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Dragons started the game with several changes in key positions, but proved the depth of their ranks; attacking strongly from the get go. It took three minutes for Dragons to cross the South Sydney line, but the movement was taken upstairs and denied by video referee Paul Simpkins, with Kyle Stanley having a foot on the line as he backed the ball back into the field of play.
In the sixth minute another possible try went up to video referee Paul Simpkins, with three Dragons players flirting with the sideline, each had managed to stay in the field of play and Dragons were awarded first points to big second rower Ben Creagh. Kyle Stanley had kicking duties in the absence of Soward and was looking good with the boot.
Ben Creagh went in for his second just minutes later off a Fein bomb and some great work keeping the ball in play by Darius Boyd. Stanley converted and Dragons were up 12-0. Creagh finished off a genuine hat-trick in the 17th minute, this try came again off the boot of Fein. Stanley converted and Dragons were up by three converted tries.
Kyle Stanley was very handy with the boot in the absence of Jamie Soward, taking a penalty goal in the 25th minute to put the lead up to 20 - 0. Souths were finally able to hit back on the scoreboard in the 28th minute with a try to Fetuli Talanoa on the back of a beautiful cut out pass from Dave Taylor. Chris Sandow struck the ball beautifully 3 metres out from touch to convert the try.
Dragons struck back minutes later when Boyd linked with Brett Morris to put him in for his 20th try of the season. Kyle Stanley continued his perfect night with the boot putting the Dragons lead back up to 20 points. With strong defence, Dragons kept the 20 point lead into the half time break.
The opening phases of the second half saw a dog fight starting to unfold between the two sides, with defence dominating, until Darius Boy d was able to open the scoring for the second forty in the 55th minute with a beautiful solo effort, fooling the defence to run in and score, Stanley converted to push the Dragons' lead out to 26 points.
In the 60th minute, Dragons' Beau Scott was put on report for a late and high tackle on Chris Sandow. Minutes later Colin Best got the ball inside for Jamie Simpson to go in between 2 would be defenders to score. Sandow converted and a few minutes later Souths were able to score again through centre Dylan Farrell, putting on their first back to back tries of the match, conversion from Sandow took the difference back down to 14.
To prove that the South Sydney surge had come too late, Fein put Matt Cooper in to score his 100th career try and put the game out of reach in the 70th minute, with a comical sequence of play which saw Saffy's head play a part in the Matt Cooper try. Stanley converted the Cooper try to finish a perfect 7 from 7 with the boot.
Souths did put on the last points of the game through a try to Eddy Pettybourne in the 77th minute. Even with the Sandow conversion, the game still finished an emphatic victory over a team for dear life for the minor premiers who will take some momentum into the finals series after winning this game 38 points to 24.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 24
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 26 - Sunday September 5, 2010 7:00pm
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval
Referee: Ben Cummins and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Russell Turner
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 26 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Nathan Fien
2 Points - Darius Boyd (1 Try)
1 Point - Ben Creagh (3 Tries)
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (38)
Tries: Matt Cooper, Ben Creagh (3), Darius Boyd, Brett Morris
Conversions: Kyle Stanley (6/6)
Penalty Goals: Kyle Stanley (1/1)
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (24)
Tries: Fetuli Talanoa, Eddy Pettybourne, Jamie Simpson, Dylan Farrell
Conversions: Chris Sandow (4/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to Win Jubilee Oval Kogarah for the final game of the 2010 domestic season. The regular season comes to a close tonight with the South Sydney Rabbitohs taking on the might of the Saint George Illawarra Dragons. This game will determine who finished in 8th place and will take on the minor premiers – the Dragons – in the first week of the finals. Bunnies fighting to remain in the competition, with Manly’s loss this afternoon, Souths need to win by 5 points or more to guarantee themselves the last spot in the finals, but Dragons should be looking for some momentum heading into the finals series and will not go down easily.
