Dragons record back-to-back wins

The St. George Illawarra Dragons have continued a hoodoo over the NZ Warriors today, recording a 31-12 victory at Eden Park in front of 14,392 brave fans.

As with last week, the Dragons let their opposition get the jump on them, Sam Tomkins opening the scoring for the Warriors before the Dragons hit back through Mitch Rein, who caught some defenders napping to score under the posts from dummy half.

The Warriors regained the lead through a sneaky change of direction run by Jerome Ropati close to the line, taking a 10-6 lead before a late first half penalty goal for Johnson put the hosts up 12-6 at the break.

The minutes after the opening of the second half changed the entire game though - the Dragons went from trailing by six to leading by six - scoring two tries within two minutes with backs Adam Quinlan and Gerard Beale putting themselves on the scoresheet. Momentum swung again back to the Warriors - but they failed to convert it into points.

The Dragons will be pleased with their defensive effort - and capped it off in the final ten minutes with tries to Brett Morris and Ben Creagh, as well as a sneaky one-pointer from our man of the match Gareth Widdop.

The Warriors will be again wondering what's going wrong with such a solid roster. They'll also need to keep an eye on Ben Henry after he sustained an injury in the second half - he'll be monitored ahead of New Zealand's Round 3 clash with the Cowboys in Townsville next Saturday night. The Dragons, meanwhile, head to Remondis Stadium for a showdown with the Sharks on the same evening.


Match Details
New Zealand Warriors 12 St. George Illawarra Dragons 31
Venue: Eden Park
Crowd: 14392
Halftime Score: New Zealand Warriors 12 St. George Illawarra Dragons 6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Gareth Widdop
2 points - Adam Quinlan
1 point - Brett Morris

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (12)
Tries: Sam Tomkins, Jerome Ropati
Field Goals:
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Shaun Johnson (1/1)

ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (31)
Tries: Mitch Rein, Adam Quinlan, Gerard Beale, Brett Morris, Ben Creagh
Field Goals: Gareth Widdop (1/1)
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (5/5)
Penalty Goals:


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Contrasting fortunes greeted these two outfits last week - the Dragons surprised many with an emphatic win over the Tigers while the Warriors were patchy and poor against a rampaging Eels side. This week, both are greeted by extraordinary winds and lashing rain as Auckland suffers the effects of Cyclone Lusi.

A relatively empty Eden Park awaits kickoff - earlier the Warriors & Cutters drew VB NSW Cup 12-all, while the Dragons U20's were too good for their Warriors counterparts, earning a 40-16 victory in the Holden Cup curtain raiser.

TEAM NEWS | the visiting side St. George Illawarra are as named on Tuesday, 1-17 with no changes. For the Warriors, big winger Manu Vatuvei is OUT, replaced by debtuant David Fusitua. Sione Lousi drops off the five man bench.

Both sides now out onto the park - the Warriors in their electric style blue "Eden Park" jersey. Dragons in the Red V. LET'S GO!

1: We have kickoff, the Warriors hosting the Dragons, and it is the home side with first possession.

2: Early blood bin ruling for Dragons prop Dan Hunt. Play called off for a short moment.

4: Adam Quinlan's spilled a bomb, Warriors scrum 20m out!

5: Penalty for the Warriors now, new set to start just 10m out...

5: VIDEO REFEREE possible TRY to the Warriors through fullback Sam Tomkins. Checking obstruction.

5: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Sam Tomkins. Kick to come.

No problem with the obstruction, it's all good and Tomkins has it down over the line, GREEN LIGHTS! Warriors first blood.

6: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.

The wind not helping Johnson early on, his first conversion attempt swings away.

11: Both sides putting in end-to-end sets, lots of metres being gained each way.

13: Warriors forced into a line drop-out.

15: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Mitch Rein. Kick to come.

Dummy half steal! Rein ducks under some lazy defence under the sticks - TRY Dragons!

16: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Conversion is GOOD - and the Dragons are in front!

21: Dragons on the attack with a few tackles up their sleeve.

22: VIDEO REFEREE possible NO TRY to the Dragons... Tyson Frizell claiming it. If awarded we'd have a prop equal top tryscorer in the NRL...

22: It is NO TRY, Dragons knock on ruled in the aerial contest. Warriors handover 10m out from their own line.

25: Now the Warriors get a repeat set at the other end after forcing Nightingale to shepherd the ball dead.

26: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Jerome Ropati. Kick to come.

What a try! Ropati steams over the line with an inside run after quick hands put the ball out wide.

