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The St George Illawarra Dragons have come away with a commanding 29-0 victory over a disappointing Sydney Roosters side in their traditional Anzac Day clash front of 28,926 fans at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Dragons came up with the perfect start through a try to winger Brett Morris before the Roosters had even touched the ball thanks to some ad-lib play after a chargedown attempt. It turned out to be a bit of a false dawn though as the remainder of the first half turned into a scrappy affair with neither side looking too dangerous on attack, although the Dragons edged further ahead thanks to a penalty goal and a field goal after the halftime siren to take a 9-0 lead into the sheds.
The second half looked like it would be more of the same until the Roosters tried to play some risky catch-up football and the Dragons capitalised with some great counter-attacks. Jamie Soward began the trend by finishing off an intercept play in the 58th minute and then followed up with a 90-metre try inside the last 10 minutes to leave the Roosters reeling. Jason Nightingale rubbed salt into the wounds by completing another length-of-the-field effort in the shadows of fulltime.
The Dragons earned this win on the back of some strong and determined defence, and Jamie Soward continued his recent purple patch by contributing 21 points to their total. On the other side, the Roosters continue to be hampered by some ineffective attack which has now failed to score a point in three halves of football. The only positive for them today was the form of Willie Mason, who kept himself strongly involved throughout the match.
Match Details St George Illawarra Dragons 29 def Sydney Roosters 0 Round 7 - Saturday April 25th, 2009 3:00pm Venue: Sydney Football Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne & Tony De Las Heras Sideline: Daniel Eastwood & Steve Chiddy Video: Steve Clark Crowd: 28,926 Halftime: Dragons 9 Roosters 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to the Sydney Football Stadium for the traditional Anzac Day match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons. These clashes seem to favour the team lower on the ladder at the time - can the Roosters overcome some patchy form and a strong looking Dragons team to keep that trend going?
Here are the confirmed line-ups:
ROOSTERS: 1. Sam Perrett 2. Sisa Waqa 3. Iosia Soliola 4. Setaimata Sa 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Braith Anasta (c) 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Mark O'Meley 9. James Aubusson 10. Frank Paul Nuuausala 11. Willie Mason 12. Nate Myles 13. Craig Fitzgibbon Interchange: 14. Lopini Paea 15. Shane Shackleton 17. Jake Friend 18. Jordan Tansey
DRAGONS: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Brett Morris 3. Beau Scott 4. Matt Cooper 16. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Ben Hornby (c) 8. Justin Poore 9. Dean Young 10. Michael Weyman 11. Matt Prior 12. Ben Creagh 13. Jeremy Smith Interchange: 14. Dan Hunt 15. Neville Costigan 17. Jarrod Saffy 18. Mathew Head
KICKOFF: We're underway! The Dragons will have first use of the ball.
1 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Jamie Soward's first clearing kick is charged down by Mark O'Meley, then Soward regains the ball before making a huge 50 metre break upfield and linking up with Brett Morris in support. What a start for the Dragons! Soward converts from the chalk. St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
4 min: Sam Perrett takes the first Rooster hit-up of the afternoon with a kick return but loses the ball.
5 min: Waqa is off, Jordan Tansey comes on. The Roosters are awarded the first penalty of the match to help them out of their own territory.
7 min: Mitchell Pearce hoists an attacking bomb to the corner but it's knocked on by the Roosters chasers.
12 min: Some risky offloads from the Roosters sees the ball dribble into touch just inside their own half - the Dragons will have an attacking scrum feed.
13 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons A penalty for slowing down the play-the-ball gives Jamie Soward a chance to extend the lead to eight points - and he makes no mistake. St George Illawarra Dragons 8-0
15 min: Jamie Soward attempts a 40/20 but the ball sails into touch on the full.
21 min: Roosters fans yell for a penalty as Jordan Tansey is blocked from chasing through an attacking grubber kick by Mitchell Pearce. The referees whistles stay silent, and the Dragons work the ball out from their own end.
26 min: Shaun Kenny-Dowall looks to have done well in catching a Jamie Soward bomb, but the Dragons are awarded a penalty for some obstruction on their chasers. Luckily for the Roosters they come up with an intercept in the next set to get out of danger.
35 min: Braith Anasta looks to spark something out wide but ends up being pushed into touch.
40 min: FIELD GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons Jamie Soward gets the ball 35 metres out as the halftime siren sounds and decides to pot a one-pointer. St George Illawarra Dragons 9-0
HALFTIME: Dragons 9 Roosters 0 A pretty scrappy first half overall - both sides have had their moments but it's only thanks to a first-minute bust that we've had a try posted in this match. Willie Mason, Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Darius Boyd have been the stand-out performers so far.
The second half is underway!
47 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons Craig Fitzgibbon is penalised for a strip on Neville Costigan, and Jamie Soward takes the chance to slot another two points. St George Illawarra Dragons 11-0
49 min: The Dragons move into a good attacking position thanks to a bust up the middle by Dan Hunt.
55 min: The Roosters have had plenty of ball in good field position but can't find that final piece to crack the Dragons defensive line - then they make it worse by conceding a penalty once the Dragons are in possession.
57 min: Jordan Tansey does very well to claim a very high bomb right next to his own goalposts before stretching to get back into the field of play.
58 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Beau Scott intercepts a short pass from Mitchell Pearce and finds Jamie Soward on his outside, and Soward streaks away from the chasing Roosters defence to score. Soward adds the extras as well. St George Illawarra Dragons 17-0
62 min: Consecutive penalties to the Roosters gives them a ride deep into Dragons territory.
63 min: Setaimata Sa loses the ball forward while trying to come up with the miracle offload - the Dragons defence holds firm once more.
70 min: Mat Head puts in an attacking kick from only 10 metres out and the ball sails over the dead ball line on the full.
72 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Jamie Soward takes a catch on his own 10 metre line and then runs 90 metres up the middle of the field to well and truly wrap the result up for the Dragons. Soward adds another two points with the conversion from right in front as well. St George Illawarra Dragons 23-0
76 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The Roosters make half a break by running the ball on the last tackle but the Dragons come up with a loose pass and launch a counter-attack from their own 10 metre line once more. This one starts with Matt Prior and Matt Cooper before Jason Nightingale finishes it off with a 50 metre run through some paper-thin defence. Jamie Soward converts. St George Illawarra Dragons 29-0
78 min: The Roosters come up with possession after a short kick-off.
FULLTIME: Dragons 29 Roosters 0 The Dragons take the Anzac Trophy with the biggest winning margin in Anzac clashes between these two sides.