Stadium this afternoon.
The home side got to a disatrous start with captain Ben Hornby's kickoff going out on the full to open up the match. However the Dragons survived the first Warriors onslaught.
The Dragons were not so lucky in the sixth minute when a Joel Moon offload put Krisnan Inu over.
Things went from bad to worse for Dragons with Ben Hornby kicking the ball dead from the kick off again and Kevin Locke taking five defenders with him over the try line to score in the next set.
The Dragons finally came to play in the 18th minute when a Beau Scott offload found a racing Mark Gasnier who ran 30 meters to score.
Wayne Bennett's side were over again only five minutes later when Brett Morris capped off a team try with some magical footwork to stay in the field of play and a three meter dive into the in goal.
With ten minutes to go until the break the Dragons returned to their self destructive way, gifting the Warriors some good field position with some silly penalties.
The visitors finally made them pay six minute from the break, when a brilliant Feleti Mateo found his fullback Kevin Locke who sent Bill Tupou over to score.
The home side got off to a disastrous start again in the second 40 with back rower Ben Creagh losing the ball in only the second set of the half.
However some good defense by the Dragons and disjointed attack from the Warriors kept the visitors out.
It was the Dragons who posted first points in the second half, with Darius Boyd scoring of his own grubber in the 48th minute. Jamie Soward added the extras to level the scores.
The home side claimed the lead only five minutes later when Soward nailed a penalty goal five minutes later.
The Dragons almost looked to be back to their premiership winning form in the 57th minute when Jason Nightingale strolled over to score. Soward added the extras again to give his side an eight-point buffer.
Wayne Bennett's boys looked to be in complete control of the match until the 70th minute when Feleti Mateo found the Dragons' defense napping. James Maloney converted the try to reduce the deficit to two points.
The Warriors were given an opportunity to steal victory in the 75th minute when Dean Young threw a forward pass on halfway but the Dragons' defense held strong.
A fifty meter kick return by Darius Boyd put the Dragons in prime position to add to their total before full-time and after two consecutive penalties from 10 meters out Jamie Soward kicked a penalty goal on full-time.
St George Illawarra Dragons 26 defeated New Zealand Warriors 22
National Rugby League - Round 25 - Sunday August 28, 2011 2:00pm
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Ashley Klein and Ben Cummins
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Luke Potter
Crowd: 15, 732
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 10 New Zealand Warriors 16
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Darius Boyd (1 Try)
2 Points - Kevin Locke (1 Try)
1 Point - Brett Morris (1 Try)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (26)
Tries: Mark Gasnier, Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale
Conversions: Jamie Soward (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (2/2)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (22)
Tries: Feleti Mateo, Krisnan Inu, Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou
Field Goals: James Maloney (0/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Afternoon and welcome to WIN Stadium where the St George Illawarra Dragons take on the New Zealand Warriors.
Both sides have announced some late changes to their teams. For the home side, Adam Cuthbertson and Kyle Stanley are out. Lock Matt Prior moves to the bench, Dean Young moves to lock, with Mitch Rein coming into the side at hooker to cover for Young and Nathan Fien filling up the final bench spot.
For the Warriors, Sam Rapira moves into the starting side at Prop, with Russell Packer shifting to the bench and Elijah Taylor moves into the starting side at second row, with Feleti Mateo starting from the bench.
We have beautiful conditions in Wollengong at the moment where the New Zealand Warriors have just defeated the St George Illawarra Dragons 42-30 in the Toyota Cup.
1 min: The Dragons have kicked it out on the full from the kickoff.
2 min: Line drop out for the Warriors after Hornby is pushed back into the in goal.
3 min: Maloney loses the ball 30 meters out.
4 min: Good set by the Dragons they make it to the Warriors 10 meter line on the last but Soward's kick is taken well by Inu a meter out from the try line.
5 min: Another line dropout for the Warriors after a great set. Maloney went to the air on the last and Nightingale took the bomb but had stepped up from the field of play before being tackled by Inu.
8 min: TRY
Beautiful off load by Moon to fool the Dragons defense and put Inu over in the right corner. Maloney fails to convert the try from the touchline.
New Zealand Warriors 4-0
9 min: Hornby kicks it over the dead ball line again.
12 min: TRY
Kevin Locke takes five Dragons' defenders with him over the tryline after putting on two right foot steps to beat some would be defenders. Maloney's conversion attempt from right in front is successful.
New Zealand Warriors 10-0
13 min: Good set by the Warriors to back up the try, Boyd takes Maloney's kick a meter from his own line and makes it ten meters before being crunched by the Warriors' defense.
14 min: Soward's kick from halfway goes straight to Tupou.
