Soward shines as Saints skin Eels

A near-capacity crowd have witnessed a commanding display from the Dragons this afternoon, with St George Illawarra running out comfortable 30-0 victors over a disappointing Parramatta side on the Dragons return to Oki Jubilee Stadium for 2011.

On paper it was a mismatch and the Dragons and Eels traded blows for almost 20 minutes before the floodgates started to open. The only scoring play prior to that was a Jamie Soward penalty goal in the 5th minute, but with their various attacking players over the park, it seemed it was only a matter of time before the Eels defence cracked. Soward was the puppeteer of the Dragons first try. Receiving the ball just on his own side of halfway, the five-eighth jinked and stepped his way through some feeble Eels defence, pushing away from Daniel Mortimer. Looming up in support, he found halfback Ben Hornby who raced 20m to score untouched out wide. Soward's conversion ensured the wheels of the Dragons juggernaut were well on the way to rolling over the top of the Eels. The home side went back-to-back from the kick-off with centre Matt Cooper bursting through some thin Parramatta defence out wide near the end of the tackle count, to score in the corner. Without doubt the try of the half came in the 26th minute and was scored by halfback Hornby. Again it was Soward pulling the strings. The five-eighth found Mark Gasnier out wide who flicked the pass back on the inside to the playmaker. Soward lost his pants in the process of running through the Eels defence, before delivering a cut-out pass to Hornby who scored under the posts. The Eels were their worst enemies in the shadows of halftime when they gifted the Dragons field position from a simple dropped ball. From the base of the scrum, the Dragons perfected their signature second-man play which saw Cooper out the back who ran through a yawning hole in the Eels defence. Soward's missed conversion from out wide saw the Dragons head to the break holding a commanding 22-0 lead.

The second half was almost a repeat of the first, with Soward converting a penalty goal in the 44th minute which extended the home side's lead to four converted tries. The Dragons then went into methodical mode, reining in their play after they threw the ball around in the first half, they were more concerned on limiting errors in the second half. They completed their sets and got to their kick, ensuring the Eels were constantly working the ball off their own line. In the 58th minute, the Dragons scored another try set up by their ever-evolving playmaker Jamie Soward. Running the ball on the fifth tackle, Soward sprinted through the Eels defence untouched, before drawing Burt and sending Beau Scott on an unimpeded run to the tryline, where he scored under the posts. From then on, the home side grinded the Eels into the ground, ensuring Parramatta were kept scoreless for the second time in four weeks this season. Soward continued to control the game with his kicking game running the clock down, as the Dragons cruised home.

Next week the Dragons host the Cowboys next Sunday with their representative players backing up from the annual City-Country and trans-tasman test next Friday night. For the Eels, it is the chance to have the weekend off before they welcome back Jarryd Hayne the following week.

Match Details
St George Illawarra Dragons 30 defeated Parramatta Eels 0
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Sunday May 1, 2011 3:00pm
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Referee: Ben Cummins and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: David Abood and Jason Walsh
Crowd: 19319
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 22 Parramatta Eels 0 players of the match:
3 Points - Jamie Soward (3 Conversions, 2 Penalty Goals)
2 Points - Mark Gasnier
1 Point - Beau Scott (1 Try)

Tries: Matt Cooper (2), Ben Hornby (2), Beau Scott
Conversions: Jamie Soward (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (2/2)

