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Dragons power home
The St George-Illawara Dragons have run away with a 34-14 win against the Melbourne Storm in an all dominating second half performance at WIN Stadium.
After a woeful performance against the Cowboys last week it took just seconds into their first set to show that the competitive Dragons had come out to play as Head made a break and Cooper backed up to score.
Melbourne worked their way back into the match eventually when big Matt King wrestled with several Dragons defenders before finally planting the ball down.
It was the Dragons though that stole the momentum on the stroke of halftime with Trent Barrett scoring a great individual try to give his side a 12-4 lead going into the sheds.
The Dragons extended their lead just 7 minutes into the second half with Carlaw running onto a beautifully timed Matthew Head and from there it was all one way traffic.
Simmonds, Cooper and Withers all added further tries as St George-Illawara found gears that hadn?t been evident in recent weeks as they racked up 34 points.
The Storm scored two late consolation tries but it was all too late as they had lost the match and have lost their 5th position on the table to St George-Illawara with the Cowboys still to play this weekend.
Scorers: DRAGONS 34 Tries: Cooper 2, Barrett, Carlaw, Simmonds, Withers Goals: Riddell 3/4, Head 2/2 defeated STORM 14 Tries: King, Bell, Orford Goals: Orford 1/3
By the clock: 0 min: Kick-off in a big Friday night match as finals places are up for grabs with September just around the corner.
1st min: NEWS - Melbourne have been awarded the first penalty of the match just seconds into the contest putting them in good field position.
4th min: TRY - Dragons. St George-Illawara are instantly successful in their first set with Head making a break and Cooper backing up on the inside to score. Riddell converts - Dragons 6-0.
7th min: NEWS - The Storm have blown a great opportunity to hit back with Hoffman slipping over when all he had to do was pick up the ball and score.
11th min: NEWS - It's been good defence from the Dragons early on in this match as they have had to withstand several sets on their own line.
14th min: NEWS - A great 40/20 from Cameron Smith gives Melbourne another great attacking opportunity.
16th min: TRY - Storm. From the scrum Geyer and MacDougall combined to put Matt King over in the corner. Orford fails to convert - Dragons 6-4.
21st min: NEWS - The Dragons have stepped up their intensity with some amazingly quick play the balls.
25th min: NEWS - With game in a holding period Matt Orford kicks out on the full and puts his side under pressure.
28th min: NEWS - A few mistakes are creeping into both sides game stopping either from stamping their authority on the contest.
33rd min: NEWS - The Dragons have had several attacking chances but mistakes and poor passes have denied them from adding further points to their tally.
38th min: TRY - Dragons. A mistake from Melbourne put the Dragons on attack and from the following set Barrett ran at the line and went straight through to score. Matthew Head converts - Dragons 12-4.
40th min: NEWS - Right on half time the Storm put a kick in behind the line but Slater knocked on in his attempt to ground the ball.
40th min: HALF TIME - It hasn't quite been a preview of finals footy just yet with both teams lacking execution. The Dragons have played well in patches but have been sloppy when it counts while the Storm have had the better of territory while not being able to do much with it. Half Time Score: Dragons 12 Storm 4.
41st min: The second half is underway!
42nd min: NEWS - The Dragons have been awarded an early penalty and go straight on attack.
47th min: TRY - Dragons. After repeat sets the Dragons finally broke through with head kicking into the in-goal and Carlaw diving on the ball to extend their lead. Head converts - Dragons 18-4.
50th min: NEWS - The penalty count is Dragons 4 Storm 5.
54th min: NEWS - The Dragons defence has been great all night and has stepped up a gear in this second half.
59th min: NEWS - Shaun Hampstead manages to get into the play with the ball reflecting off his feet and giving the Dragons another set.
61st min: TRY - Dragons. From the scrum the Dragons created an overlap and Reece Simmonds dives over in the corner. Riddell fails to convert - Dragons 22-4.
63rd min: TRY - Dragons. It's turning into a red and white party at WIN Stadium, this time Mark Riddell make a big break and Cooper backed up on his outside to stroll under the posts. Riddell converts the try he set up - Dragons 28-4.
67th min: NEWS - If St George-Illawara keep this lead they will move into 5th place ahead of the Storm.
70th min: TRY - Dragons. Matthew Head showing an old head on young shoulders grubbered in behind the line, re-gathered and sent Lincoln Withers over. Riddell converts - Dragons 34-4.
75th min: TRY - Storm. Melbourne get a consolation try as Bell dives over in the corner. Orford fails to convert - Dragons 34-8.
79th min: TRY - Storm. Matt Orford from the scrum went through the Dragons line untouched to score under the posts. Orford converts his own try - Dragons 34-14.
80th min: FULL TIME - It's been a very impressive second 40 minutes from the Dragons as they poured on the tries and had some fun in the process. Full Time Score - Dragons 34 Storm 14.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Head (Dragons) 2 - J Ryles (Dragons) 1 - M Cooper (Dragons) -----------------------------------------