TEAM NEWS: Plenty of team changes to go through for the Dragons. Soward is out and will be replaced by Kyle Stanley in the number 19 jersey, Ben Hornby is out, so Nathan Fein will start in the halfback position. Dean Young to be replaced in the hooker position by Luke Priddis in jumper 21, Jeremy Smith to be replaced in the lock position by Matt Prior. Trent Merrin will also be rested, so the Dragons’ bench will now look as follows: in jersey 17 Jarrod Saffy, 18 Nick Emmet, 20 Jon Freen, 24 Cameron King on debut.
For South Sydney only one superficial change, Dave Tyrell will start the match with Dave Taylor moving to the bench.
1 min: Chris Sandow kicks off for South Sydney and we are underway.
2 min: Dragons' kick ricochets off a Souths player and Dragons get six again in good field position, chance to attack early.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Dragons TRY.
3 min: NO TRY, Kyle Stanley's foot was on the line as he batted the ball back in.
3 min: PENALTY to South Sydney for a trip in a 2 man tackle.
4 min: Dragons defending beautifully on their line, Crocker goes for the line on the last tackle and is stopped for a change over.
5 min: PENALTY to the Dragons to get them off their line.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Dragons TRY.
7 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons. Ben Creagh to Brett Morris, in the air gets the ball to Matt Cooper, back to Ben Creagh to score, all so close to the sideline, but managed to stay in for all of that. Kyle Stanley to convert in the absence of Soward and he gets it.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6-0
8 min: South Sydney kick almost goes dead, hits Priddis on the shoulder and nearly bounces out but Weyman cleans up.
10 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons, Nathan Fein put the football up and big Second Rower Ben Creagh gets uncontested, great work by Boyd keeps it alive and back to Creagh to score his second. Conversion from Stanley successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-0
11 min: Fein kicks toward the sideline and Wesser lets it go to give Souths a scrum 18 metres out, and their first use of the football since the first try.
13 min: Sandow goes for a 40/20, so close, but Dragons get a scrum about 24 metres out.
14 min: Boyd takes a bomb and makes a huge break to make his way from close to his in goal to the half way line.
15 min: Fein grubber traps Talanoa in goal to force the line drop out. Lots of energy in this Saint George Illawarra team.
16 min: PENALTY to the Dragons, Souths struggling to keep up here.
18 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons. Fein goes to the line and finds Creagh for a genuine hat trick of tries. Conversion from Kyle Stanley successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-0
18 min: South Sydney looking a bit tired with the ball now after all the defence they've been made to do.
20 min: Weyman come off with a groin injury.
19 min: Souths kick it out on the fly to give the Dragons more attacking opportunities, starting this set inside Souths' 50.
22 min: Huge try saving tackle from Farrell, but Sandow knocks on a Dragons kick to give Dragons another set.
23 min: PENALTY to the Dragons, high tackle from Dave Taylor.
25 min: PENALTY GOAL
Dragons go for the two points off the back of the penalty, and Stanley gets it.
St George Illawarra Dragons 20-0
27 min: Dragons knock on, to give Souths a scrum feed right on half way.
28 min: PENALTY to South Sydney for a high tackle, 11 out from the Dragons line, opportunity for the Bunnies.
29 min: TRY
TRY to the Rabbitohs. Beautiful cut out pass from Dave Taylor to Fetuli Talanoa. Chris Sandow, 3 metres in from the Eastern touch line, strikes it wonderfully and gets it.
St George Illawarra Dragons 20-6
31 min: Souths lose the ball 5 metres out from halfway, another opportunity for the Dragons to strike.
33 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons. Darius Boyd cut out pass to Brett Morris who goes for the line and he is over for his 20th try of the season. Conversion from Stanley successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 26-6
35 min: Dragons carting the ball forward really well, making huge metres in their sets.
36 min: Souths trap Nightingale in goal to force the drop out and earn themselves another attacking set Dragons' side of halfway.
37 min: Souths were looking dangerous, but pass goes astray and Dragons are let off the hook.
37 min: PENALTY to the Dragons, Sandow makes a dangerous tackle on Gasnier, practically gets him on his head.
