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The St George Illawarra Dragons have won the 2010 Grand Final with an emphatic 32 points to 8 victory over the Sydney Roosters in teeming rain in front of a massive ANZ Stadium crowd of 82,334 screaming fans.
After trailing 8-6 at the break the Dragons were untouchable in the second 40 piling on 26 unanswered points to take the trophy.
Winger Jason Nightingale was in career best form bagging a double as was lock Jeremy Smith who was unlucky to miss out on the Clive Churchill medal, given to fullback Darius Boyd who put in a top display as well. Captain Ben Hornby was also sensational. For the Roosters, Jason Ryles was tireless and Mitchell Pearce was scheming all day. Dally M Player of the Year Todd Carney unfortunately failed to make much of an impact when it mattered.
The Dragons were the first to score through Prodigal son Mark Gasnier but the rest of the first half belonged to the Roosters. With Carney's failure to convert keeping the game to within 2 at half time.
The second half was a completely different story however with the Dragons defusing several Roosters attacking opportunities and having all the luck at the other end.
The Dragons victory becomes their first as a merged entity, the first premiership for those in the Illawarra region and they become just the second merged entity to secure a premiership, The much deserved victory should finally put paid to the chokers tag and caps off 2 years of NRL dominance.
St George Illawarra Dragons 32 defeated Sydney Roosters 8
National Rugby League - NRL Grand Final - Sunday October 3, 2010 5:10pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Shayne Hayne
Video Referee: Bill Harrigan
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Jeff Younis
Halftime: St George Illawarra Dragons 6 Sydney Roosters 8
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Jason Nightingale (2 Tries)
2 Points - Jeremy Smith
1 Point - Ben Hornby
St George Illawarra Dragons (32)
Tries: Mark Gasnier, Dean Young, Nathan Fien, Jason Nightingale (2)
Conversions: Jamie Soward (5/5)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (1/2)
Sydney Roosters (8)
Tries: Braith Anasta, Mitchell Aubusson
Conversions: Todd Carney (0/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Here we go. The big one. Huge crowd on hand to witness this all Sydney Grand Final.
1 min: Weyman coughs up possession. Roosters on the attack!
1 min: Myles forces a pass and the Roosters spill it. Dragons safe.
8 min: TRY
Back and forth action here finally comes to an end with a try to Mark Gasnier. Great kick from Soward.
8 min: Bit of controversy in the lead up to the last try. Brett Morris appeared to go into touch but what's done is done and the Dragons lead 6-0.
9 min: Joseph Leilua clearly knocks on from a kick but the referee deems it a knock back. A small square up there maybe.
11 min: Neville Costigan knocks on inside their own half. Roosters with a small sniff here. Dragons forwards are very much on top at the moment.
12 min: Roosters go close but the Dragons defense closes up shop.
17 min: TRY
Joseph Leilua climbs high in the sky to take down a kick and looks like he may have scored. Soward scrambles to knock it free. Anasta follows it through and puts it down. Video ref to make a big decision. Awards the try to Anasta!
19 min: Dragons cough it up! Roosters on the attack again.
20 min: TRY
Mitchell Aubusson crosses after a good fend and getting between two defenders. Carney misses the conversion.
St George Illawarra Dragons 30-8
22 min: James Aubusson is taken high but it's accidental. A penalty puts them on the attack again. Leilua looks to have scored off a huge forward pass but the touchie caught and pulls it up.
26 min: Great charge down from Jeremy Smith ends up with a Matt Cooper break downfield. Dragons heavily on attack here. Penalty! Sowards will be shooting to even it up.
26 min: PENALTY GOAL ATTEMPT
Misses it. Wasted opportunity there.
Sydney Roosters 8-6
28 min: Six more tackles deep in Roosters zone for the Dragons.
29 min: Creagh runs the suicide line and coughs it up in big contact. Roosters off the hook. Great defense.
