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Full time: Round 16 St George Illawarra Dragons 24 v Wests Tigers 32 Match summary:
The Wests Tigers have continued a round of upsets with a 32-24 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons today at Kogarah Oval where a big first half score helped their cause.
The opening quarter of the game was packed full of action, with the Dragons scoring in the opening 2 minutes through Ashton Sims after the Tigers failed to gather the ball from the kick-off and it went dead.
The Tigers then scored twice in the proceeding twenty minutes and held a 16-6 lead for much of the first half. Shortly before their second try stand-in Dragons halfback Ben Hornby injured the medial ligaments in his right knee and took no further part in the game.
This reduced the Dragons to a rudderless ship for some time until they could muster some direction late in the second half. Shortly after the break the Tigers put on two more tries to take their lead to 32-6 which was enough to win them the game.
At this point the Dragons awoke and put three tries back on the Tigers before running out of time eight points short of their target. It?s a very disappointing loss for the Dragons who have the bye next week before taking on Parramatta in round 18 just after State of Origin. They also failed to work themselves into 5th position on the ladder after favourable results last night.
For the Tigers this is an excellent win which will see them stay in touch with the top 8 and puts a gap between them and the bottom three sides with the Panthers now looking to have no hope of making it. Tim Sheens? frustration may continue though, with his side showing some inconsistency over the past few weeks. They also fell asleep in the second half and allowed the Dragons to put a few tries on them.
Scorers: ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS Tries: Sims, Creagh, Payne, Ennis Goals: Ennis 4/4 WESTS TIGERS Tries: Richards 2, Galea, Hodgson, Laffranchi, Marshall Goals: Hodgson 4/6
Venue: Oki Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah Referee: Shayne Hayne Half time: Tigers 22-6.
A soggy day here at Kogarah with both teams needing to bring their scuba gear along.
Dragons: Sims at lock, Gorrell out, Torrens to bench. Tigers: Whatuira out, Collis to start, Miles on the bench.
And we're underway in the first half through the boot of the Dragons, with the Tigers letting go dead from the kick-off! Terrible start and the Dragons get the first chance to attack.
2 min: TRY - Dragons. Sims brushes off some ordinary defense close to the line and scores under the posts. Terrible start from Wests. Ennis converts. Dragons 6 Tigers 0.
5 min: TRY - Tigers. The visitors hit back almost immediately with Hodgson making a huge break and keeps the ball alive for Galea to score out wide. Hodgson edges it wide. Dragons 6 Tigers 4.
8 min: TRY - Tigers. Hodgson scores off a perfectly weighted chip into the in-goal area by Prince. Video ref adjudicates and the Tigers take the lead. Hodgson converts. Tigers 10 Dragons 6.
17 min: NEWS - A couple of penalties to the Dragons for high shots and they have squandered some good attacking chances. The game has settled after the scoring spree early on.
19 min: NEWS - Ben Hornby leaves the field with a knee injury. Seems to be fairly serious.
20 min: TRY - Tigers. Laffranchi barges over from close range for Wests as the game swings the visitors way. Hodgson converts. Tigers 16 Dragons 6.
21 min: NEWS - Gasnier to 5/8, Ennis to half and Torrens comes on into the centres.
28 min: NEWS - Hornby diagnosed with medial ligament damage.
32 min: NO TRY - Tigers. Hodgson gets close but just short of the line after a neat break.
37 min: TRY - Tigers. Marshall scores next to the posts from a grubber by Prince. Hodgson converts. Tigers 22 Dragons 6.
Half time: Despite a great start by Saints, the Tigers are looking the more enthusiastic and are piling on the points. The Dragons are lacking direction with the loss of Hornby and the Tigers are taking full advantage of that. Ryles has been ordinary as the Dragons pack fail to dominate their smaller opponents. Prince is running the show well for the visitors.
The Tigers restart proceedings here at Kogarah Oval.
44 min: TRY - Tigers. Hodgson gets on the outside of the Ennis and finds Richards on the wing who smokes down the touchline. Hodgson converts. Tigers 28 Dragons 6.
50 min: TRY - Tigers. Quick hands out the back finds Richards again, he's having a wow of a game. Dragons very flat and directionless. Hodgson pushes it wide. Tigers 32 Dragons 6.
54 min: NEWS - Sims muffs a chance to get a second try with poor ball control close to the line.
61 min: TRY - Dragons. Ben Creagh scores 15m in from the sideline with the Dragons showing some good hands and trying to mount somewhat of a comeback. Ennis converts with the ball finding one of the uprights. Tigers 32 Dragons 12.
66 min: TRY - Dragons. Payne scores from a short pass close to the line and was injured in the process. Dragons comback looks a bit late but Ennis keeps them in touch with a successful conversion. Tigers 32 Dragons 18.
76 min: TRY - Dragons. Ennis goes himself from dummy half with a cheeky effort. Ennis converts his own try. Tigers 32 Dragons 24.
Full time: The Tigers hold on to win despite a late charge by the Dragons who suffered a lack of creativity following the injury to Ben Hornby. The Tigers pack stood up to the bigger Dragons forwards and made good in roads throughout the game, allowing them to utilise their backs well.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - P Richards (Tigers) 2 - S Prince (Tigers) 1 - B Hodgson (Tigers) -----------------------------------------