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Post by willow » Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:00 pm

Dragons claim Tigers' scalp

Updated June 25, 2010 22:12:00


St George Illawarra consolidated its position on top of the ladder with a 34-10 victory against West Tigers at Kogarah Jubilee Oval on Friday night.

The Dragons led 14-4 at half-time before the Tigers edged closer on the scoreboard early in the second term when Lote Tuqiri scored after finishing off a superb attacking movement.

Benji Marshall added the extras to close the gap to just four points, however the Dragons put themselves well clear with converted tries to Ben Creagh, Jamie Soward and Brett Morris, in addition to a Soward penalty goal.

While the scoreline suggested a comfortable victory, Morris felt otherwise.

"It was probably the hardest game we've had all year," he told Grandstand.

"We knew the Tigers were going to show up tonight and it was going to be a really tough game and we just grinded them out in the first half and got a bit of joy at the back of the half.

"We knew if we could keep with them and grind it out in the first part of the second half then we could probably skip away."

Morris says much praise has to be given to the Dragons' defensive performance, especially when protecting their own line.

"Our attack is pretty good, but as you saw with our on-line defence just how good it is," he said.

"All the forwards really stepped up on the tryline there."

The Dragons will no doubt be pleased to bank another two points, but prop Michael Weyman is almost certain to be rubbed out of Origin III courtesy of a dangerous tackle.

Soward did his best to play himself into a sky blue jumper with a brilliant display, but Weyman's chances of playing in the Origin dead rubber appear over after he was put on report for an ugly lifting tackle on Tigers full-back Wade McKinnon.

It may not have had the venom of Luke O'Donnell's piledriver on Darius Boyd in Origin II, but there is little doubt it was just as dangerous with Weyman sure to be eyeing a long stint on the sidelines.

The Dragons sensed they were in for a tough night when they opted for the penalty goal after 17 minutes, which became 8-0 lead when Boyd finally broke his 2010 duck.

He scythed through a poor Marshall tackle for just his second try for the Dragons.

McKinnon looked set to reply but served only to set himself up for a week of ribbing from team-mates when his 70-metre run was terminated by a chasing Creagh.

Lawrence, though, saved his team-mate's blushes with a brilliant put-down in the corner to halve the lead.

If Marshall's miss in the lead-up to Boyd's try was bad it had nothing on his gaffe just before the half-time break - an innocuous forward pass on halfway presenting the Dragons with an opportunity for Ben Hornby to set up Kyle Stanley's fifth try from as many top grade matches.

The late letdown no doubt added fuel to coach Tim Sheens fiery half-time address, as the Tigers returned to play like a team that had just been given a rev-up when Marshall and Lawrence combined to put Tuqiri away for his ninth try of the year from inside their own half.

The methodical Dragons hit back in clinical fashion when Morris touched back a Soward bomb for Creagh to put the Dragons up by two converted tries.

Soward beat four defenders to kick-start early celebrations with Morris grabbing his customary four-pointer as full-time sounded.

St George Illawarra: 34 (D Boyd, B Creagh, B Morris, J Soward, K Stanley tries; Soward 5/5 conversions, 2 penalty goals)

Wests Tigers: 10 (C Lawrence, L Tuqiri tries; B Marshall 1/2 conversions)


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Post by willow » Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:02 pm

DRAGONS BEAT WESTS TIGERS 34-10 IN NRL
By Wayne Cousins
25/06/2010 9:42:18 PM

Wests Tigers lost 34-10 to competition leaders St George-Illawarra Dragons at WIN Jubile Oval tonight in round 16 of the Telstra Premiership.

In a game that was closer than the scoreline reflected, the Dragons' professionalism showed why they are the premiership favourites with another clinical, grinding display.

Wests Tigers were gallant until the very end but just lacked some spark at half-back with Robert Lui out injured.

It was only in the last 15 minutes that the Dragons pulled away to take the two competition points to end a four game winning streak for the Wests Tigers.

The pleasing part for Wests Tigers is that they more than matched it with the measuring stick of the competition and will get even stronger once the injured troops return.

With Lui out with a knee injury, coach Tim Sheens moved centre Blake Ayshford to five-eighth with Benji Marshall to half. Geoff Daniela came into the side at centre.