30 min: Daniel Conn charges into a tackle late with a swinging arm but misses. Weyman is down hurt though. Strange. Referee deems that there was late and high contact! Replays show that they grazed the top of Weyman's head gently! What is going on? This is a grand final! Weyman does look hurt though. Very odd indeed. Paul Briggs?
31 min: Creagh does it again! Suicide line and puts it down. Having a rough trot there.
33 min: Brett Morris returns a kick and passes to an offside Jarrod Saffy! Forward pass is ruled but it should have been a penalty.
35 min: Roosters tackled on the last. Dragons running it out of their own end and Creagh drops it AGAIN!
36 min: That was a Grand Final take there from Ben Hornby! AFL mark of the year in the NRL Grand Final.
39 min: The Roosters are deep on the attack to finish the first half of a tight, traditionally played Grand Final. No. The Dragons should get the last use from a 20 metre restart.
40 min: Some enterprising play from the Dragons to end the first half. Half time here and it's 8-6 to the Roosters!
41 min: Back underway. A good first set for the Dragons is finished off with a great clearing kick from Soward.
44 min: Roosters spread it but another forward pass. Another that should have been a penalty.
45 min: Dragons force a line drop out. Roosters absorb the first wave.
46 min: TRY
Jason Nightingale crosses in the corner after a great ball from Darius Boyd.
50 min: Great take from Darius Boyd under enormous pressure defuses a Pearce bomb. He never looked like dropping it.
51 min: Roosters put up another attacking bomb but Kane Linnet knocks it forward.
52 min: Nathan Fien fumbles it at the play the ball on the last. Roosters scrum just inside Dragons territory.
53 min: Roosters look dangerous but come up with nothing again after a tight Pearce pass it put down by Anthony Minichiello. Dragons scrum ten out.
56 min: Another attacking kick from Pearce comes to nothing after Sam Perrett takes Brett Morris out in the air.
57 min: Dragons on the attack after Hornby finds space down the left hand flank.
58 min: Roosters knock a Dragons attacking kick dead. Sam Perrett looked to be pushed in the back but the Dragons get the rub of the green on that one.
61 min: TRY
Nightingale is over again after a sloppy cut out pass finds him after the bounce. Leilua makes a poor read and Nightingale walks over.
62 min: Roosters hand over possession in their own half. Dragons on the attack again.
62 min: TRY
Dean Young crosses after a short pass from Fien, right next to the posts. Video ref rules try benefit of the doubt. Dragons will be very hard to catch now.
65 min: Roosters lose it in their own half again. Dragons about to ice it.
66 min: PENALTY GOAL
Wearea-Hargreaves gives away a penalty right in front after a flop. Soward will take the shot and goal to run the clock down.
68 min: Roosters go for a short kick off but it comes to nothing after the Dragons play games with the ball to keep it in. Cruise mode Dragons here.
69 min: Woeful end to the set. Carney's last pass misses everyone and rolls harmlessly over the sideline.
72 min: TRY
Nathan Fien scores the sneakiest try of all time after diving over from dummy half when Soward looked certain to pot over a field goal. 32-8.
St George Illawarra Dragons 30-8
75 min: Might as well pack up and go home. The Dragons have won the 2010 NRL Premiership. Nightingale forces a ball in goal and the Dragons will attempt to stop the consolation try.
76 min: Todd Carney is injured. It would be terribly unfortunate if the Dally M Player of the Year were to suffer anything serious at this stage of a forlorn Grand Final.
76 min: He looks to be ok. He will finish the match.
76 min: Roosters will get a repeat set after Soward knocks on while attempting a one on one steal.
76 min: Roosters drop the ball. Dragons should keep a second half clean sheet.
78 min: Nightingale makes a huge break down the right flank. In the ensuing play Sam Perrett makes an intercept and takes off back down the other end. Messy finish to the match here as Jason Ryles is carried from the field.
80 min: It's all over. St George Illawarra are the winner. Darius Boyd is Clive Churchill winner.