Dragons score late to beat Rabbitohs

The St George Illawarra Dragons have claimed a 16-13 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in front of a crowd of over 22,000 at ANZ Stadium tonight. The Rabbitohs led 6-4 at half time.

The Bunnies opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Roy Asotasi strolled over past some poor Dragons defence.

The Dragons first try came against the run of play. Brett Morris crossed after what appeared to be a forward pass from Darius Boyd. Until that stage the Rabbitohs had all the running of the game and ought to have been in front by more.

Overall it was a fairly lacklustre first half in which the Rabbitohs had the majority of possession and territory but didn't have enough attacking nous to extend their lead beyond a measly two points.

They did add to their lead six minutes after halftime when John Sutton scored a fine try, just moments after Michael Crocker butchered a huge overlap.

The Dragons responded quickly with Jason Nightingale crossing for a simple try following a somewhat rough penalty. Soward leveled the game up at 12-all with a penalty goal on the hour mark - this time the penalty was definitely the correct call.

Just four minutes later Sandow kicked the Rabbitohs back ahead, finely slotting a field goal.

Unfortunately for the Rabbitohs team, the Dragons got out of jail late. With just under 10 minutes to go some frantic offloading on the last tackle in their own half eventually saw Nightingale make a break, and he drew Wesser before passing to Gasnier who scored the winning try for the Dragons.

Ultimately the Dragons did not win the game so much as the Rabbitohs lost it. With all of the opportunities they had they should have scored many more points so that a Dragons comeback would never have happened. Even at the end in desperation they never really looked like scoring.

Match Details
South Sydney Rabbitohs 13 were defeated by St George Illawarra Dragons 16
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 19 - Friday July 16, 2010 7:35pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Chris James
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Gavin Morris
Crowd: 22,238
Halftime: South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 St George Illawarra Dragons 4

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Darius Boyd
2 Points - Sam Burgess
1 Point - Neville Costigan

South Sydney Rabbitohs (13)
Tries: Roy Asotasi, John Sutton
Field Goals: Chris Sandow (1/1)
Conversions: Chris Sandow (2/2)

St George Illawarra Dragons (16)
Tries: Mark Gasnier, Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale
Conversions: Jamie Soward (1/3)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening. Tonight Leagueunlimited brings you coverage of the South Sydney vs St George Illawarra match from ANZ Stadium. Earlier tonight the Rabbitohs won the Toyota Cup match 16-12.
A few changes tonight. For Souths, Tyrell moves onto the bench ahead of Clark. On the Dragons side, Emmett will play in the centres. Both starting props are a straight swap onto the bench. Saffy and Gasnier make up the rest of the bench.
Both teams taking to the field now.
1 min: Fairly healthy crowd in at ANZ, and the Dragons get first use of the ball!
2 min: Rabbitohs get the first penalty and go on attack.
3 min: Dave Taylor goes close but the Dragons hold him out.
3 min: Dragons make an error coming out of their own end.
4 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Very easy try. A delayed ball to Asotasi sees him stroll across from a few metres out. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
8 min: Good return from the Dragons with their next set in possession, finding touch just outside of the Souths line.
9 min: Morris makes a half break returning a kick.
12 min: Fairly subdued start to the game in many ways. Both teams pretty quiet, as is the crowd.
12 min: Wesser loses the ball returning a kick, allowing the Dragons their first attacking opportunity.
14 min: Rabbits defence holds while the Dragons keep the ball alive, and then Wesser makes a great grab and return on a kick to keep possession for the Rabbitohs.
16 min: Dragons penalised in possession for an obstruction.
16 min: A great ball puts Lowe into space and Souths back on attack.
17 min: Great scrambling defence from the Dragons just barely keeps the Bunnies out.
18 min: Soward pressured on the last and loses the ball putting Souths back on attack again.
19 min: Rabbitohs get a line drop out.
20 min: Dragons hold out again, Dave Taylor attempts a kick and the Rabbitohs are questionably penalised for offside.
23 min: South Sydney so far have completely dominated this game, but only lead by six.
23 min: Soward makes a massive break up the middle and finds Nightingale who is nearly forced into touch, and his pass back in field to keep the ball alive is recovered by John Sutton.
25 min: Souths make another break out on their right hand side on the last tackle, and the final option doesn't result in points.
26 min: Wesser loses the ball early in the count and will put the Dragons on attack. Gasnier on and playing right centre.
27 min: VIDEO REF - For a Dragons try...
27 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Dragons spread the ball left to Morris who scores in the corner. Some questions whether the final pass was forward. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-4
31 min: Dragons spread the ball to Gasnier who puts in a kick and Talanoa can't make a difficult catch.
33 min: Dragons get held up.
34 min: Souths get trapped in the in goal and the Dragons will get a repeat set.
35 min: Young drops the ball and releases the pressure on Souths.
36 min: Good kick from Sutton gets the Rabbitohs a line drop out.
38 min: Another fairly toothless attacking set from Souths ends with them being penalised for tackling Boyd in the air.
40 min: Dragons forced into touch after catching their own bomb, and Souths will probably play out the half in possession.
40 min: Half time in an interesting game. Souths have the edge on the scoreboard, but really should be up by more than just two.
40 min: Back underway at ANZ!
42 min: Dragons go on attack off a penalty.
44 min: Souths hold on defence and force Emmett into touch.
46 min: TRY
TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs
Incredibly lucky in the end! Bunnies keep the ball alive, Crocker runs back towards the posts with four men unmarked on his outside before finding Sutton who steps and powers through the defence to score. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-4
50 min: Souths give away a penalty to put the Dragons on attack. Ben Creagh down injured.
51 min: VIDEO REF - For a Dragons try...
51 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Dragons move the ball to the right and Nightingale scores in the corner. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-10
53 min: Dragons throw a forward pass on the first tackle.
55 min: Dragons hold on and Boyd just gets out of the in goal.
56 min: Talanoa drops the ball fielding a kick under no pressure.
57 min: Rabbitohs hold on.
58 min: Rabbitohs run the ball on the last and meekly give the Dragons the ball back in good field position.
PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons
Burgess penalised for knocking the ball out while the Dragons are trying to play it. Soward kicks the goal to tie the game up..
12 all
63 min: Dragons lose the ball and Souths will get a sniff of an attacking opportunity.
64 min: FIELD GOAL
FIELD GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs
Sandow slots a field goal.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 13-12
67 min: Souths get six more after the Dragons fail to recover an errant Bunnies pass on attack.
68 min: Dragons hold out, just barely.
69 min: Souths really jamming the Dragons in defence and aren't allowing them in position to level the game up, or take a lead.
71 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Nightingale makes a huge break down the right side and finds Gasnier who scores. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 16-13
74 min: CROWD - 22,238
75 min: Souths make a break on a kick return and go right on attack.
75 min: Dragons ruled to knock on just outside the Souths line.
76 min: Souths still have no real idea what to do on attack and the Dragons hold on.
78 min: Talanoa knocks on first tackle and the Dragons will probably survive.
80 min: Dragons hold on against one final hopeful Souths attack, and they will win 16-13.

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