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Dragons Premier League Give Wests
The St George Illawarra Premier League side has battled abominable conditions and a gutsy Wests Magpies outfit to down the visitors 20-10 at a rain soaked Oki Jubilee Stadium today.
Leading 12-10 at the break, the Dragons overcame driving rain in the second half to register their second win in a row.
The win puts St George Illawarra on 14 competition points, elevating them to ninth position.
The Dragons started the match unusually sluggish. After a couple of handling errors from the home side, Wests managed to secure strong field position. Despite sitting on the bottom of the table, the Magpies still showed plenty of potency with the ball and were rewarded after five minutes with a try to their winger Michael Crockett.
Reece Simmonds nearly got his side back in it just eight minutes later. The custodian showed great footwork and then strength to get himself over the stripe but unfortunately he spilt the ball in trying spin over and plant it down.
More mistakes in the opening exchanges continued to plague the Dragons. Just 12 minutes after conceding their first try, St George Illawarra found themselves even further behind. Attacking from centre field, Magpies replacement Shannon Gallant dummied and went straight through the first line of defence. Left with a one on one situation with Simmonds, Gallant stepped the fullback with ease and streaked away to score under the sticks. Ben Roberts converted for a shock 10 -0 lead.
Five Eighth Daniel Holdsworth took it upon himself to get his side out of a hole last week against the Rabbitohs and the no 6 managed to step up yet again. In a carbon copy of last weeks solo effort, Holdsworth stepped past a couple and put a big right hand fend on Wests fullback Shannon McDonnell to get his side on the board.
Just five minutes later Holdsworth's halves partner Keiran Kerr got in on the try scoring action to level the match at 10 all. Holdsworth's conversion put the Dragons ahead 12-10.
The Dragons were unlucky to not go into halftime even further in front after Simmonds dropped the ball over the line for the second time.
The second half turned into a begrudging arm wrestle with rain pelting down. Both sides found the going extremely tough with the ball seconding as a cake of soap.
With only eight minutes to go the Dragons put the nail in Wests coffin after a pin point Holdsworth bomb landed in the waiting arms of Nick Youngquest. Holdsworth drilled the conversion from the sideline to give his side an all important eight point lead.
The wet conditions brought out the frustrations in the players and on the stroke of full time Wade Humphries and a Wests player were sin binned by referee Steve Lyons for fighting. Receiving the penalty from right in front, Holdsworth kicked a goal to make the final score 20-10.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 20 ( D Holdsworth, K Kerr, N Youngquest tries; D Holdsworth 4 goals) d. WESTS MAGPIES 10 ( M Crockett, S Gallant tries; B Roberts goal