FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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Neither side looked like they would be too threatening on the scoreboard as they both took the field with makeshift five-eighths with regular starters Braith Anasta and Trent Barrett both missing. Despite the change in combinations it was the halfbacks for both sides that stole the show early on, with Mitchell Pearce and Scott Porter showing maturity beyond their years to lead their teams around the field.
The Sharks struck first through fullback Nathan Stapleton after a nicely worked dummy half play but the Roosters equalised shortly afterwards with a solo effort from Pearce after some dominant defence reminiscent of the Roosters golden years of 2002-04 - at one stage the Sharks were held inside their own 10-metre zone for an entire set of six.
A try in the shadows of halftime to Sharks winger Blake Ferguson looked like it could be a crucial blow, with Porter and captain Luke Covell heavily involved in the lead-up work thanks to a couple of nice kicks. That gave the Sharks a 12-6 lead going into the sheds, which is probably what most would have expected before the match but it wasn