27: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.

No mistake this time for young Johnson, the Warriors now lead by four.

30: Warriors penalty for the Dragons holding a player off the ball. Huge momentum swing in the last five minutes...

30: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Feleti Mateo makes an unforced error.

Never mind, a poor pass from Townsend sees Mateo spill the ball.

33: VIDEO REFEREE possible Dragons NO TRY to Quinlan after great work by Widdop and Nightingale in the lead up... but has the young fullback got it down?

33: That's a knock on, but WOW - so close, amazing control to keep the body inside the field of play but *just* lost his grip. NO TRY. Warriors 20m restart.

34: Penalty Warriors 10m out right in front... no goal attempt though, they're wanting four (or six)!

35: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Jacob Lillyman makes an unforced error.

Another poor offload forces an error from a teammate, Matulino inside for Lillyman here and that's spilled. Dragons scrum on their own 10m.

38: Penalty Warriors just before the break - looks as though Johnson will go for two.

39: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Penalty goal attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.

And the lead going into the halftime break will almost certainly be six, with Johnson converting the penalty attempt.

40: Warriors go wide just before the siren but they're shut down. That's oranges folks, Warriors by six at the break.

41: Play now UNDERWAY for the second half. Dragons with the ball first, running right to left.

43: And just like that we're up to the VIDEO REFEREE! Possible Dragons try... Tomkins ha dropped it and Quinlan picks up the scraps. Checking the Tomkins ball contest...

43: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Adam Quinlan. Kick to come.

Great start to the half, Quinlan's collect is deemed to be clean and a chance now coming up for Widdop to level it.

43: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

No mistake for Widdop... and scores are even.

44: VIDEO REFEREE possible Dragons TRY to Gerard Beale! What a start!

44: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Gerard Beale. Kick to come.

The only concern appears to be whether Quinlan was onside from the initial kick but that's not a worry. Beale SCORES - Dragons are now in front!

45: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop maintains his perfect record and suddenly after trotting out for the second half six behind, find themselves six in front.

48: Dragons with a scrum on their own 20m... it's a bit messy, gets re-fed twice. Fair dinkum, should we just do away with them?

49: Warriors now with it on the attack after a great break earlier in the set. Offloads galore now.

50: Penalty against the Dragons now and the momentum has shifted back to the hosts. Warriors to tap it just 10m out!

52: Line drop out! Warriors forcing the Dragons into a bit of defence here.

52: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Shaun Johnson makes an unforced error.

JOHNSON SCOR.... nope, he's lost it over the line! Dragons ball!

59: VIDEO REFEREE possible NO TRY to Brett Morris for the Dragons. Checking the sideline...

59: NO TRY - Morris has gone out AND dropped it. Warriors ball.

60: ON REPORT - Simon Mannering cited for a nasty tackle on Jason Nightingale. Dragons penalty.

62: Widdop lofts a neat kick towards the corner from about 20m out, it lands 10m out but Morris has dropped it. Handover for the Warriors.

64: Warriors on the attack now after a Dragons error...

65: Now a line drop out for the Dragons... the Warriors force them to bat it dead.

66: VIDEO REFEREE possible WARRIORS NO TRY to Shaun Johnson. Has Brett Morris spilled that?

66: It is NO TRY - the Warriors' Ben Henry was OFFSIDE from the initial kick, and made a tackle on Morris. PENALTY Dragons.

67: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Adam Quinlan makes an unforced error.

Poor stuff from Quinlan, just loses control of the ball... just as the Saints were making metres.

68: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Brett Morris. Kick to come.

After several aborted attempts, Brett Morris scores with a length-of-the-field run for the Dragons!

70: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop converts the Morris try and the Dragons now look likely to go... yes... top of the table.

73: Ben Henry goes off with an injury. Day going from bad to worse for the hosts...

76: Another error from the Warriors... they just can't get it right today. Steve Price with a smile on the face with the Dragons now headed for victory.

77: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Sam Tomkins makes an unforced error.

Tomkins takes a bomb, but loses the ball in the tackle a moment later. Replays suggest foul play from a Dragon though...

78: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Field goal attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

That has to be the most UNUSUAL field goal ever. Widdop takes a pass... it bobbles in his hands, then he just spins around and pots the drop goal!

79: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Ben Creagh. Kick to come.

Well. That's just the story of the day. Warriors spill it off a first receiver pass, Farrell gets it and turns it inside for the captain Ben Creagh.

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.

Widdop converts and the Dragons finish 31-12 winners here today... and go top of the table!

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