Full Time Score: Round 13 St George-Illawarra Dragons 32 v Warriors 18
St George-Illawarra made amends for their loss to the Melbourne Storm in Round 12, and in the process managed to stop the Warriors two match win streak. They defeated the Warriors 32-18 after leading 18-12 at half time.
In a match in which the Warriors never in front, the Dragons shot out to an 18-0 lead after only 20 minutes with a questionable try to winger Wes Naiqama. The try was awarded by the video referee after it was ruled there was no double movement.
Mark Gasnier scored the try of the match as he stepped through two poor tackles and sprinted down the sideline, before he turned infield and wrong-footed Brent Webb to score under the posts.
After 20 minutes New South Wales five-eighth Trent Barrett broke through two weak tackles after Naiqama stripped the ball off Francis Meli.
The Warriors got on the board in one of their first forays into the Dragons end with a try to winger Manu Vautvei. Stacey Jones added the conversion from the touchline.
Two minutes later it was 18-10 as Todd Byrne snatched an intercept and raced 80 metres to score. Jones added a penalty goal just before the break to reduce the deficit to six.
The Dragons had the early pressure in the second half, but scored the first try of the second period from deep in their own territory as Head linked up with Cooper who ran 80 metres to score.
The Warriors then went on a period of sustained attack, but could only come up with one try, to prop Iafeta Paleaaesina.
The Dragons scored two late tries - one to Michael Ennis who backed up a Hornby bust, and Colin Best who gathered a chip into the in-goal with under three minutes to go to seal the 32-18 win, giving the merged club their 7th win of the year. Overall, it was a sloppy performance from both teams, but the Dragons managed to do more than the Warriors.
The Dragons Micheal Ennis was put on report for lifting, while Sione Faumuina was placed on report for a high tackle on Trent Barrett.
Scorers: ST GEORGE ILLWARRA DRAGONS 32 Tries: Naiqama, Gasnier, Barrett, Cooper, Ennis, Best Goals: Naiqama (3/4), Ennis (1/3) NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS 18 Tries: Vatuvei, Byrne, Paleaaesina Goals: Jones (3/4)
Venue: WIN Stadium Referee: Stephen Clark Half time: 18-12 Dragons
0 min: The Dragons kick off at a chilly WIN Stadium on the New South Wales south coast.
3 min: The Dragons called for a forward pass, nulling a break.
4 min: TRY - Dragons The Dragons move the ball left and Naiqama scores out wide. Misses the conversion. Dragons 4 - 0 Warriors.
9 min: TRY - Dragons Gasnier gets the ball on halfway, runs through some non-existant tacklers and beats the fullback to score under the posts.
16 min: The match is almost all the Dragons. The Warriors are struggling without the Steve Price leadership.
18 min: PENALTY GOAL - Dragons Koopu is penalised for taking out Shaun Timmins. Naiqama nails the kick from right in front. Dragons 12 - 0 Warriors.
20 min: TRY - Dragons Naiqama strips the ball of Meli, and Barrett scores from the ensuing play. Naiqama converts. Dragons 18 - 0 Warriors.
26 min: TRY - Warriors Good ball movement by the Warriors leads to a try in the right corner by Manu Vatuvei. Jones converts from touch. Dragons 18 - 6 Warriors.
28 min: TRY - Warriors Todd Byrne grabs an interception off Hornby and runs 80 metres to score. Jones misses from the other touch line. Dragons 18 - 10 Warriors.
33 min: REPORT - Ennis is placed on report for lifting.
39 min: Sims drops the ball while playing it, giving the Warriors one last chance.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL - Warriors Naiqama penalised for a face massage. Jones adds the two just before half time. Dragons 18 - 12 Warriors.
HALF TIME: The Warriors have recovered well from trailing 18-0 to have pulled possession even, and only trail by six despite being totally dominated. The Warriors have done well to trail by six, the heads have not gone down like they would have last year.
40 min: The second half kicks off. If the Warriors want to win, they have to score first.
42 min: The Dragons putting a lot of pressure on the Warriors kickers.
45 min: Both teams making shocking errors early in the tackle count.
47 min: TRY - Dragons Cooper takes a bullet pass and runs 80 metres to score out on the left. Now the Warrior heads are down. Ennis misses from touch. Dragons 22 - 12 Warriors.
51 min: NEWS - Corey Payne is KO'ed by an accidental Warriors knee. Monty Betham has also gone up the tunnel.
55 min: TRY - Warriors The Warriors get some good second phase play and Paleaaesina barges through. Jones converts. Dragons 22 - 18 Warriors.
59 min: Toopi dazzles the defence with good footwork. He kicks ahead and earns the Warriors a line drop out.
62 min: The Warriors are getting all of the possession at the right end of the field, but can't score points.
66 min: REPORT - Faumuina is placed on report for a high tackle on Barrett.
69 min: TRY - Dragons Hornby opens the Warriors up and Ennis scores under the posts. Dragons 28 - 18 Warriors.
75 min: Warriors aren't going to die wondering, but it looks all but over.
77 min: TRY - Dragons Best seals the win as he recovers a chip kick and scores in the corner. Ennis misses from touch. Dragons 32 - 18 Warriors.
FULL TIME: The Dragons have won, despite a very sloppy performance.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Hornby (Dragons) 2 - M Cooper (Dragons) 1 - M Head (Dragons) -----------------------------------------