Four Pointer: St. George Illawarra Dragons 42 Gold Coast Titans 16

It was a strong match from the Dragons, who hosted The Titans at Jubilee Oval on Saturday afternoon as the opening fixture of the day. The Titans looked depleted, and the Dragons completely dominated the match, which was evident in the end score of the match.

Early Errors Proved Costly for Titans

One too many errors, and plenty of penalties conceded did not provide the Titans with any strength in the match, and allowed the Dragons to capitalise and dominate the match. Throughout the game, especially in the first half, the errors from the Titans forced them to turn over the ball, giving the Dragons too many opportunities which they took, scoring 22 unanswered points in the first forty minutes. The visitors from the Gold Coast made twelve errors throughout the game, lowering their completion rate to 76 per cent, as opposed to the Dragons’ 83 per cent. Similarly, the Dragons were given ten penalties as a result of the Titans’ ill-disciplined playing style during the match, which ultimately had a strong impact on the outcome of the match. While they continued to make errors throughout the match, in much the same way as the Dragons did, it was the ones in the first half that made it much more difficult for the Titans to make an impact.

First Half Dominance

The dominance from the Dragons was a key element in their success on Saturday afternoon, which significantly impacted on their overall performance and the end result of the match. In both defence and attack, the home team was simply brilliant, and put their finals hopes back into perspective. Coach Paul McGregor was ecstatic with their efforts in the first half, stating that it was their best first half all season, considering the amount of points they managed to score before the half-time siren sounded. The Dragons were significantly impactful in the first half, while managing to obtain possession for 65 per cent, while completing at 95 per cent. They were also able to run more than double the amount of metres the Titans were able to make within the first half – the Dragons’ ran 1103, while the Titans only ran 543. The dominance of the Dragons, particularly in the first half was significant in the end result of the match.

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It is quite often to see that the completion rate of both sides can significantly impact upon the match and the end result of both sides. While this wasn’t the deciding factor in the Dragons and Titans game on Saturday afternoon, it certainly impacted the end result of the match, which was significantly in favour of the home team, with the Dragons managing to win by a twenty-six point margin, after two straight losses in the games leading up to this one. The completion rate of the Dragons in the first half was one of the most impressive of the season, however they made enough errors in the second half for it to drop to 83 per cent. While they did make a few errors throughout the match, their completion rate remained high, which was an important aspect of their victory over the Titans in front of a home crowd. The Titans’ completion rate was not the most impressive, however wasn’t one of the lowest. Therefore, the completion of both teams made a significant impact on the sides and ultimately impacting on the end result of the game, which was well in favour of the Dragons.

Dragons’ Finals Hopes Alive

As a result of this victory in front of a home crowd at Jubilee Oval, the finals hopes of the Dragons are alive, and they will remain in contention for a top eight finish while competing with the Cowboys who are now in eighth position on twenty-eight competition points, while the Dragons are only on twenty-six. The Dragons have worked hard this season, and despite a few difficult matches in recent weeks, their efforts in the beginning of the season have paid off, and they are now fighting for a top eight finish. The match between the Dragons and the Titans proved that they are worthy of a top eight position, and they are hoping to compete in the finals, and head to the first weekend of October. Their run home is tough, and their competition who are also fighting for a top eight position will put up a fight. The last few rounds will be interesting as a result of the tightness of the ladder, and the competition for a finals finish. Can the Dragons manage?



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