The solid effort from the Dragons managed to overpower the up and down Warriors who had a disrupted pre-game. Josh Dugan was an essential asset to the Dragons who managed to down the visitors who lost Kieran Foran minutes before the kick off.
It just wasn’t meant to be
The Warriors were seeing plenty of support during the lead up to the game, especially after announcing the return of Kieran Foran to the starting line up for the first time since round twelve of the 2016 season. He was prepared to start in the halves alongside New Zealand superstar Shaun Johnson, but unfortunately it didn’t take. During the pre-game warm ups on UOW Jubilee Oval, Foran succumbed to an injury, and was taken to the sheds immediately where he received treatment. He soon found out that it was a hamstring tear and that he was unable to play, which seemingly sent the Warriors into havoc, causing panic on the field, an element to their poor start to the game.
Dragons defence improving
The Dragons came out firing into the game, and scored plenty of points early on, ultimately securing their fourteen point win. However when the Warriors managed to pick themselves up, it was their defence that had to keep their head above water during the game – it’s safe to say without the defensive efforts of the home side, the outcome of the match could definitely have been different. The goal line defence was practically flawless, and they hardly gave New Zealand a chance to get anything on them. They are becoming increasingly consistent and improving with every game, whether they can keep that up against the Tigers will be seen next Sunday.
Paul Vaughan is too good
From the viking clap to the Red V, the newest Dragons recruit Paul Vaughan has been instrumental for the St George team so far this season, and proved himself once again on Sunday night. He managed to cover one hundred and eighty-six metres on the field in sixteen runs, and had a perfect tackle success rate, not to mention his twelfth minute try for his new team and fans. He has made quite an impression on the players, staff and fans of the club, and is creeping up on a potential Origin spot in the series for the 2017 series in May. Coach Paul McGregor and the rest of the Dragons association are happy to have him on board in the forwards, and look forward to seeing him in Dragons colours for as long as they can keep him.
Riddled with errors
If the Warriors’ error count doesn’t kill them this season, who knows what will. Despite an increased effort in the second twenty of the first half, they still managed to make too many errors for them to claim a win. As a collective team they managed to accumulate nineteen errors, only allowing them to have a sixty-one per cent completion rate. This is the issue that has to be fixed first and foremost, if the Warriors want to see themselves in the top eight at the back end of the year. They have the team to win, especially when Foran is fit to play, however their execution and ball control needs to improve significantly for any chances of a finals finish this season.
St George Illawarra Dragons
Tries: Paul Vaughan, Josh McCrone, Josh Dugan, Timoteo Lafai
Goals: Gareth Widdop 5
New Zealand Warriors
Tries: Issac Luke, Ken Maumalo
Goals: Shaun Johnson 2
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