Craig Cauchi reviews the local derby between St George Illawarra Dragons against the Cronulla Sharks. Here’s how the game went.
|4th||Try Mawene Hiroti (Sharks)||Sharks 4-0|
|12th||Try Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons)||Draw 4-4|
|14th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 6-4|
|20th||Try Sione Katoa (Sharks)||Sharks 8-6|
|21st||Goal Shaun Johnson (Sharks)||Sharks 10-6|
|28th||Try Matt Dufty (Dragons)||Draw 10-10|
|30th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 12-10|
|39th||Try Ben Hunt (Dragons)||Dragons 16-10|
|40th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 18-10|
|62nd||Try Cameron McInnes (Dragons)||Dragons 22-10|
|63rd||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 24-10|
|69th||Try Wade Graham (Sharks)||Dragons 24-16|
|70th||Goal Shaun Johnson (Sharks)||Dragons 24-18|
|79th||Try Mikaele Ravalawa (Dragons)||Dragons 28-16|
|80th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 30-16|
Matt Dufty came close to scoring the first try of the match but was called back due to an obstruction on Josh Dugan. The Sharks marched their way down field and a nice move and pass from Josh Dugan set Mawene Hiroti to cross the line in his debut match. The Dragons weren’t denied ten minutes later, when Mikaele Ravalawa collected a long pass from Dufty and held off the cover defenders. The Dragons made some poor errors that gave the Sharks good field position. From their next attacking scrum, Shaun Johnson ran a simple movement down the right side, for Sione Katoa to cross in the corner. The Dragons gained a couple of extra sets on the Sharks line and after a few passes around the ruck, Matt Dufty banged the ball down over the line. The Dragons scrambling defence kept the Sharks from scoring and were able to march their way down field for Ben Hunt to dart over from dummy half in the shadows of halftime.
The first ten minutes of the second half both teams were going set for set and their were no stoppages in play. The first mistake came from the Dragons through Ravalawa and the Sharks were awarded a few repeat sets. They came close to scoring a fortuitous try through Wade Graham, after Zac Lomax’s pass in-goal was knocked on by Connor Tracey. The Dragons survived and built their way down field through some strong kicks and persistent defence. After another repeat set, skipper Cameron McInnes barged over close to the line off a slick pass from Ben Hunt found a flat footed Fifita floundering. The Sharks crossed next through Wade Graham, the second rower running into the space between Norman and Frizell and slamming the ball down. The Sharks were denied twice by some desperate Dragons scramble as the side seemed to be willing the Sharks back into the contest. The Dragons finished off in style with a final try to Mikaele Ravalawa, crossing from a nice cut out pass from Matt Dufty. The Dragons winning their first match of the season and their confidence building throughout.
In game 150 for the St George Illawarra Dragons, Tyson Frizell came up with a massive defensive play just as the Sharks looked like they were going to score. Shaun Johnson’s quick feet in the middle of the field created an overlap on the left side. The Dragons defence was all over the place. Will Kennedy passed inside to a charging Katoa and just when he looked certain to score, Frizell came across with a cutting legs tackle to deny the Sharks their opportunity.
St George Illawarra Dragons: 17. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 1. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Josh Kerr 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tyrell Fuimaono 14. Trent Merrin INTERCHANGE: 6. Ben Hunt 13. James Graham 15. Blake Lawrie 18. Jacob Host
Cronulla Sharks: 19. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Mawene Hiroti 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 16. Toby Rudolf INTERCHANGE: 13. Jack Williams 14. Connor Tracey 15. Braden Hamlin-Uele 17. Scott Sorensen