15 min: Morris is tackled in his own ten after fielding Aaron Heremaia's bomb.
16 min: Dragons run it on the last and look dangerous until Brett Morris's kick goes dead in goal.
17 min: Nightingale makes a 25 meter kick return after fielding Heremaia's kick ten out from his own line.
19 min: TRY
Beau Scott offloads to Mark Gasnier who runs 30 meters to score. Soward's conversion attempt is successful
New Zealand Warriors 10-6
20 min: A good set by the Dragon's to back up the try, but a great kick return by Locke puts the Warriors back on the front foot.
21 min: The Warriors finish their set only 25 out before Johnson goes to the air and Nightingale does well to diffuse it in goal.
22 min: Beautiful take by Kevin Locke a meter out from his own line and surrounded by opposition players.
22 min: The Dragons will get a set 40 out from the Warriors' line after Maloney kicks it out on the full.
24 min: Possible try for Morris here, just checking to see if Morris was in.
25 min: TRY
The Dragons spread it out wide and Brett Morris does very well to stay in the field of play and dive into the in goal from three meters out. Soward's conversion from the sideline is unsuccessful.
27 min: The Dragons try to run it on the last from halfway, but Scott knocks it on.
28 min: Warriors get a penalty on halfway.
29 min: Johnson goes to the air on the last and Hornby loses the ball before Cooper forces it dead for a line dropout.
30 min: Johnson kicks it on the last but Soward is there to field it in the in goal and off load it to Boyd who runs it back to the ten.
31 min: The Dragons will get a piggyback up the field after the Warriors concede a penalty.
32 min: Another beautiful take by Kevin Locke.
32 min: The Warriors get a penalty 30 out from their own line.
34 min: Possible try to Tupou for the Warriors here.
36 min: TRY
Try! A great offload by Mateo to Locke creates and overlap, Locke throws a long pass to Tupou who scores in the corner. Maloney adds the extras.
New Zealand Warriors 16-10
38 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
James field attempts a field goal from 40 out but it's waved away.
New Zealand Warriors 16-10
40 min: The Warriors will get a piggyback up the field after the Dragons concede a penalty 20 out from the Warriors line.
40 min: Mateo loses the ball on the halfway line as the halftime hooter sounds.
41 min: We are underway in the second half.
41 min: Creagh loses the ball trying to play the ball 30 out from his own line.
43 min: Maloney grubbers into the in goal on the last but his chasers are just not there and Hornby has no problem running it back into the field of play.
44 min: Both sides are making some great meters up the field at the moment.
45 min: Mateo loses it 35 out from the Dragons' line.
46 min: Dragons are on the attack here after a nice break by Soward.
49 min: TRY
Bill Tupou loses the ball trying to clean up Boyd's kick and Boyd is there to ground the loose football. Soward's conversion attempt is successful.
50 min: Fien loses the ball 25 out from his own line.
52 min: Maloney loses the ball 10 out from the Dragons' line and the homeside are off the hook for now.
53 min: Th Dragons get a penalty five out after they spread it out wide on their own 30 and gained 70 meters in one play.
54 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Dragons go for the two and Soward has no problem kicking it.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-16
58 min: TRY
The Dragons spread it out wide quickly and Jason Nightingale strides over to score in the right corner. Soward's conversion attempt from the sideline is successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 24-16
61 min: Dragons get a penalty a few meters out from their own line after Darius Boyd is tackled in the air.
62 min: Warriors are penalised again and the Dragons should go right on the attack this time.
63 min: Inu loses the ball only a meter from his own line in try to clean up a Hornby kick.
65 min: Dragons loses the ball five out from the Warriors' line.
67 min: The Warriors are really struggling to put anything together at the moment.
68 min: Gasnier loses the ball ten out from his own line.
69 min: The Warriors get six again after a knock down from the Dragons.
71 min: TRY
Feleti Mateo finds the Dragons' defense napping after Gasnier rushes up on Maloney. Maloney converts the try.
St George Illawarra Dragons 24-22
73 min: Elijah Taylor loses the ball on his own 40 just as his side is looking dangerous.
74 min: The Dragons will get a line dropout after is forced to take Soward's grubber dead.
75 min: Young throws a forward pass 10 out from the Warriors' line.
76 min: Penalty to the Warriors on halfway.
77 min: Maloney grubbers into the in goal but Boyd cleans it up and makes a 70 meter break up the field.
78 min: Warriors are penalised 10 out from their own line.
79 min: Another penalty to the Dragons.
80 min: PENALTY GOAL
Soward kicks the penalty goal on full time.
St George Illawarra Dragons 26-22