Craig Cauchi reviews St George Illawarra’s match against the Canterbury Bulldogs. Here’s how the game went.
|1st||Try Matt Dufty (Dragons)||Dragons 4-0|
|2nd||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 6-0|
|7th||Try Euan Aitken (Dragons)||Dragons 10-0|
|20th||Try Jeremy Marshall-King (Bulldogs)||Dragons 10-4|
|21st||Goal Nick Meaney (Bulldogs)||Dragons 10-6|
|29th||Try Nick Meaney (Bulldogs)||Draw 10-10|
|31st||Goal Nick Meaney (Bulldogs)||Bulldogs 12-10|
|33rd||Try Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Bulldogs)||Bulldogs 16-10|
|34th||Goal Nick Meaney (Bulldogs)||Bulldogs 18-10|
|39th||Goal Nick Meaney (Bulldogs)||Bulldogs 20-10|
|55th||Goal Nick Meaney (Bulldogs)||Bulldogs 22-10|
|65th||Try Jason Saab (Dragons)||Bulldogs 22-14|
|66th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Bulldogs 22-16|
|72nd||Try Matt Dufty (Dragons)||Bulldogs 22-20|
|74th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Draw 22-22|
|78th||Try Corey Norman (Dragons)||Dragons 26-22|
|80th||Goal Zac Lomax (Dragons)||Dragons 28-22|
The Dragons scored the first try of the match from their first set of six. After finishing their set in the opposition half, Corey Norman sent the ball high into the heavens. Zac Lomax rushed through, leapt high, came down with the ball, and offloaded it to Matt Dufty, who finished it off. The second try of the match was scored by Dragons left centre Euan Aitken, off a lovely in-and-out movement and pass from Dufty. Aitken brushed aside the two defenders to clear his path towards the line. The Bulldogs put themselves back in the contest with a crash over from Jeremy Marshall-King, who split the markers and barged over. They found themselves in great territory off the back of a well placed Kieran Foran kick down field that trapped Ravalawa in-goal. The Bulldogs scored their second try off the back of an attacking scrum, which gave them the lead for the first time in the match. A backline shift got Nick Meaney on the outside of his player and he was too quick for anyone to stop. Another great kick chase earned the Bulldogs another repeat set and off the drop out they forced their way over the line through Raymond Faitala-Mariner to extend their lead. Tariq Sims gave away a penalty with a late hit on Keiran Foran and the Bulldogs extended their lead by 10 into the break.
After 15 minutes of back-and-forth footy, the Bulldogs were awarded a penalty for an incorrect play-the-ball from the Dragons and took the 2-points to extend their lead to twelve. Jason Saab scored the first try of the second half after a bomb was put down by Christian Crichton and bounced its way over to the Dragons winger, who scored near the post. The Dragons were able to level things back up after Adam Clune shaped to go out wide, dummied and found himself in open space, linking up with Matt Dufty to finish off the movement. With the game seemingly destined for golden point, and the Bulldogs working their way out of their own end, an error from Montoya fell right into the hands of Corey Norman, who ran the ball over for the match winning try.
This was a strange afternoon of footy and had moments of madness throughout. The Dragons were off to a fast start but the Bulldogs wrestled back momentum off the back of 80% of possession. The moment of the match went to Adam Clune with his line break and try assist to Matt Dufty giving the Dragons the momentum at the backend of the match. The rookie halfback has been slowly developing over the first few rounds and will continue to build in confidence after plays like that.
St George Illawarra Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jason Saab 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Ben Hunt 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Trent Merrin 15. Josh Kerr 16. Tyrell Fuimaono 17. Jackson Ford
Canterbury Bulldogs: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Christian Crichton 6. Kieran Foran 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Luke Thompson 14. Sione Katoa 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Renouf To’omaga 17. Ofahiki Ogden