Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Fulltime score: Round 19 Manly Sea Eagles 10 v St George Illawarra Dragons 36
Match summary: The St George Illawarra Dragons have scored a comprehensive 36-10 victory over the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval today.
The Dragons looked sharp in attack and Mark Gasnier put Ben Creagh under the posts with a brilliant pass close to the line, and led 6-0 after just 10 minutes of play.
The Dragons then struck again 5 minutes later, with Clint Greenshields strolling through some fragile Manly defence, and followed that up with a try to Wes Naiqama just 2 minutes later to shoot out to an 18 point lead in as many minutes.
Dragons winger Colin Best again showed what a great buy he has been this season, fielding a bomb from 2006 Bulldogs recruit Daniel Holdsworth to score in the corner. With the conversion from out wide successful by Naiqama, the Dragons were out to a massive 24-0 lead after just 28 minutes.
Manly captain Michael Monaghan did his best to bring his team back into the contest, and produced a clever grubber kick to put fullback Brett Stewart under the posts and give his side a glimmer of hope going into halftime, with Manly trailing 24-6.
Manly tried their hearts out in the second half, and reward came just 18 minutes from fulltime with winger Chris Hicks crossing in the corner to narrow the lead to 14 points.
But the Dragons were too strong in every facet of the game and Luke Bailey capped off an outstanding game with a try just 9 minutes from time. The Dragons then rubbed salt into Manly?s wounds with a try to Lance Thompson on the fulltime siren to give his side an impressive 36-10 win.
The remarkable season continues and after contrasting starts to the season by these two teams, they are now join 4 other teams on 22 points as the battle for finals positions intensifies.
Venue: Brookvale Oval Crowd: 17,218 Referee: Stephen Clark Half time: Dragons 24-6
Live commentary: A bright, sunny, and windy day at Brookvale Oval for this Round 19 clash between the Sea Eagles and the Dragons. The Dragons will be looking to move back into the top 8 after the Bulldogs' victory over Penrith on Friday night moved them out of the 8 momentarily, as for the Sea Eagles they will be pressing for a top 4 position at the end of the round with a win today.
Dragons: in: Ben Hornby, Michael Henderson out: Corey Payne, Chris Sheppard
0 min: KICKOFF!
9 min: TRY-Dragons Ben Creagh scores under the posts off a brilliant ball from Mark Gasnier. Conversion successful from Wes Naiqama. Dragons 6-0
15 min: TRY-Dragons Clint Greenshields runs through some fragile Manly defence to score for the Dragons. Conversion successful from Wes Naiqama. Dragons 12-0
22 min: NEWS-The Dragons have dominated possession and have shell-shocked Manly and the Brookvale faithful with some excellent attacking football.
26 min: NEWS-The Dragons look sharp in both attack and defence and Manly cannot cope with the intensity shown by the Dragons early on.
33 min: NEWS-The Dragons appear to be in complete control of this game, they have taken the Brookvale crowd right out of the equation.
35 min: NEWS-Kylie Leuluai injured and taken from the field.
39 min: TRY-Sea Eagles Brett Stewart scores off a crafty grubber from Michael Monaghan. Conversion successful from Chris Hicks. Dragons 24-6
HALF TIME-Excellent first half effort in both attack and defence from the Dragons which is showing on the scoreboard. Manly at least give themselves a glimmer of hope in the second half with the try just on halftime. On the injury front, Michael Witt is suffering from concussion and Kylie Leuluai was taken from the field after a heavy tackle from a Dragons defender.
Second half underway at Brookvale Oval
43 min: NO TRY-Matt Cooper forced into touch by Chris Hicks out wide, Manly needed to come out firing in the second half and are missing elementary tackles already.
50 min: NEWS-Still no change to the halftime score, Manly appear to be taking more risks this half, one feels they will either go close to winning this game or produce a mistake-riddled perfromance.
56 min: NEWS-The Dragons appear to have allowed mistakes to creep into their game in the second half, they are playing touch football with the Sea Eagles who look like a beaten side.
62 min: TRY-Sea Eagles Chris Hicks scores off a beautiful pass from Michael Monaghan. Conversion unsuccessful from Chris Hicks. Dragons 24-10
67 min: NO TRY-Ben Kennedy ruled to have knocked the ball forward in the in-goal area by the Video Referee.
71 min: TRY-Dragons Luke Bailey charges over the line and scores under the posts from close range. Conversion successful from Wes Naiqama. Dragons 30-10
FULL TIME: The Dragons have beaten the Sea Eagles 36-10 at Brookvale Oval. The Dragons only completed half of their sets of six in the second half but still managed to win the half 12-4.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Bailey (Dragons) 2 - B Creagh (Dragons) 1 - W Naiqama (Dragons) -----------------------------------------