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The premiers of the past two years battled it out of WIN Jubilee Oval this evening and it was the 2010 premiers, the Dragons who claimed victory as they out-classed the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 17-6 in front of a 17,893 crowd at WIN Stadium.
The home side could not have asked for a better start with Michael Weyman opening up the scoring in only the second minute. It is not often you see a front rower outclass an outside back with his footwork but Weyman did just that when he stepped past Brett Stewart to claim his four pointer. Soward converted the try to extend the Dragons lead to six.
A highly physical first half set the pace for the remainder of the match as both sides produced quality performances, with Dragons keeping a slight edge for much of the match.
Video referee Russell Smith was brought into the game six minutes before the break, to deliberate on whether Jason Nightingale managed to ground the ball in the in-goal. Smith awarded the try. Soward added the extras to extend the lead to 12.
Sitting only 12-points behind on the scoreboard, Manly fans were still hopeful on the other side of the break and it did not take long for their side to deliver with David Williams capping off a well executed Manly set play to score in the 44th minute. Jamie Lyon added the extras to reduce the margin to six points.
With both sides playing high quality football, points were at a premium and it was the hosts who sunk the hopes of their rivals in the final five minutes.Dragons captain Ben Hornby was on song with his grubber kick to the corner for Nightingale to pounce on and score. His try sealed the two competition points for the 'Red V'. A magical set play saw the Dragons move on with the win 16-6.
Jamie Soward has a reputation for attempting field goals regardless of their necessity and tonight his claim to fame continued as he slotted a field goal in the final minute to gift-wrap the victory.
Next week is a big one with Heritage Round celebrating the great histories of the NRL clubs. As a result the Dragons will jump on a plane and head north to Suncorp Stadium to face the Brisbane Broncos. Meanwhile the Sea Eagles will head to Parramatta Stadium to contest two competition points against the Eels.
St George Illawarra Dragons 17 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 6
National Rugby League - Round 4 - Saturday March 24, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and Dave Munro
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 Manly Sea Eagles 6
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (17)
Tries: Michael Weyman, Jason Nightingale (2)
Field Goals: Jamie Soward (1/1)
Conversions: Jamie Soward (2/3)
MANLY SEA EAGLES (6)
Tries: David Williams
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (1/1)
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Earlier tonight in Toyota Cup the Dragons held onto a close victory over Manly 26-24.
Tonight a few changes for the Dragons and Manly.
First for the home side, big news is Beau Scott has been cleared to play and will start. Jeremy Lattimore gets a starting spot replacing Matt Prior who is out. Dean Young makes a positional change to the bench with Beau Scott in 20 at lock. On the bench is, Young, King, Merrin and Lesson Ah Manu.
Manly's bench two changes, with Nick Skinner and Jorge Taufua getting NRL debuts.
Kick off is around 10 minutes away here at WIN Jubilee Oval, stand by.
Both sides on the park and almost to hear the whistle to start this one for the second clash on Super Saturday. Manly will be kicking off with the Dragons with the first use of the ball.
1 min: We are underway with Manly kicking off.
2 min: Good controlled set from both sides, however first penalty against the Manly side. Too long in the tackle on Brett Morris. Kick for touch taken by the Dragons. Soward's kick gives them play just short of halfway
3 min: TRY
Not too many times you are going to see that from the front rower Michael Weyman. On the end of a Mitch Rein pass to smash through the Manly defence to cross for points. Soward no issue with the kick from in front of the posts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
6 min: PENALTY! Manly will have an opportunity at the Dragons goal line now with a penalty for the Dragons jumping too early off the defensive line.
7 min: Goal line drop out for the Manly side to give them a repeat set. Good defence to stop the manly raid. Brett Morris grounding the ball in goals to stop any points leaking.
9 min: PENALTY! Manly with their third chance to get over the line with the Dragons caught offside.
10 min: Not the best way to start your set after a penalty on the opposition goal line. But Watmough attempted to play the ball but knocked on. Dragons with the zero tackle 10 metres out from their line.
