Craig Cauchi reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights.
St George Illawarra Dragons 21
Tries: Andrew McCullough (29), Jack Bird (51), Mathew Feagai 2 (53, 79)
Goals: Zac Lomax 2 (19, 30)
Field Goal: Zac Lomax (77)
Newcastle Knights 16
Tries: Enari Tuala (37), Dane Gagai (48), Kalyn Ponga (58)
Goals: Jake Clifford (49, 60)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Knights started the half with Chris Randall splitting them up the middle and only some desperate Dragons defence kept them from scoring the first try. After this moment the Dragons gained control through possession but looked very clunky when attacking the try line. The Knights handled them easily while down the other side of the field they failed to find the composure to pile on the pressure. The first points came through a Zac Lomax penalty goal and it wasn’t long after that until they scored the first try with Andrew McCullough crashing over from dummy half. They should have pushed that lead out further with Tariq Sims breaking the line but choosing to hold onto it instead of setting up his supporting players. It proved to be costly with the Knights scoring a try to go within four points at halftime.
HALF-TIME: St George Illawarra Dragons 8 Newcastle Knights 4Embed from Getty Images
The Knights started the second half right where they left the first with a last tackle try to Dane Gagai. It came off a mid-field bomb, which saw three Knights contest the ball and throw it back to Dane Gagai, who combined with Tyson Frizell to take the lead for the first time in the match. The Dragons hit back with two tries set up by Ben Hunt. The first was a 50-metre try with Ben Hunt touching the ball twice and putting in the final kick for Jack Bird to score. The second came off the back of a lovely pass to Moses Suli who gave an early ball to an unmarked Mat Feagai. There was more pressure for the Knights to defend and they came away from that period without further damage to the scoreboard. They then took the advantage with a try to Kalyn Ponga off the back of a great run from Bradman Best. Unfortunately, they didn’t make much more of an impact afterwards despite having several moments to put the Dragons to the sword. Zac Lomax stood up with the field goal to end the deadlock. The Dragons then followed it up with a final try to Mat Feagai and secure a much needed win.
FULL-TIME: St George Illawarra Dragons 21 Newcastle Knights 16
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Ben Hunt (Dragons), 2 pts – Kalyn Ponga (Knights), 1 pt – Moses Suli (Dragons)
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