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The Cronulla Sharks have hit rockbottom after being thrashed 38-0 in front of 15,779 fans at WIN Stadium.
The Sharks looked confident as they came out onto the park, but this quickly disappeared as the Dragons ran rings around their players, notching up 18 points in the first half and a further 20 unanswered in the second.
Brett Morris continued his try scoring dominance of the competition with another hattrick, with Matt Cooper also crossing for two tries as both players dominated their sides of the field the entire match.
The match was riddled with errors at times, with the Dragons making 12 errors to the Sharks 13. However, the Sharks missed too many tackles early on (27) and combined with their inconsistent completion rate (17/31), they were simply no competition for a Dragons side showing good form at this stage of the competition.
It took just eight minutes for Brett Morris to cross for his first try, followed by Matt Cooper in the 12th minute. Just seven minutes later, Jason Nightingale crossed and St George were in front 18-0 at the break.
In the second half, Cronulla somehow had less intensity than the first and showed no interest in trying to get back into the match. In the 44th minute, Cooper crossed for his second try, followed by Neville Costigan just minutes later. Brett Morris finished the match with two tries in the 59th and 76th minute.
The Dragons are showing that they are premiership contenders this year, but their performance, at times riddled with errors, needs to improve if they are to provide a good contest against the higher ranking teams.
As for the Sharks, the only thing they can take from this game is that they cannot possibly get the wooden spoon this year.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38 defeated Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 0
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 8 - Saturday May 1, 2010 7:30pm
Venue: WIN Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Jeff Younis and Adam Reid
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 18 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Brett Morris (3 Tries)
2 Points - Darius Boyd
1 Point - Matt Cooper (2 Tries)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (38)
Tries: Matt Cooper (2), Brett Morris (3), Jason Nightingale, Neville Costigan
Conversions: Jamie Soward (4/7)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)
CRONULLA SUTHERLAND SHARKS (0)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to WIN Stadium on this fine night for the clash between St George Illawarra Dragons and Cronulla Sharks. This promises to be a physical game in front of a packed house here tonight. Dragons won both clashed in 2009, but Cronulla have won three of the last 5.
Toyota Cup: Cronulla overcame a 6 nil half time deficit to storm home and win 20 - 10.
Both sides are as per programmed here tonight.
1 min: Positive start to Cronulla with their kick off finding touch. Creagh is then forced in-goal on tackle 3 for a drop out.
3 min: A Cronulla knock on lets the Dragons off the hook early. They are looking sharp though.
6 min: First penalty of the night goes to the Dragons for a strip on Weyman.
9 min: TRY
Dragons spread the ball wide, with the overlap, he does it again. Brett Morris scores the first try of the match. Soward converts from the sideline.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
14 min: TRY
A nice interchange of passing between Hornby and Morris ends up with Cooper wrapping around and strolling into the corner for a try. Ferguson being tested early. Kick from Soward successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-0
15 min: Cronulla with a get out of jail penalty. Costigan was neither onside or marker.
16 min: Sharks finally with good field position, and Stapleton drops it cold.
20 min: TRY
Darius Boyd ran a good line and then puts Nightingale into the corner. Up too the Video Referee. And another try to St George Illawarra. Soward is unsuccessful from the touchline.
Dragons 16 Cronulla 0
St George Illawarra Dragons 16-0
22 min: News from Nth QLD. Thurston off the field after 5 mins with a shoulder problem. Throws a spanner in the works for the Test Match next Friday.
24 min: Cronulla get a feed inside Dragon territory. Can they score some points?
25 min: Cronulla bundled into touch 10m out from the Dragon line.
30 min: Good set from the Sharks has been compounded by giving away a penalty. Dragons out of trouble again.
Sharks warned by the referee about to many penalties.
31 min: Morris cant handle a pass from Soward. Scrum to Cronulla.
33 min: Gallen seems to be in some injury trouble.
37 min: Line drop out to Sharks. Darius Boyd puts in a grubber and it is knocked dead by Ferguson.
38 min: The Hornby, Creagh and Cooper trifecta almost ends in a try. Knocked on by Cooper.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
Jamie Soward was hammered late after a chip over the top right on the half time buzzer. Dragons will go into the Half Time break 18-0 up.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-0
40 min: It is Half Time here at WIN Stadium. St George Illawarra Dragons hold a commanding 18-0 lead. It will be close to impossible for Cronulla to run down the best defensive side in the NRL. Dragons have dominated possession, field position and hold a 6-2 penalty count in their favour.
40 min: Both sides back on the field for the Second Half. Dragons will be kicking off.
45 min: TRY
Darius Boyd, Brett Morris and Matt Cooper combine to put Dragons further ahead with Cooper grabbing his second. Brilliant combination try by the Dragons. Dancing Soward converts from the sideline.
St George Illawarra Dragons 24-0
46 min: Beau Scott injured in a tackle and leaves the field of play.
49 min: Another penalty to Dragons. Now attacking the Sharks line.
52 min: TRY
Neville Costigan from close range crashes over after Weyman attracted 4 defenders and still managed an offload.
Jamie Soward converts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28-0
52 min: Michael Weyman replaced Beau Scott. Nick Emmett has moves into the centres.
53 min: Trent Barrett turned the clock back with a great linebreak. The pass at the end is ruled forward. Scrum to Dragons.
54 min: Jon Green with his third handling error. Giving the ball back to the Sharks, 30m out from the Dragons line.
55 min: Stapleton lost the ball in attack. He is having a shocker!
58 min: Penalty. Flop by Tim Smith, marched another 10 for back chat. Cronulla have completely lost the plot tonight.
60 min: TRY
Darius Boyd with yet another bit of classy play has put Brett Morris in the corner for his second.
Boyd has been brilliant tonight with a hand in most of the Dragons tries. The conversion from Jamie Soward is unsuccessful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 34-0
61 min: Sharks with the ball in Dragons territory. Knocked on by Aiton after some good work by Snowden.
62 min: Knock on by Thorby when playing the ball.
63 min: Word is Beau Scott has damaged the Medial Ligament in his knee.
66 min: Darius Boyd with a brilliant line-break gets a pass away to Morris who knocks on.
68 min: Stapleton with another error.
69 min: Anthony Tupou trying to force the pass and ends up in the arms of the Dragons.
Plenty of mistakes creeping into this game.
70 min: Costigan drops an easy ball.
72 min: A very sloppy ten minutes.
77 min: TRY
Brett Morris picks up his third try plucking a delicate Jamie Soward kick out of the air and plants it down. That was precision kicking from Soward. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward hits the post and is unsuccessful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38-0
80 min: Full Time at WIN stadium ladies and gents. Dragons have clinically dismantled a woeful Sharks team here tonight.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38 Cronulla Sharks 0