12 min: Manly with a controlling kick, not testing the defensive as the kick finds the sideline. A good set to test the Dragons line. It's been end to end stuff with the completion rate fairly good early.
14 min: PENALTY! Dragons lucky getting the penalty as the Manly line was up quickly and deemed offside. Daniel Vidot could of put his side under pressure with a mistake but the referee blowing the penalty.
15 min: Manly stepping up with great goal line defensive, however Mitch Rein opened up the line but was wrapped up just short of the line.
17 min: KNOCK ON! Creagh looked for a quick play of the ball as coughed up possession. Manly with a scrum feed on their 40 metre line.
19 min: PENALTY! Foran flying through and claimed Jason Nightingale high as he hung an arm out. Also Vic Munro dropped his shoulder as he went to ground. As a result the Dragons have a penalty and will play it from the kick on their 40 metre line.
20 min: Brett Stewart doing well to collect the ball before Nightingale got to the ball downfield from the kick. But then forced into touch. Dragons will get a scrum feed 10 metres from the Manly line. Massive chance for the Dragons at the line.
22 min: Video Referee Decision for the Dragons, possible try to Jason Nightingale. Looking at the grounding
23 min: Video Referee spins up the red lights, Nightingale dropped the ball short of the line. Manly get the ball from a scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
24 min: Poor kick from Manly which was allowed to bounce after a good set which saw them 30 metres from the line. However Nightingale in all the action here collecting it at fullback
25 min: Manly again allowing the ball to bounce, which almost cost them points. Dean Whare didn't know where the ball was, Nightingale there to collect, but Brett Stewart shutting down the play before points were added.
28 min: Very comfortable under the ball was Nightingale as the kick wasn't the best it could of been off the boot of Foran. Dragons work it from their line with a full set.
28 min: Brett Stewart under great pressure to take the bomb and he did it will, covering defence met him to bring up down. Manly on the attack 20 metres out from their line.
29 min: First mistake from Morris put the Dragons on the attack, however then Manly lost it through Michael Oldfield to give possession straight back. Dragons on the attack 40 metres out.
32 min: Foran's kick downfield was a good one as Brett Morris stepped around the ball which didn't bounce nicely for him. However the ball bouncing away from Morris and going into touch. Dragons will get the scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
34 min: Slippery by name, Slippery by nature as Brett Morris split the defence and almost broke through to score.
34 min: Video Referee Decision for the Dragons, looking for a knock on and push in the back. Dragons might of claimed one
34 min: TRY
Video Referee Russell Smith after a load of replay awards the benefit of the doubt try to Nightingale. A messy play at the ball ended with the Dragons claiming points. The tackle deemed not completed and awarded as a result.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-0
38 min: PENALTY! Manly with one last crack at the Dragons line before the half time siren.
40 min: Jamie Soward raced the length of the field thinking he has scored by after the spread wide passing from Manly. Boos sound around WIN Jubilee as the knock on call is questionable however the siren sounds to bring up the half time break.
A very physical first half of footy here at WIN Jubilee oval with the Dragons leading the Manly Sea Eagles 12-0. Despite a questionable finish to the opening 40 minutes both sides have been fairly even with errors costly against Manly which gave up points. However the Dragons have been on top with their efforts to claim points stronger. Michael Weyman started things off early with Mitch Rein floating across the defensive line to put him through. Wonderful footwork sees him beat Brett Stewart to the line.
If the Manly side are wanting to contest this game they will need a to come out of the sheds firing and score early otherwise the Dragons will run over the top of them.
Both sides on the park here at Kogarah, kick off to the second 40 minutes is about to happen.
40 min: And we have the whistle as we are back underway. Brett Stewart with the first carry into the face of Vidot
42 min: Dragons defensive line is up quickly to put pressure on David Williams. Who took the high ball off the boot of Jamie Soward nicely in the end.
