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2021 NRL Round Nine, Dragons 32 Bulldogs 12 – Report

Craig Cauchi reviews Sunday afternoon’s clash between the Dragons and the Bulldogs. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Dragons 32

Tries: Matt Dufty (21, 63), Mat Feagai (51), Paul Vaughan (54), Corey Norman (60), Junior Amone (70)

Goals: Corey Norman (23, 55, 62, 64)

Bulldogs 12

Tries: Renouf Atoni (66), Nick Meaney (72)

Goals: Kyle Flanagan (68, 73)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Ben Hunt (Dragons)
2 pts – Matt Dufty (Dragons)
1 pt – Jack Bird (Dragons)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The Dragons had the first opportunity to get on the board but the errors that plagued them against the Tigers continued to plague them this week. It was an indication of how the first half was set to play with both sides guilty of simple errors to let the other teams off the hook. The Bulldogs appeared to be without a plan whenon the attack and were given plenty of opportunities by the Dragons to score the first points of the half. It wasn’t until the 21st minute that the first try was scored with a nice set move that allowed Jack Bird to skip across field to pass for Matt Dufty to run the rest of the way. The errors continued for the rest of the half with neither team coming close to scoring.

HALF-TIME: St George Illawarra Dragons 6 vs Canterybury Bulldogs 0

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2nd Half

The Bulldogs swapped halfbacks at halftime with Lachlan Lewis replacing Kyle Flannagan and they were straight on the attack. Yet it was the opposition halfback that sparked his teams attack in the second half. The Dragons half ran the ball on the last, fooling the defence with a dummy, then delivering a cut out pass to the debutant Mat Feagai to score the first try of his career. The Dragons skipper came close to setting up the next try with his grubber kick initially called a try to Jack Bird only for the bunker to over rule the on field decision. Will Hopoate was sent to sin bin for running interference and the Dragons weren’t denied this time, as Paul Vaughan crashed over from close range. The Dragons were over again with Ben Hunt holding the defence up, creating the numbers out wide, ending with Corey Norman scoring the try. Matt Dufty crossed for his second try of the night as he supported a break made by Billy Burns and the score was threatening to boil over. The Bulldogs added some respectability to score line with a heads up play from Renouf Atoni, who stripped the ball from Jack Bird close to the try line. Another Dragons debutant scored his first try when a kick rebounded off the defenders and Ben Hunt ran away to throw back on the inside for the youngster in support. An intercept for Nick Meaney closed out the scoring as the Dragons ended their recent losing streak.

FULL-TIME: St George Illawarra Dragons 32 vs Canterbury Bulldogs 12

Injuries

Corey Allen (Bulldogs) – failed HIA, AC joint
Lachlan Lewis (Bulldogs) – failed HIA

Match Review Committee

Paul Vaughan (Dragons) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Head/Neck – Early Guilty Plea $1350 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $1800 fine.
Josh McGuire (Dragons) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Other – Early Guilty Plea $2050 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $2700 fine.

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