Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Wests Tigers finals chances remain alive after they produced a massively improved performance against the Dragons, handing the Dragons their first defeat on home soil with a 20-16 win at Kogarah.
Brooks opened the scoring in the ninth minute. Farah shifted left, drew the defence and passed to Brooks, who run straight and stepped inside Nightingale to score. Marsters' converted.
Just four minutes later and the Dragons hit back with a good solo try to their halfback as well. Hunt stepped off his right to evade the charging Lawrence, then run back infield, stepped Taylor and scored under the posts. Widdop slotted the easy conversion.
Play was expansive and fast by both sides, however neither could make any change to the scoreboard by halftime.
Just six minutes into the second half and the Tigers took the lead. Farah darted out of dummy half and linked with Mbye, who ran onto a short ball at top speed and through a gap, before throwing a long ball out to Thompson, who stepped inside two defenders and doing just enough to get across the line in the left corner. Marsters' sideline conversion hit the upright and went through the posts.
A great run by Vaughan and an even better offload would've produced a try, but Widdop dropped the pass with the line wide open.
Just on the hour mark, the Tigers scored again. Matulino looked to run but had to stop as Aloiai ran in front of him. Matulino stood and passed to Farah, who dummied and then grubbered for Nofoaluma, who scored in the corner. Marsters again converted, giving the Tigers a 12 point lead.
Brooks, Farah and Marshall all put in good grubbers to produce three straight drop outs by the Dragons. The third drop out saw Widdop attempt a short kick, but it went out on the full and Marsters knocked over the penalty goal, stretching the lead to 20-6.
With ten minutes remaining, the Dragons began their fightback. Hunt chipped back infield and Widdop followed through, got a good bounce, regathered and ran 30 metres to score under the posts. He then converted.
Four minutes later the Dragons pulled off a great play on the Tigers line to score. Widdop got a quick ball from dummy half to Leilua and the big man quickly passed back in to Dufty who dived over for the try. Widdop's conversion attempt was just outside the posts.
Even with 38 seconds left, the Dragons found space down the right wing through Dufty, but he was tackled into touch. He flung the ball back infield and the Tigers dived on it and the Dragons chances to win were ended.
Next weekend the Red V will hike north to Townsville for a clash with the Cowboys, while the Wests Tigers are at ANZ Stadium for a showdown with South Sydney.
St George Illawarra Dragons 16 - Wests Tigers 20
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Halftime Score: St George Illawarra Dragons 6 Wests Tigers 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Luke Brooks
2 points - Paul Vaughan
1 points - Robbie Farah
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (16)
Tries: Ben Hunt, Gareth Widdop, Matthew Dufty
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (2/3)
WESTS TIGERS (20)
Tries: Luke Brooks, Corey Thompson, David Nofoaluma
Conversions: Esan Marsters (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Esan Marsters (1/1)