The Dragons got the first repeat set of six in the third minute when a clearing kick downfield saw Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri touch the ball in trying to allow it to go dead. The home side swarmed on Tuqiri to force a goal line drop out.

Fortunately for the Wests Tigers, full-back Darius Boyd knocked on early in the tackle count to give the visitors a scrum feed 20 metres out from their line.

Wests Tigers got their first repeat set in the seventh minute when a grubber kick by half-back Benji Marshall saw the ball bounce up into the chest of winger Jason Nightingale in-goal and over the dead ball line.

The Dragons got the ball back when a grubber kick by Marshall saw Boyd take it on his tryline before being tackled.

St George-Illawarra had a chance to score in the 10th minute when prop Matt Prior offloaded a pass back inside only to see the ball taken by second-rower Gareth Ellis.

Winger Beau Ryan suffered a left arm injury in the 15th minute and was treated by trainer Andrew Leeds. Ryan played on.

The Dragons elected to take a penalty attempt at goal after Jamie Soward was shoulder charged late by Mark Flanagan after putting a bomb up. Soward converted the goal from 15 metres out to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead after 18 minutes.

Some nice interchange of inside passing in the middle of the field saw centre Chris Lawrence put Tuqiri into open space to make a run down the grandstand side before losing the ball after being tackled.

Boyd opened the scoring for the Dragons in the 24th minute when the full-back brushed off an attempted tackle by Marshall to race 20 metres to dive over in the corner for his first try of the season. Soward converted the try for an 8-0 lead after 26 minutes.

Wests Tigers made their first clean break of the game when Tuqiri defused a bomb and then stepped past two defenders to offload to McKinnon. The former Warriors full-back, in just his second game, raced 60 metres in open space before being tackled by Soward.

The Dragons were penalised for holding down McKinnon too long in a tackle.

From the next set, the ball was spread left on the last play before centre Chris Lawrence used his strength to crash through the opposition to plant the ball down in the corner to score. Marshall failed to convert the try for an 8-4 scoreline after 31 minutes.

A poor pass from dummy half on the fifth tackle by Marshall to Farah was ruled forward to give the Dragons a scrum feed 40 metres out three minutes before half-time.

The Dragons took advantage when after sending the ball right through several hands, the ball was sent to the left before captain and half-back Ben Hornby offloaded to centre Kyle Stanley to score out wide.

Soward then faded the ball far right to swing left in between the posts to give the Dragons a 14-4 lead at half-time.

There is not much between the two teams but Wests Tigers need to fix their general kicking game and their fifth play options in the second half.

Wests Tigers scored the try of the game to date in the 44th minute when Tuqiri raced 25 metres to brush off Soward to score after a superb break by Lawrence who raced 30 metres after good lead up work by Marshall.

It all came on the back of a superb catch by Ryan from an acrossfield kick before he offloaded to McKinnon to send play downto the the half-way line.

Marshall converted the try to leave Wests Tigers trailing 14-10 after 45 minutes.

Two minutes later, Dragons prop Michael Weyman was placed on report for a lifting tackle on McKinnon.

The Dragons were denied a try in the 52nd minute by video referee Paul Simpkins when he ruled prop Michael Weyman impeded Ryan in allowing hooker Luke Priddis to score next to the posts.

Soward converted a penalty goal from 30 metres out and in front of the posts in the 55th minute for a 16-10 lead after prop Todd Payten was penalised for holding down too long in a tackle.

It became 20-10 when Soward put up a crossfield kick for winger Brett Morris to leap high and offload inside to second-rower Ben Creagh to dive over to score.

Ryan did the right thing by focusing on Morris but Ayshford made the mistake of coming in and not sticking with Creagh who dived over for a soft try. Soward converted the try for a 22-10 lead after 61 minutes.

Wests Tigers got two repeat sets in the 63rd and 66th minutes and then another set of six in the 68th minute inside the Dragons quarter. A penalty was then rewarded after referee Jason Robinson penalised the Dragons for offside to give the Wests Tigers another set in the 69th minute.

Robinson called on video referee Paul Simpkins to see if Farah scored from dummy half but the replay showed he lost the ball. The Dragons withstood the enormous pressure with their solid defence to get the ball back on the quarter line.

