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2021 NRL Round 16, Warriors 18 – Dragons 19 Report

Craig Cauchi reviews the Warriors central coast match up against the Dragons. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Warriors 18

Tries: Wayde Egan (29), Eliesa Katoa (36), Bunty Afoa (50)

Goals: Chad Townsend (30, 38, 51)

Dragons 19

Tries: Ben Hunt (21), Gerard Beale (70), Jack Bird (74), Cody Ramsey (80)

Goals: Corey Norman (18)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Ben Hunt (Dragons)
2 pts – Roger Tuivasa Sheck (Warriors)
1 pt – Paul Vaughan (Dragons)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The opening twenty minutes was intense, both sides came close to crossing the line, with the Dragons finally opening the scores with a penalty goal. Sadly it was the last conversion Corey Norman would kick for the night. Ben Hunt came up with some bright passages of play after the conversion. First his kick planted the Warriors deep in their own half. Then he stripped the ball from Ben Murdoch-Masila. He then backed up a pass to Paul Vaughan, collecting the offload from the front rower and sliding in for the first try. While the Warriors looked fatigued off the back of a heavy tackle load, they scored next with a clever try to Wayde Egan from dummy half. The Warriors earned more ball as the half went along and crashed over through Eliesa Katoa.

HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 12 St George Illawarra Dragons 6

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2nd Half

The Warriors started the half in the same fashion they finished and were able to convert their dominance into a try through Bunty Afoa. The Warriors forwards were rolling their way through the middle defence of the Dragons. The middle period of the half went pointless with the Dragons attack ineffectual against the Warriors defence. A Dufty cut out pass in the final ten minutes of play led to a Gerard Beale try but the missed conversion from Norman hurt their chances. Chad Townsend’s attempted field goal missed and off the back of the seven-tackle set, Jack Bird made the Warriors pay, chasing through his own kick to score. The decision to go for a field goal with an eight point advantage was questionable but helped set up an intriguing finish. As the siren sounded – and deep on the attack – the Dragons found an unmarked Cody Ramsey out wing. Corey Norman failed to convert and the match went into golden point. The Warriors were their own worst enemies in the second period of golden point, making a mistake on both sets to gift Corey Norman the field goal and victory for the Dragons.

FULL-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 18 St George Illawarra Dragons 19

Injuries

Tohu Harris (Warriors) – HIA/shoulder
Eliesa Katoa (Warriors) – ankle

Match Review Committee

Jack de Belin (Dragons)

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