Anzac Day rugby league - a game steeped in tradition and a game you can throw form out the window, but today it was the ladder-leading St George Illawarra Dragons who took a 24-8 victory over the Sydney Roosters in front of over 40,000 fans.
The Dragons took first points in their very first set of six when the Roosters defenders allowed the Dragons halves to run the ball on last tackle and it created plenty of space. The points came through Nene McDonald when Blake Ferguson put down the kick that finally came from the boot of Gareth Widdop and after bunker approval the Dragons lead six nil after just a minute.
The Roosters were given plenty of chances to score and eventually could only come away with two points from a Latrell Mitchell penalty goal that closed the gap down to 6-2. The Dragons were defending their line for the majority of the half but it was right on the stroke of the half time siren when thanks to the frantic nature of the game Ben Hunt was able to catch out some tiring defence from the Roosters big men and dive through to score and extend the lead to 12-2 after the HT siren.
St George Illawarra opened the second half scoring in the 46th minute when Tariq Sims had too much strength for a backtracking Roosters defence and got the ball to the line to extend the Dragons lead. The Roosters then replied five minutes later when it was the Roosters who took of tiring Dragons defence when Friend went inside for Tedesco who went back inside to Keary who kicked through for Latrell Mitchell who got the Roosters back into it.
The Red V then got a piece of luck when Nene McDonald crossed for his second try of the game and despite replays showing McDonald had lost control of the ball whilst trying to ground it, Bunker official Jared Maxwell ruled that there was insufficent evidence to overturn Ashley Klein's live decision.
Those Tricolours couldn't get back into the game, but the Dragons again thought they had a try however this time the live decision of try from Ashley Klein was overturned and scores stayed at 24-8.
Next weekend, the Dragons have a big clash against the Melbourne Storm at Jubilee Oval on Sunday whilst the Roosters also play hosts on Sunday with a clash against the Manly Sea Eagles in the
second of the sunday games.