Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
40 hours ago
The Raiders opened the scoring after just four minutes when half back Todd Carney scored the first of his two tries.
The Dragons struck back four minutes later with the forward combination of Simon Woolford, Justin Poore and Dan Hunt making inroads up the middle of ruck to deliver Hunt his first try of 2007.
With a stiff breeze at their backs in the first half, the Dragons were able to run in three more tries. But the Raiders maintained their composure and collected a controvesial four-pointer when referee Sean Hampstead seemingly allowed play to continue after the half time siren had sounded.
As expected, the Raiders had the momentum for the opening minutes of the second half. But the Dragons scored next when outside back Josh Morris ran 80 metres to score under the posts, thereby setting the theme for the remainder of the match.
Carney was able to keep the Raiders in the contest briefly with a try in the 55th minute. But the floodgates opened soon after with the Dragons carving up their opposites with five unanswered tries in the final quarter.
Top scorer for the match was goal kicker and halfback Jamie Soward who posted a personal tally of 22 points.
Match Details Round 17 - Full Time :: July 8th, 2007 02:00 PM Venue: WIN Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead
St George Illawarra Dragons 58 Tries: Dan Hunt, Jamie Soward, Chase Stanley, Ben Ellis, Josh Morris, Justin Poore, Beau Scott, Rangi Chase (2), Matt Cooper Goals: Jamie Soward (9/10) Canberra Raiders 16 Tries: Todd Carney (2), Ryan Hinchcliffe Goals: Todd Carney (2/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a very cold WIN Stadium at Wollongong, where the Dragons host the Raiders.
Dragons as per the program.
Raiders: Withers into five-eighth, with Campese being sent back to Premier League. Weyman onto the bench. Hinchcliffe goes to hooker.
1 min: The Raiders kick of giving the Dragons first use of the football.
4 min: TRY Canberra Raiders After a few mistakes by both sides, the Dragons open up close to the line and Carney strolls through to scure under the posts. He converts his own line. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful. Canberra Raiders 6-0
8 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The Dragons respond here with Woolford getting out of dummy half and giving the ball to Poore who finds some space and Hunt backing up to score under the sticks. Soward converts and we're locked up here. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. 6 all
12 min: The Dragons squander good field position with a dropped-ball. Miller looks hurt for the Raiders with some sort of leg injury.
13 min: Carney kicks out on the full, Dragons back in good field position.
18 min: The Raiders starting to apply some pressure now.
19 min: Now Logan is looking a little bit ginger for the Raiders.
20 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The Dragons work a nice set play from a scrum with Hornby and Soward performing a run-around with a decoy and Soward breaks the line to score. He converts his own try as Scott Logan comes from the field for the Raiders. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 12-6
23 min: Soward giving Milne a hard time with the ball in the air today. Stiff breeze down here at the 'Gong.
26 min: A few handling errors creeping into the game with players struggling with the wind.
28 min: Checking a try to the Dragons...
28 min: NO TRY - but the Dragons get the scrum feed.
30 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The Dragons are in this time through youngster Chase Stanley. Hornby puts in a kick and Goodwin can't handle it. Stanley swoops and the Dragons got a bit lucky there. They've had plenty of possession too. Soward can't convert but the Dragons now have a 10-point lead. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful. St George Illawarra Dragons 16-6
33 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons The Dragons are in again, with the ball going through several hands and the entire width of the field to score under the posts. Ellis grabs the try after particularly good work by Cooper to keep the ball alive. Soward converts and the Dragons are building a solid lead. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 22-6
36 min: The Dragons bomb a try here as Soward keeps bombing Zillman who spills the ball. Scott recovers it but the support drops the ball.
37 min: Good recovery by the Raiders as they go 100m to force a scrum in Dragons territory.
40 min: TRY Canberra Raiders A bit of controversy here as the Raiders go in after the buzzer sounds. Hinchcliffe scores from dummy half as the Dragons forget to play the whislte. Carney can't convert and they go to the sheds trailing by 12 points. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney unsuccessful. St George Illawarra Dragons 22-10
40 min: A big let off right on the bell for the Raiders and they're now right back in this game with the winds at their backs in the second half. They're missing Scott Logan in the second spell and he's been their best forward this season.
As for the Dragons, they can probably expect getting bombed a lot in the second half with this breeze really quite difficult to handle.
Still anyone's game and we've seen the Raiders come back in situations like these.
48 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Josh Morris runs 80m to score under the posts. Follows a fumble from Raiders forward Nigel Plum, picked up by Soward who quickly offloaded to a flying Morris who out-ran everyone to the line. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 28-10
53 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Todd Carney backs up to score after Marshall Chalk hits a hole from 25m out. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney from in front is successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 28-16
56 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Prop forward Justin Poore crashes over as the Raiders appear to be running out of troops. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward from right in front is successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 34-16
58 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Beau Scott's turn now as the back rower backs up Ben Hornby and then runs 50m to score under the posts. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful and the Dragons hit 40. St George Illawarra Dragons 40-16
66 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Rangi Chase dummies, once, twice, then thrice.. cracking open a tired defence and score under the posts Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 46-16
66 min: Raiders lose another forward with Ryan Hinchcliffe being forced off with broken nose. Raiders bench is diminishing while Saints appear to have no major injury concerns yet with only Corey Payne having to come off for 10-15 min after copping a knock.
67 min: From the restart, Raiders kick out on the full!
69 min: NO TRY Dragons denied. referee rules forward pass as Lagi Setu dives over out wide.
73 min: BIFF Saints get a penalty.
75 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Rangi Chase gets a double. The Dragons backline now carving the Raiders up with ease. Soward from right in front as the Dragons crack the half-ton. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 52-16
77 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Matt Cooper gets a well deserved try against a well beaten Raiders outfit. Follows a magical offload from halfback Jamie Soward. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward from right in front is successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 58-16
Full time Big win for Saints, smashing a woeful Raiders side by 58-16. The victory breaks a six match losing streak for the Dragons against the Raiders. Plus it is the first time this year that the injury troubled Dragons have won two in a row. For the Raiders it is their fourth successive loss. A disappointing effort from the Raiders who defended terribly and were beaten across the park. For Saints, Jamie Soward scored one try and kicked 9 goals for a personal tally of 22 points. But it was the forwards, led by Justin Poore, who paved the way to win the match, and the backs decided by how much.