The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The St George Illawarra Dragons have comfortably defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 34-20 in a strong second half performance at WIN Stadium this evening.
The Dragons had the better of possession early on and converted it into points with an early try and a penalty goal. Souths quickly caught up attacking out wide which finally paid off when Merritt went over in the corner.
A Nathan Blacklock try close to halftime saw the Dragons regain their 8 point lead with the score at 14-6 at the break.
Minichiello brought Souths back into it straight after halftime but that was as close as the Rabbitohs would get on the night. The Dragons let loose with a flurry of tries.
Souths made a late comeback but when Blacklock went over for his hatrick it was a done deal and a comfortable win for the red and whites.
The loss sees Souths sit on the bottom of the table for another week while the Dragons win keeps them in touch with the top 8 during this tough origin period.
LeagueUnlimited's Player of the Year Awards: 3 - B Firman (Dragons) 2 - L Thompson (Dragons) 1 - N Blacklock (Dragons)
Saturday 21 June 2003 7:30 PM WIN Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead
Scorers: Dragons 34 Tries: Blacklock 3, Simmons, Firman, Thompson Goals: Firman 2/2, Riddell 3/5 Rabbitohs 20 Tries: Merritt, Minichiello, Smith, Hookey Goals: Smith 2/3, Craigie 0/1
By the clock: Kickoff soon! 0 min: Kickoff!
12th min: TRY - Dragons. Brett Firman decieved Souths with a brilliant little kick that Simmmons got to first and scored. Firman converts - Dragons 6-0.
17th min: PENALTY GOAL - Dragons. Souths were penalised for a high tackle and Brett Firman slotted the two points for St George - Dragons 8-0.
22nd min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Souths kept the ball alive and sent it out to Merritt who score in the corner. The video referee was called to check but eventually ruled that the try had been scored. Justin Smith converts from the sideline - Dragons 8-6.
30th min: NEWS - Souths are just starting to work their way into this game. They're testing the St George defence out wide.
35th min: NEWS - Souths came very close to scoring in the corner as halftime nears.
38th min: TRY - Dragons. Firman threw a poor pass that hit the ground but Cooper picked it up and ran through a big hole sending the ball onto Blacklock to score. Riddell converts. Dragons 14-6.
Halftime: The Dragons take a handy lead into the break but the Rabbitohs look to have a few more points in them. Halftime score - Dragons 14-6.
41st min: The second half is under way!
46th min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Mark Minichiello took on three Dragons defenders and beat them all to score. Owen Craigie is unsuccessful with the conversion - Dragons 14-10.
50th min: TRY - Dragons. St George on a roll and Firman stepped and fended his way through a gap to score. Riddell converts - Dragons 20-10.
56th min: TRY - Dragons. Champagne rugby league from the Dragons. Pongia picked up a loose ball and passed on to Riddell who sprinted 30 odd metres. He was caught and got it onto Hornby who sent it onto Blacklock who pushed off a Souths defender and scored in the corner. Riddell is unsuccessful with the conversion attempt - Dragons 24-10.
60th min: TRY - Dragons. Hornby dummied and then offloaded to Lance Thompson who went in to score. Riddell is unsuccessful with the conversion attempt - Dragons 28-10.
68th min: NEWS - The Dragons are looking dangerous and look to have another try or two left in them.
70th min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Justin Smith took on several Dragons defenders to score in the corner. The video referee was asked to have a look and ruled that it was a try. Smith is unsuccessful with the conversion attempt - Dragons 28-14.
73rd min: TRY - Rabbitohs. Mark Minichiello ran through a big gap, drew in the fullback and passed to Hookey who scored. Smith converts - Dragons 28-20.
77th min: TRY - Dragons. Riddell gave a great ball to Blacklock who scores his third try of the night. Riddell converts - Dragons 34-20.
Fulltime: The Dragons have dominated the second half to win comfortably. Fulltime score - Dragons 34-20.