38 min: Lowe picks up a wayward pass from Gasnier, but Souths fail to do anything with it as Burgess knocks on to give the ball back to the Dragons.
39 min: Knock on against Priddis, Souths with a final opportunity for the half.
40 min: Souths putting on some exciting play, but referee calls a forward pass in there, so Souths and Saint Geroge Illawarra go into the sheds with Dragons leading 26 points to 6.
41 min: Second half underway after what seemed like a short half time break.
42 min: Weyman is back on the field for this second 40 and looks to be fine.
43 min: PENALTY to South Sydney.
44 min: Dragons steal the ball but great work from Sandow to get it back and great attacking opportunity here for the Bunnies.
45 min: Farrell with a beautiful take in the air, but takes fails to get it onto team mates and Dragons recalim it.
46 min: Chip and chase from Luke, some vision there finding some open space, but goes dead and Dragons get a restart at their 20.
47 min: Michael Crocker kicks for the Rabbitohs, but easy work for Boyd who runs it back in
48 min: Fein with a lovely kick finds touch 18 metres out from the Souths line.
49 min: High kick from Capewell is taken uncontested by Dave Taylor who knocks on.
50 min: Nick Emmett knocks the ball on for the Dragons to invite the Rabbitohs to attack, giving then a scrun 35 metres out.
51 min: Dragons clean up a desperation play from Issac Luke, to take the attack away from the bunnies.
52 min: PENALTY against Nathan Fein for hands on the football.
53 min: Issac Luke throws the ball over the sideline on tackle one.
54 min: Boyd chipping behind the line and Talanoa forces it dead for a Dragons drop out, more attacking opportunities for the red and whites.
55 min: Wesser trapped in goal, Dragons forcing another line drop out.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Dragons TRY.
57 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons. Darius Boyd dummies left dummies right, goes through and reaches over to SCORE. Conversion from Kyle Stanley successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 32-6
58 min: PENALTY for a high tackle from Jaiman Lowe on Matt Prior.
59 min: Nightingale stopped 5 out and put into touch.
60 min: PENALTY against the Dragons for Beau Scott taking Sandow out high and late. Beau Scott is put on report.
63 min: TRY
TRY to the Rabbitohs. Beautiful inside pass away from Colin Best to Jamie Simpson who gets between 2 defenders and scores. Conversion from Sandow successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 32-12
65 min: Cameron King's first touch of the ball sees him stripped one on one by Taylor about ten metres out from his line.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Rabbitohs TRY.
66 min: TRY
TRY to the Rabbitohs. Dylan Farrell scores for the Bunnies and Chris Sandow strikes it wonderfully.
St George Illawarra Dragons 32-18
67 min: Dave Taylor chips over the top trying to create something, but puts it out on the fly.
68 min: A perfect kick from Nathan Fein, gives Wesser no choice but step out with Dragons defence running in on him.
70 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons. Dragons go to the left hand side, Fein hits Saffy right in the head and Matt Cooper jumps on it and goes in for his hundredth try. Conversion from Kyle Stanley successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38-18
72 min: Dragons taking it right to the Bunnies, but a forward pass halts the Dragons attack 20 metres out from South Sydney's line.
73 min: Knock on Souths, Saint George Illawarra scrum feed ten out from halfway.
74 min: PENALTY to the Dragons, 21 metres out.
74 min: Knock on straight away from the Dragons, gives the ball to the Rabbits.
75 min: Souths pass right into Matt Prior who knocks it on to give South Sydney a scrum feed.
77 min: TRY
TRY to the Rabbitohs. Issac Luke goes to the right to put Eddy Pettybourne in to score. Conversion from Chris Sandow successful.
St George Illawarra Dragons 38-24
77 min: Kyle Stanley comes off the field after having copped a stray knee to the head in the scrum.
78 min: Sandow loses the ball after a chase from Boyd who gets his man.
79 min: Dragons knock on to give Rabbits one last shot at the Saint George Illawarra line.
80 min: Talanoa kicks straight into Nightingale and there is no time for a scrum to pack. Dragons take the game 38 points to 24.