PARRAMATTA EELS (0) Live Commentary And a very good afternoon and welcome to WIN Jubilee Oval for today's Round 8 encounter between the Dragons and the Eels. A big crowd is starting to file into the ground, with kick-off scheduled a little after 3.05pm.
In team news, for the Dragons, winger Ratu Tagive is out. Jason Nightingale will shift from fullback to the wing and Kyle Stanley comes off the bench and will slot into fullback. In the forwards, Dean Young comes into the run-on side at hooker for Nathan Fien who goes back to the bench. Adam Cuthbertson fills the vacant spot left on the Dragons bench. For the Eels, a simple swap, with Ben Smith named at lock and Justin Horo retiring to the bench.
In the Toyota Cup curtain raiser, the Dragons defeated the Eels 24-10.
1 min: And we're underway at Kogarah this afternoon!
1 min: The Eels get through their first set of six and Nightingale takes the kick on the full.
2 min: Pressure placed on Soward and a disappointing kick goes straight to the Eels who will have good field position.
3 min: Mortimer's kick on the last goes straight to the Dragons.
4 min: Young finds touch 5m out from the Eels line.
4 min: Reddy loses the ball on the first tackle from the scrum and the Dragons will now go on the attack.
5 min: PENALTY Dragons. Eels caught offside.
PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Soward successful.
Soward sends the ball into the southern hill.
St George Illawarra Dragons 2-0
8 min: Soward launches a bomb towards the wing of Jordan Atkins and the Eels winger comes up with a superb catch.
9 min: The Dragons show some enterprising play with the ball in hand, but the ball is lost through Young.
10 min: Mortimer puts an attacking cross-field bomb towards Nightingale who comes up with the ball, climbing above the Eels defenders.
11 min: Morris takes the ball on the full in the in-goal and the Dragons have a 20m restart.
13 min: Cooper and Morris get their wires crossed, with the winger going back on the inside and the ball goes over the touchline.
15 min: Soward's kick into the in-goal is mis-judged by Burt, but luckily for the Eels the ball goes over the touch in-goal.
17 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Scored by Ben Hornby. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.
Brilliant play from Jamie Soward! The five-eighth jinked his way through the Eels defence, pushed away from Daniel Mortimer before delivering a pass on the inside to Hornby who scored 20m in from the sideline.
St George Illawarra Dragons 8-0
20 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Scored by Matt Cooper. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.
Cooper scores another try for the Dragons! The centre burst through some thin Eels defence, pushing away from Reddy and scores in the corner.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12-0
23 min: PENALTY Dragons. Eels offside from the kickoff. Things are starting to go a little awry for the Eels.
24 min: Hornby is hit in a solid tackle from Smith and the Eels will work the ball away from their line.
26 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Scored by Ben Hornby. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.
The Dragons are in again! Gasnier got away from Loko, before flicking the pass back inside to Soward, who sprinted away, lost his pants in the process, but delivered a cut-out pass back to his halves mate in Hornby who scored untouched under the posts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 18-0
31 min: Parramatta lose the ball again 10m short of halfway and the Dragons again go on the attack.
33 min: The Dragons throw the ball around once more, with Gasnier finding Nightingale who was covered with some scrambling Eels defence.
34 min: The Eels again gift the ball back to the Dragons, losing the ball on just the second tackle.
34 min: Hornby's kick towards Atkins is knocked over the western sideline by the Eels and the Dragons will feed the scrum.
35 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Scored by Matt Cooper. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward unsuccessful.
Cooper goes in for his second out wide! A simple scrum play sees the ball go out the back to Cooper from a second man play and the Dragons centre races through a yawning hole in the Eels defence.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22-0
38 min: Soward's kick on the last sails over Burt and the Eels fullback has to retrieve the ball from his own goal-line and is greeted by a straight line of red V jumpers.
Halftime here at WIN Jubilee and the Dragons hold a commanding 22-0 lead over the Eels.
And the second half is underway and the Dragons will have first use of the ball.
41 min: PENALTY Dragons. Eels with their hands on the ball trying to slow the play-the-ball down.
42 min: Hornby's short ball is knocked on by Creagh and the Eels defence holds for now.
43 min: PENALTY Dragons. Mortimer found a way through the Dragons defence, but Shackleton is ruled to have taken a Dragons defender out.
PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Soward successful.
Soward extends the lead out to four converted tries and they are doing it very easily at the moment.
St George Illawarra Dragons 24-0
45 min: Soward finds touch on tackle five and forces the Eels to work the ball off their own line once more.
49 min: The Eels get a rare repeat set of six, but toss the ball straight back to the Dragons on the first tackle.
51 min: Soward attempts a 40/20 but Burt is aware of the situation and gets back to knock the ball back into the field of play.
53 min: PENALTY Eels. Soward with a high tackle on Burt. The five-eighth was a bit wrong-footed and the reflex action cops the fullback on the chin.
54 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Eels try.
54 min: No Try. The Eels grubber into the in-goal and Stanley attempted to pick up the ball, but knocked it on, before Burt also knocks the ball on and Morris forces the ball.
54 min: PENALTY Eels. Reddy ruled to have been taken out chasing the ball.
55 min: Mortimer kicks across the posts, but Hornby rises above the pack and comes up with a superb catch.
58 min: TRY
TRY St George Illawarra Dragons
Scored by Beau Scott. Conversion attempt by Jamie Soward successful.
The Dragons are in again and again it is Soward setting it up! Running the ball on the fifth tackle, Soward sprints through the defence, draws the fullback, before passing to Scott who scores under the posts.
St George Illawarra Dragons 30-0
61 min: Soward's kick on the last tackle keeps rolling over the deadball line. 20m restart Eels.
61 min: The Eels knock on through Luke Burt, giving the Dragons another opportunity to score more points.
62 min: Cooper loses the ball in a tackle from Robson and Reddy. Eels scrum.
68 min: Nightingale drops the ball behind him, trying to take a Mortimer bomb, but then regains possession.
70 min: Mortimer's kick sails over the deadball line. 20m restart Dragons.
74 min: The Eels throw the ball around, before Morris scoops up the ball off a Mortimer kick.
75 min: The game starts to grind to a halt with the Dragons in control and Soward's kick goes straight to Burt on the full.
77 min: Soward drills the ball into the corner; he has the ball on a string this afternoon.
78 min: Forward pass Eels. Mortimer and Robson throw the ball out wide to Reddy, but the pass was forward.
80 min: Nightingale takes one last bomb for the afternoon as the siren sounds in the background.

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