Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The St George-Illawarra Dragons have taken the inaugural Alex Mackinnon cup match with a solid 13-0 shut out over a poor Knights outfit at a wet and windy Hunter Stadium.
The first half could only be described as a slug-fest with both sides struggling through some very wet and windy conditions. The Knights were the team to put the most pressure in the early stages though their attack was very average and never asked any questions of the Dragons defence.
The Dragons were the only team who get points in the opening 40 minutes thanks to a try to Fijian flyer Eto Nabuli who had open space in the north-west corner thanks to a misread by the another Fijian in Akuila Uate. A Gareth Widdop penalty goal gave the Dragons an extra two points just short of half time to give them a 6-0 lead at the break.
The second half was an average affair with just the seven points being scored, The Knights again were able to grow pressure but their attack had as much bite as a pensioner missing their dentures, the Dragons defence wasn't under much attack but on the flipside the Knights defence wasn't put under too much pressure either until Josh Dugan challenged the line and scored a four pointer.
A field goal with just under ten minutes to go from Benji Marshall put the game out of reach for the Knights and helped them secure a 13-0 win.
Next weekend, the Knights will look to bounce back with a trip to Remondis Stadium next Friday night against the Cronulla Sharks meanwhile the Dragons don't get any relief they take on a fired up Bulldogs side at ANZ Stadium next Sunday afternoon.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (0)
ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (13)
Tries: Eto Nabuli, Josh Dugan
Field Goals: Benji Marshall (1/1)
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Gareth Widdop (1/1)
Now we move to our second game of a wet Saturday this time in Newcastle:
Only change in the match is Sione Mata'utia comes on to the bench in jersey 18 replacing Paterika Vaivai
The Badge calls time on and we are underway with a kick off that held up in the wind and Gidley takes it 12m from where he kicked it
2: PENALTY DRAGONS: Tariq Sims is penalised for being too slow away from the ruck - Dragons attack in the Knights half
5: Some big pressure from the Knights forces Widdop in to a poor kick and the pressure subsides
6: Plenty of energy from the Dragons early, all the pressure is coming from them
7: PENALTY KNIGHTS: Dragons too excited in the ruck and go on too long and are penalised
8: Jason Nightingale has no choice but to knock the ball dead after an excellent kick in behind the Dragons line
9: PENALTY KNIGHTS: Right on their own line the Dragons concede a penalty for hand on the ball
9: Some poor last play on the last from the Knights sees Akila Uate tackled short of the Dragons line
12: PENALTY KNIGHTS: Another slow ruck is penalised by the men in Lime, Knights now over halfway
14: Another poor set of six from the Knights doesn't put any pressure on the Dragons and they get over halfway in the ensuing set
17: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Eto Nabuli. Kick to come.
Eto Nabuli gets some space in the corner and scores after Akuila Uate made a bad misread in defence
18: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop unsuccessful.
Gareth Widdop starts the kick out wide but doesn't come back near enough
20: Jarrod Mullen finds touch 5m out in the pouring rain up in Newcastle
21: PENALTY DRAGONS: Tyrone Roberts ruled to have made a second effort according to Gavin Badger
26: Slow scrum there with some injury treatment and then Referee not being ready but now we are back playing, Dragons attacking
30: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Euan Aitken makes an unforced error.
Euan Aitken loses the ball off an awful pass from Gareth Widdop
32: Dragons defence has been superb tonight holding off some Knights attack even though it was average at best
33: Knights go on the attack after Euan Aitken loses the ball
36: Tyson Frizell almost has a try but a centimetre costs him with the ball touching the dead ball line
38: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Penalty goal attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.
Gareth Widdop slots the easy penalty attempt and takes it out to a converted try margin
42: Play back underway in the second half, Knights had the first usage of the ball
45: The Knights get some relief after the last tackle option from the Dragons has been poor
47: Back to back penalties and the Knights are on the attack deep in Dragons territory
49: Referee's want some contact checked that looked nasty but looks nasty is all it is, nothing in it
54: Gareth Widdop throws another forward pass this one a biggie but somehow the touch judge missed it luckily Gavin Badger didn't
55: Again the Dragons are looking more adventurous in their attacking sets
61: UNFORCED ERROR ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Josh Dugan makes an unforced error.
Josh Dugan loses the ball trying to get the ball back off a kick 15m out from his own line
64: Tyrone Roberts is having a shocking game with yet another error in attack giving the Dragons good field position
65: TRY ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Scored by Josh Dugan. Kick to come.
The green lights appear in the pouring rain at Hunter Stadium and the Dragons extend their lead
65: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Conversion attempt by Gareth Widdop successful.
Gareth Widdop puts a pearler of a conversion in and extends the lead
68: Akuila Uate looks certain to score but some amazing defence from the Dragons puts him into touch
69: Another poor set in attack from the Knights and the Dragons are working themselves away from their own line
71: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Field goal attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Benji goes early in the set, not the greatest strike but still good enough for the point
74: PENALTY KNIGHTS: Dragons penalised for a high tackle
76: Straight away Gavin Badger has stopped the game as Josh Dugan looks extremely concussed