St George Illawarra Dragons take the chocolates on Easter Sunday with a 21-16 success over Newcastle Knights in Wollongong.
On a weekend of ressurection, Dragons might have given their season life after a tense five point win against fellow strugglers the Knights. A Zac Lomax field goal and a late four-pointer to Mathew Feagai saw them edge a see-sawing contest.
The result is important after four straight losses for the joint venture club. Their attack looked blsitering at times, especially on the left side through Feagai and Moses Suli which produced a pair of tries. It was also a good performance from halfback Ben Hunt, who led the side around well all afternoon.
Dragons strode out to an eight point lead after half an hour. Lomax piloted through a penalty goal then hooker Andrew McCullough spied the smallest inch of space between the defense to score his first four-pointer in 644 days.
Kalyn Ponga was the name around the traps before and after the game. News filtered through that the Knights had pulled the contract offer for the star fullback for next season. He provided a fantastic assist for Enari Tuala to stroll over to make it 8-4 at the break.
Ponga had some fantastic touches for the Knights tonight. He scored a four-pointer to bring it level at 16-all after a sublime break from Bradman Best. Newcastle were once again brave this afternoon but brave doesn't get you two points in the NRL.
Newcastle held the lead briefly just after half-time when Origin representatives Tyson Frizell and Dane Gagai combined for the latter to make it 10-8. Dragons would hit back a minute later in fortunate circumstances when Jack Bird was on the spot from a Ben Hunt break, making it 12-10 for the hosts.
Dragons showed when they gave the ball some air, the side can create points. Once again, Feagai got the result but it was the superb work of former Manly Sea Eagles centre Suli to open up the space for the young winger to extend the lead to six.
Lomax, who courted some drama after he used former team mate Frizell as a step ladder after a Dragons score. The centre turned up as the match winner in the 75th minute when he sent a field goal almost over the grandstand to make it 17-16.
They added some late insurance when interchange utility Talatau Amone found space on last sent it left and it ended up with young Feagai stepped inside some defense and make the scoreline, 21-16 and an vital two points.
For the Knights, it is another afternoon of what ifs for the Hunter club. They battled hard and might have taken the two points if they were able to convert some chances in the second half. Now, they have the Ponga contract hanging over their head as they search for their next win.