Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The St. George Illawarra Dragons have stolen a magical victory at ANZ Stadium over the South Sydney Rabbitohs with a 22-18 golden point thriller in front of 14,571 fans.
Josh Dugan played a starring role to rocket the Red V into the action as his effort led the Dragons to victory.
The Rabbitohs were shocked by the Dragons energy as they had them on the back foot early. However, despite no points after 20 minutes, the Rabbitohs hit their straps to post first points through Dylan Walker.
Walker's try was the only in the first half as the teams went into the sheds, the Rabbitohs ahead 6-0.
The second half started quickly for South Sydney as Adam Reynolds kicked ahead for himself as Issac Luke offloaded. Reynolds converted his try to extend the lead to 12-0 after 44 minutes.
Brett Morris claimed two spectacular four-pointers for the Dragons, his first as 20 minutes remained in the contest. Morris finished off a beautiful sequence of play as they went right to left across the field. Chase Stanley converted to close the points gap to six points, 18-12.
Big charging Englishman, Sam Burgess extended the Rabbitohs lead back to 12 points with a solo effort as he pushed through Nathan Fien on the goal line.
Inside the final 10 minutes, the Dragons gave their fans hope of victory as they posted two tries to Trent Merrin and Adam Quinlan. As five minutes remained, the game all locked at 18-all.
After a number of field goal attempts, the deadlock could not be broken after regular time, 18-all.
For the first time since the infamous 2010 semi-final featuring Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters, we saw a try decide the outcome of a golden point match. Brett Morris sealed the win as he posted his second try after Josh Dugan lead the charge with a chip kick through the Rabbitohs defence.
The Dragons doing what was said to be the impossible as they knocked off the ladder leading South Sydney Rabbitohs, 22-18.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 St. George Illawarra Dragons 22
Venue: Stadium Australia
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 6-0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Dugan
2 points - Trent Merrin
1 point - John Sutton
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (18)
Tries: Dylan Walker, Adam Reynolds, Sam Burgess
Field Goals: Adam Reynolds (0/3)
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/3)
ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (22)
Tries: Brett Morris (3), Trent Merrin, Adam Quinlan
Field Goals: Chase Stanley (0/1), Nathan Fien (0/1), Josh Dugan (0/1)
Conversions: Chase Stanley (3/3)
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