The St George Illawarra Dragons have kept their grand final hopes alive following an impressive 22-10 victory at ANZ Stadium in front of a growing and noisy crowd.
The potential of a grand final spot was open to the New Zealand Warriors with a victory this afternoon meanwhile the Dragons were looking to put a big loss behind them after their 30-4 loss against the Broncos last Sunday.
The Warriors began the game mounting pressure but as soon as it went one way Shakiah Tungai quickly went the other way after taking an intercept and racing 80m to score her first career NRLW try. The intercept was important not only did it give the Dragons a 6-0 lead it stopped a certain Warriors try if the pass from Mariu found the target.
Pressure was again on the Dragons defence and it was another long range try that got the Dragons out of their own end Honey Hireme was on the end of a good offload from Hannah Southwell which put the Dragons dual kiwi international on the outside of the the Warriors defence to score an easy try. Shakiah Tungai added the conversion from mid-range and the Dragons took a 12-0 lead.
The shift of the game favoured the Warriors when Keeley Davies became the first player sin binned in NRLW history when she deliberately gave away a ruck penalty for slowing the ruck down.
The Warriors crossed the line just five minutes after the Warriors second try when Alice Vailea crossed for what she and refere Matt Noyen thought was a try.
The call was overturned rather quickly by Henry Perenara when the replays showed Vailea had lost the ball over the goal line before trying to regather it and failed to ground it.
The Warriors were able to get over the line twice more in the second half but were denied with a held up ruling and then a forward pass call that could've gone either way denied the Warriors their first points of the half.
The second half started scrappily and the Dragons were able to extend their lead early in the second half when Rikeya Horne got the first try of the second half after chasing through a perfectly placed shallow kick from Melanie Howard and after the Tungai conversion the Dragon were in front.
The Warriors opening try of the second half wasn't one for the perfectionists when a last tackle kick from Georgia Hale travelled backwards before the ball ended up with Sarina Clark who put in a rushed second kick that bounced perfectly for the Warriors and Racquel Anderson got the try.
The Dragons then extended their lead when birthday girl Jess Sergis fought her way to the line and got the Dragons fourth try of the night and pushed the lead out to 22-6 after Tungai couldn't convert from out wide. The Warriors finished the game off with a try when Sarina Clark fought her way to the line and although she needed the approval of the bunker, the try was awarded on the basis of insufficent evidence. The conversion attempt from Nicholls was waved away and the Warriors fell to a 22-10 defeat.
The win for the Dragons keeps the second grand final spot alive with a clash against the Roosters awaiting the Dragons whilst the Warriors have a tough task when they take on the Broncos who have already booked their spot on grand final day.