The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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(Pic: Steven Menzies and Lance Thompson)
The Northern Eagles have scored a late try to defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons 20-18 at Aussie Stadium (SFS) this afternoon.
It took a soaring catch in the 78th minute from Eagles' captain Steve Menzies to snuff out the Dragons fire. The match winning try came on the back of repeat sets of six against a Dragons side who now find themselves three points adrift of the top eight. Saints opened the scoring in the 5th minute with a soft try to Mark Riddell who barged over close to the line.
But the Eagles clawed their way back with penalty goal to Luke Williamson. Jason Ferris then picked up a loose ball in the 16th minute to race away and score the easiest of tries.
Possession started going the Eagles' way and they were rewarded with a try right on half time with fullback Brendon Reeves backing up a Steve Menzies' line-break to score under the posts. At half time the Eagles were in front 14-8
The Dragons came out firing in the second half when Trent Barrett found a gap to race 40 metres to the tryline.
Saints backed this up with some sustained possession and probably should have scored at least one other try. Instead, they were delivered three penalty goals to grab the lead against a tiring Eagles' outfit.
With five minutes to go, the Dragons were in front 18-14 and looked to have the match in control.
But the Eagles got a sniff following an unforced error from the Dragons from the kickoff and then several more handling errors from the home side as they desperately tried to regain possession.
Finally, it was Steve Menzies who leveled the scores when he pulled down a high kick next to the posts. The conversion from Luke Williamson was a mere formality.
The win sees the Eagles back in the top eight with the Dragons on the outside looking in.
2:30PM, Sunday 11 August 2002 Aussie Stadium (SFS) Referee: T Mander
St George Dragons 18 (Tries: Riddell, Barrett. Goals: Riddell 4/4. Kent 1/2) defeated by Northern Eagles 20 (Tries: Ferris, Reeves, Menzies. Goals: Williamson 4/4)