Dragons hold on against fast finishing Tigers


Wests Tigers travelled Kogarah's WIN Jubilee Oval to take on the Dragons, the 19,892 crowd saw a strong first half effort from the home side enough to carry them through the a strong second half showing from the visitors, Dragons winning 24 points to 18.

First half honours went easily to the home side, with them putting on four tries to the Tigers' one. Although both teams had come out with plenty of intent, it was the Dragons who did a better job taking their chances. Along with the strong defence the Dragons are known for, this kept the Dragons well on top.

The Tigers were forced to make an eleventh hour change coming into the clash with McKinnon ruled unfit to play minutes before the game commenced forcing a last minute reshuffle.  Dragons took full advantage and went on the attack from the get go.  Dragons put their first points on in the sixth minute with a left flank attacking raid which put Cooper in to score.

Tigers began to grind back in response but the Dragons' defence remained strong and resilient.  Tigers maintained pressure on their hosts until a penalty gave the Dragons prime attacking position to build their lead, which they did in the twenty third minute when Fein from dummy half put Merrin in to score. Soward's fist conversion of the afternoon put the Dragons ahead 10-0.

Dragons scored again from their next set with a long range effort set up by Boyd, putting Gasnier through to break the line and find Nightingale in support to score.  Soward added the extras and the Tigers were facing a 16 point deficit. Tigers began to fight back, but were again broken and appeared to have conceded another try before the sideline and video referee Chris Ward's red button saved them.

Tigers hit back after Farrah broke the Dragons' defensive line and set up for Lui to put Fifita in to score in the following play. Dragons returned serve in the final minute of the half with a long range try started with a long pass from Hornby to Cooper to streak down the left side and Morris in support in to score, the try did come at a cost though with Morris injuring his hamstring and taking no further part in the game.  It did however give the Dragons a 20 to 6 lead to take into the interval.

Dragons came into the second half looking a little disinterested and Tigers capitalised on this, chancing their own hand and putting on the first points of the half in the 48th minute, converted by Marshall who was having a much better afternoon with the boot than his opposite number 6. From there it was a strong defensive display from the Tigers that was on show and they looked like being on top in the game despite the score deficit.

The Dragons were able to offer some more points to help them defend their lead when their final points of te match were scored in the 61st minute. Gasnier with a freakish effort in the corner touched it down safely in goal to put the Dragons 12 points ahead of their opposition. Tigers continued to fight, unwilling to go down until the final siren had sounded.

The Tiger fight paid off in the 76th minute, when they looked likely to steal the game away after Farrah put little kick for Moltzen to pounce on and score.  Marshall's boot put the Tigers a converted try behind with four minutes to play. Tigers even managed to score a repeat set on the back of their try, but an error denied them the chance to score.

The visitors had one last opportunity in the last minute, when Soward's boot gave them a scrum and 40 seconds to finish the game with.  It was however d