The St George-Illawarra Dragons have snapped a two game losing streak with a 14-8 win over the Newcastle Knights in front of 19,214 fans at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.
The game that saw Wayne Bennett break the record for the most first grade games coached with the match being his 670th career match in charge as well as the fact that he was again coaching against his old side the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
The game never reached any real heights during the opening half with both sides struggling to cross their opponents try line. Josh Dugan looked to have scored the first points in just the second minute however after several replays the Video Referees Luke Phillips and Luke Patten put the red lights up on the Dugan try after replays showed that Dugan had grounded the ball on the touch in-goal line.
Soon after that the Knights put the first points on the board thanks to a Tyrone Roberts penalty goal which came in the fifth minute after Dan Hunt was penalised for being too slow away from the tackle.
The Dragons were the more dominant side in the opening half with most of the possession, field position and chances but even with a pin point kicking game from Nathan Fien they were unable to come up with points, although Brett Morris did cross the line but like Josh Dugan was given the red lights from the video referees after a Dragons player was ruled to have been offside from a deflection off a Knights knock on which lead up to the points.
In the following set the Dragons got a penalty and the game saw a bit of biff after Beau Scott was penalised for a leg twist subsequently Josh Dugan took a shot at goal to level the scores but pushed the attempt wide.
The only other points of the second half came after the siren with a Penalty goal to Tyrone Roberts extended the lead to 4-0 which was the Half Time score.
The second have seemed to start similarly to the first with penalties being the early feature from the referees however eight minutes after the break the Knights were able to score the first try through Joey Leilua and the conversion was pushed wide from Tyrone Roberts.
From there the game became an arm-wrestle with both sides trying to figure out where the opposition weakness was and where they could break them. The knights were able to create the opportunities however every time they did they released the pressure and just minutes later a superman like jump from Josh Dugan gave the Dragons their opening points of the match in the 57th minute.
Over the next 20 minutes neither side were able to trouble the defence of the opposition and both sides ill-discipline cost them dearly as they were able to release any pressure that they were putting on the opposition.
As the full time siren approached it was an error from James McManus that gave the Dragons the sniff of scoring the match winning points from the set ensuing from the scrum however Josh Dugan didn’t need any extra plays scoring the match winner two minutes from full time.
The Knights had one set of six to level the match up but through strong defence the Dragons were able to shut down the Knights play and secure the win.
Next week the Dragons have the relief of playing at home when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Friday night meanwhile the Knights don’t have it easy next Sunday afternoon having to travel down to AAMI park to take on the Melbourne Storm.