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The St George Illawarra Dragons have grinded out a narrow 8-6 win over the Gold Coast Titans in front of
10,194 fans at Win Stadium.
Two-late penalty goals to the Dragons proved to be the difference after both sides struggled to make the most of their opportunities during the match.
Twenty-minutes of the match passed before the Titans made their first error of the game and they were rewarded for their disciplined football with five repeat sets in the next passage of play, however it was not enough, and a cheap turn over saw all their hard work go unrewarded.
The home side made sure their opportunity did not go to waste in the 32nd minute when Daniel Vidot dived over in the right corner after the Titans conceded their first penalty of the night. Jamie Soward failed to convert from the touchline.
The Titans were given an opportunity to hit back late in the first half after Aiden Sezer forced a line dropout, but the visitors butchered yet another opportunity.
The home side found themselves right on the attack early after the break, however some poor last tackle option and some strong defence from the Titans saw them denied points.
A mistake from the Dragons followed by a penalty saw the Titans right on the attack in the 53rd minute. This time they made no mistakes with a pin point accurate grubber from Sezer creating a try for Scott Prince under the posts. Prince converted his own try to give his side the lead. 75
After two repeat sets at the Titans' try-line and nothing to show for it, the Dragons did not hesitate to take the two after receiving a penalty in the 69th minute. Soward made no mistakes from right in front to make the scores level with just over 10 minute left in the match.
Back to back penalties saw the Dragons with an opportunity to add another two-points from right in front only three minutes later and once again Soward's boot was on the money.
The Titans looked like they might have reclaimed the lead in the 75th minutes after Sezer beat the Dragons' defence to a Prince bomb, but replays revealed that Sezer was offside.
The home side did enough to hang on in the final five minutes and walk away with the win.
While the Dragons may have broken their dry spell, their attack was still flat tonight and their error and penalty rate too high. They were lucky to come away with a win after being dominated by the Titans for much of the match. However, tonight's victory sees them within two-points of the top eight and they head to Canberra next week to take on a horribly out-of-form Raiders' side.
As for the Titans, they have their work cut out for them if they wish to sneak into the eight, they sit two-points behind the Dragons' on competitions points, they will benefit from a bye next weekend and the return of Greg Bird and William Zillman the following week.
St George Illawarra Dragons 8 defeated Gold Coast Titans 6
National Rugby League - Round 16 - Friday June 22, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Referee: Jason Robinson and Gavin Morris
Video Referee: Paul Mellor
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Luke Potter
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 4 Gold Coast Titans 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Aidan Sezer
2 Points - Dean Young
1 Point - Scott Prince (1 Try, 1 Conversion)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (8)
Tries: Daniel Vidot
Conversions: Jamie Soward (0/1)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (2/2)
GOLD COAST TITANS (6)
Tries: Scott Prince
Conversions: Scott Prince (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening folks and welcome to WIN Stadium where the St George Illawarra Dragons take on the Gold Coast Titans.
The Gold Coast Titans have hit some form in recent weeks after a slow start to the season while the form of the Dragons has progressively deteriorated in 2012.
We have brisk condition in Wollongong at the moment where our coaches have announced their final teams. For the home side Matt Cooper is out, Bronx Goodwin comes into the side on the wing, with Jason Nightingale moving into the centres. Nathan Fien and Jack De Belin come off the bench and into the starting side with Mitch Rein and Trent Merrin joining the bench.
For the Titans, William Zillman is out and will be replaced by Phil Graham, Beau Champion is out and will be replaced by Steve Michaels. Matt White is also out, Nate Myles shifts from the second row into the forwards with Luke O'Dwyer coming off the bench into the second row position vacated by Myles and Dominique Peyroux joining the bench.
1 min: We are under way at Win Stadium.
2 min: Not the best start from the Dragons, Daniel Vidot loses the ball, 20 out from the Titans' line on the last.
8 min: Dragons have the upper hand at the moment and are making some great metres, but an error from Ben Hornby in the Titans 20s sees it all come undone.
11 min: The Dragons fail to complete another set, dropping their completion rate down to 50 per cent. Titans scrum 20 out from their own line.
18 min: Aiden Sezer earns a line drop out after a good set from the Titans.
19 min: Titans receive the first penalty of the match.
20 min: Jamal Idris makes the Titans' first error of the evening and the Dragons are off the hook.
22 min: The Titans will go on the attack after getting a tackle count restart.
23 min: Jason Nightingale is pinned for a strip and the Titans will get another shot at the Dragons' line.
25 min: Scott Prince grubbers into the in goal and Hornby is there to clean it up for the Dragons but is cannot get out of the in goal. Line drop out.
26 min: The Titans receive another penalty 15 out from the Dragons line.
26 min: David Mead loses the ball a few metres out from the Dragons' line and the Titans will come away with nothing after five repeat sets.
30 min: The Titans concede their first penalty of the night and the Dragons will get a shot at them.
33 min: TRY
TRY! The Dragons spread it wide to Vidot who scores in the right corner. Jamie Soward fails to convert from the touchline.
St George Illawarra Dragons 4-0
36 min: Ben Ridge knocks on only 20 metres out from his own line. After a flawless start in the error and penalty department, the Titans are really capitulating here.
37 min: The Dragons are pinned for a knock on and the Titans are off the hook.
38 min: Great set from the Titans, they are 30 out on the fourth, they should get to put up an attacking kick at the end of this.
39 min: The Titans force a line drop out.
40 min: The Titans are caught with the ball a few metres out on the last and the Dragons should be able to run down the clock in the first half.
41 min: The Dragons will get first use of ball in the second half after Prince gets us under way!
43 min: The Dragons are on halfway on tackle one, they will go right on the attack here.
44 min: Soward forces a line dropout.
46 min: Vidot is caught with the ball on the last and the Titans are off the hook.
48 min: The Dragons are pinned for a high shot and the Titans should go right on the attack from here.
50 min: The Dragons will get a scrum 10 metres from their own line after Sezer is pinned for a forward pass.
51 min: The Dragons receive a penalty.
52 min: Prince comes up with the ball 30 out from his own line after a mistake from the Dragons.
52 min: Titans will go right on the attack after the Dragons concede another penalty.
53 min: Prince may have a try under the posts here.
55 min: TRY
TRY! The Titans have their first points of the night after Prince scores off a Sezer grubber. Princes adds the extras.
Gold Coast Titans 6-4
60 min: The Titans will go right on the attack after receiving a penalty.
62 min: The Dragons are off the hook after a lost ball from the Titans.
66 min: Dragons will get a scrum 40 out from the Titans' line.
66 min: Gordon stops a certain try with an attempted intercept, the ball goes out though so the Dragons will get a scrum 10 out.
69 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Dragons get a penalty and opt to go for the two and level the scores. Soward has no problem kicking the penalty goal.
72 min: Dragons receive another penalty and will go right on the attack.
73 min: PENALTY GOAL
Myles is pinned for a high shot and the Dragons opt to kick for the lead. Soward kicks then penalty goal again.
St George Illawarra Dragons 8-6
75 min: Titans might have a try here.
75 min: No try! Prince goes to the air on halfway and is their to field the kick and he spreads it out wide to Graham who dives over in the right corner, however the video ref rules the Titans chasers off side and the Dragons will get a penalty.
80 min: If the Dragons hang on this set and get a good kick away they should come away with the win here.
80 min: Soward boots the ball down field on the last and it bounces out 10 metres out. The Titans rush to form the scrum and will have 20 seconds to race 90 metres.
80 min: The Titans are tackled with ball and that's the ball game, the Dragons hold on to win 8-6 despite the Titans dominating for most of the match.