43 min: Massive kick from Cherry-Evans which was allowed to bounce as Brett Morris watched it drop next to the posts. It bounces around but he grounds it to give Manly a drop out.
44 min: TRY
Manly with a lovely formed set move to spread it wide to the wing of David Williams. The overlap gifted Manly points early in the second half. Jamie Lyon from the sideline converts as the ball shaves the uprights and goes in.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-6
47 min: Great footwork and pushing up as Trent Merrin taking on the line. Set is completed with Soward kicking downfield and going into touch. Manly get and win the scrum feed on their own 20 metre line.
49 min: Manly still not liking to contest the high ball as Cherry-Evans kick allowed to bounce as it was taken by the Dragons. However it was a better set from manly as they opened up the short side
50 min: Jamie Soward under great pressure found touch and force Manly to work it 20 metres from their line off a scrum feed.
50 min: Penalty to Manly, this will help them get up field and they will look for more points.
52 min: Brett Stewart on the end of some quick passing and he broke through the line. He looked to link with Williams on the end of the play but the flick pass thrown over the sideline. Scrum feed packs for the Dragons on their 20 metre line.
54 min: Manly giving away a penalty for a high shot. Dragons march upfield and will play it short of halfway.
55 min: Jamie Lyon in the right spot to catch the stray pass from the Dragons. Manly quick on the attack as they work it up to halfway
55 min: Wonderful catch at the back from Brett Morris who was not under any pressure. Great work
56 min: Michael Weyman with a leg pull on David Williams, and that gives the penalty to the Manly side. All pressure is off the Manly defensive line with the penalty
58 min: Penalty to the Dragons following a great catch and run from Brett Morris off the kick of Manly. Cherry-Evans looked for points but Morris on mark to claim the ball.
60 min: Michael Oldfield saving the day for Manly as he batted it over the touchline. Dragons will apply the pressure on the goal line with a scrum feed on the Manly 10 metre line.
61 min: The referee almost getting bowled over as the Dragons looked for a short side scrum base play.
62 min: Foran with a beautiful take in the goals as he picked it up and ran but then pushed over the sideline by Soward and Morris.
62 min: Foran with a beautiful take in the goals as he picked it up and ran but then pushed over the sideline by Soward and Morris.
63 min: Dragons win the scrum feed to give them their third repeat chance at the Manly line.
64 min: Michael Oldfield saving Manly again under pressure to take the kick from Soward in goal on the full. Quick 20 metre tap coming up.
64 min: Penalty to Manly as the Dragons didn't get onside before the quick tap was taken. They attack deep in the Dragons half from the kick
65 min: KNOCK ON! Williams looking to play it quickly at the Dragons line, however losing control of it. Dragons pressure lifted with the scrum packing on their 10 metre line.
Official Crowd here at WIN Jubilee has been posted at 17,893
68 min: Forward pass the call against the Manly side and the Dragons will get the scrum feed on the Manly 40 metre line. A little blue between Williams and Soward breaking out, but no action taken on it. Play continues.
70 min: Well the Dragons with the zero tackle have coughed it up to Manly as Weyman not ready for the ball. But Manly luck and work it from their own half.
71 min: Jamie Soward ends the set with a low grubber through the line of Manly and the defensive line meets the returner on the 10 metre line.
72 min: Cherry-Evans with almost a perfect kick downfield, but Foran was beaten to the ball by Nightingale who raced out of the goals and met the Manly line.
75 min: TRY
Dragons used a set play with Ben Horny nailing a stabbing grubber through the line and Jason Nightingale raced down the wing and beat the Manly defence to ground it over the line. Jamie Soward from the touchline has failed to send the ball over the posts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 16-6
78 min: FIELD GOAL
FIELD GOAL! Dragons
Just because he can, Jamie Soward seals the win with the 20th field goal of his career.
St George Illawarra Dragons 17-6
80 min: That's full time at WIN Jubilee Oval as the Dragons claim the victory at home to make it back-to-back wins. Manly Sea Eagles going down 17-6.