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Fulltime score: Round 5 DRAGONS 32 v SEA EAGLES 6
Match summary: The St George Illawarra Dragons have posted their first win of 2005, comprehensively defeating Manly Sea Eagles by 32-6 at WIN Stadium tonight.
In a topsy-turvey NRL competition, the last-placed Dragons scored five tries to one and have kept the competition front runners score-less in the second half, and in doing so have ended a four match losing streak.
Following a series of horror starts in recent weeks, the Dragons opened the scoring following a penalty goal to half back Mathew Head after just four minutes.
The first try of the match came in the 13th minute when Saints? full back Ben Hornby turned on the pace to get around the defence, crossing the line and then improving his position.
Manly struck back three minutes later when forward Brent Kite scored against his old club, finding space to score under the posts from close range.
Another penalty goal put the Dragons further ahead and at half time, they held a 10-6 lead.
The second half saw the St George Illawarra side go from strength-to-strength to score four second half tries on the back of some aggressive defensive efforts.
Scorers: DRAGONS 32 Tries: Hornby, Young, Best, Ennis, Barrett Goals: Head 6/7 SEA EAGLES 6 Tries: Kite Goals: Witt 1/1 Half time: Dragons 10-6
WIN Stadium. Crowd: 16,117 Referee: Sean Hampstead
By the clock: Big crowd in Wollongong. Changes for the Dragons: Reece Simmonds has been replaced by Wes Naiqama on the wing. Forward Justin Poore is a late withdrawal, out with the flu, and he is replaced by Ben Creagh. Terry Hill is out for the Sea Eagles.
Kick off soon...
0 min: Dragons winger Wes Naiqama starts the game with the kickoff!
4 min: PENALTY GOAL - Dragons. Mathew Head makes no mistake. Dragons 2-0
10 min: NEWS - Both sides getting two early penalties each and both sides completing their sets.
13 min: TRY - Dragons. Ben Hornby scores. Conversion OK Dragons 8-0
16 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Brent Kite scores against his old club. Conversion Micheal Witt. Dragons 8-6
20 min: NEWS - Manly now getting a majority possession of around 60%. Dragons forced into more tackling.
25 min: PENALTY GOAL - Dragons. Mathew Head. Dragons 10-6
30 min: NEWS - Still 10-6 in favour of Saints. Posession now evening up with Sea Eagles getting 54% of the ball.
35 min: NEWS - Still 10-6 to the Dragons. Kicking game from Manly has been ordinary but Dragons getting little opportunity to put any pressure on.
HALF TIME: Dragons 10-6. Sea Eagles enjoying the better of the possession at 55%. Saints completing their sets at 15/20 while Manly are at 19/25. Overall quite even. A few too many handling errors making it frustrating at times.
Second half underway...
44 min: TRY - Dragons. Dean Young crashes over out wide after Michael Ennis and Head combine down the left side. Conversion unsuccessful. Dragons 14-6
53 min: TRY - Dragons. Colin Best scores out wide after some great lead up work from Mark Gasnier and Hornby. Conversion Mathew Head. Dragons 20-6
63 min: TRY - Dragons. Michael Ennis scores after Manly's Steve Menzies is monstered by the defence to see the ball dislodged, Ennis picks up the dregs to score. Saints playing over the top of the Sea Eagles as possession is now dead even at 50/50. Conversion OK. Dragons 26-6
68 min: NO TRY - Manly denied by the video ref Stephen Clark.
70 min: SIN BIN - Michael Witt (Sea Eagles) sent to the bin after he ran some 20 metres to get involved in a dust-up. Manly down to 12 men.
71 min: TRY - Dragons. Trent Barrett scores. Conversion Head. Dragons 32-6
FULL TIME: The Dragons win their first game of the year, taking some of the pressure off coach Nathan Brown. Scoring five tries to one, Saints kept the Sea Eagles scoreless in the second half. For Saints, Jason Ryles and Lance Thompson were the best up front while full back Ben Hornby was the pick of the backs. Five eighth Trent Barrett lifted in the second half to lead his side to victory and half back Mathew Head put in another sterling performance. Manly at one time they held a 60% possession advantage, but in the second half they were done like a dinner by a more committed opposition.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - J Ryles (Dragons) 2 - B Hornby (Dragons) 1 ? L Thompson (Dragons) -----------------------------------------