Soward then secured victory for the Dragons when he found open space from 25 metres out before stepping past some tired defenders to score under the posts. He converted his own try for a 28-10 lead after 79 minutes.

Boyd then split the defence out wide inside the final minute before sending Morris 55 metres to score. Soward converted the try for a 34-10 victory.

Wests Tigers play the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium next Friday night.

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Post by willow » Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:04 pm

Toothless Tigers no match for Dragons

* James Phelps at WIN Jubilee Oval
* From: The Daily Telegraph
* June 25, 2010 10:02PM

PETER Doust can bring out the cheque book early this year. With some certainty, he can reach for his pen, scribble in a couple of zeros and order those premiership T-shirts that went to waste last year.

Doust's famous premiership shirts might make it on to the backs of some of the 16,574 fans who were at Kogarah last night cheering on the red and whites as they dispatched another so-called premiership rival in the Tigers.

In another clinical display, the Dragons once again showed they are the real deal by crushing the Tigers with another five-star defensive performance.

With Darius Boyd starring after a car crash earlier in the night and Jamie Soward at his best, the Dragons ground their way to their fourth straight victory.

The win, however, came at a cost, with Michael Weyman placed on report for a lifting tackle in the 47th minute in a blow that could rule him out of Origin III.

With a side that likes to defend and one that likes to attack, it was always going to be an intriguing clash and the first half proved no exception with the Tigers and Dragons going blow for blow.

It was a nervous start from the two teams featuring near full-strength line-ups with Lote Tuqiri giving the Dragons an early chance.

While trying to field a Soward kick in his own in goal, Tuqiri touched the ball and was forced to pick it up in a move that saw him hemmed behind his own line. But with the line in sight, the Dragons could do nothing to capitalise with Darius Boyd knocking the ball on.

Another Dragons mistake put the Tigers on the attack when Robbie Farah reefed the ball from Jason Nightingale's grasp to put his side in the strike zone.

But the Dragons showed their defensive steel by keeping Tim Sheens' men out for three consecutive sets.

With Todd Payten dropping the ball to end the Tigers' attacking raid, the Dragons made it down the other end and drew a penalty just metres from the line. Shane Flanagan took Soward out after he kicked the ball and the playmaking prodigy made the Tigers pay by slotting an 18th minute penalty goal from the sideline.

Boyd put his dramas behind him with a scintillating solo effort to extend the Dragons' lead in the 23rd minute.

With the Tigers retreating, Boyd got on Benji Marshall's outside and palmed the Kiwi off before running 30m to score the first try of the night.

Down 8-0, the Tigers rallied with Tuqiri sending McKinnon on a run.

But it was the strength of Chris Lawrence that put Wests back in the contest when the centre crashed over in the corner to make it 8-4.

With just two minutes left on the clock, the Dragons made the Tigers pay for a lacklustre finish to the half with Stanley crashing over to send the Dragons into the sheds with a 14-4 lead.

The Tigers quickly made a match of it again when Chris Lawrence blazed through the pristine Kogarah Oval turf for the try of the night.

Lawrence sprinted 40m after a near-perfect Marshall pass before off-loading to Tuqiri, who ran over Soward for the second time in the match and slammed it down to make it 14-10.

Weyman's Origin dream was placed in doubt when he chased down Wade McKinnon, the fullback and slammed him into the turf in the 47th minute.

The night got worse for Weyman just minutes later when he was denied what would have been his greatest ever try. Backing up, the big man received the ball just metres out from the line but was grassed as he got the ball.

Priddis dived over on the next tackle but was denied by the video referee in what appeared to be a poor decision.

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Post by willow » Fri 25 Jun, 2010 11:51 pm

Dragons overpower Wests Tigers
AAP Fri, 25 Jun 2010 22:46

The St George Illawarra juggernaut rolled on but it wasn't all good news for the NRL ladder leaders with prop Michael Weyman almost certain to be rubbed out of Origin III thanks to a dangerous tackle in his side's 34-10 win over Wests Tigers on Friday night.

While Jamie Soward did his best to play himself into a sky blue jumper with a brilliant display, Weyman's chances of playing in the Origin dead rubber appear over after he was put on report for an ugly lifting tackle on Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon.

It may not have had the venom of Luke O'Donnell's piledriver on Darius Boyd in Origin II, but there is little doubt it was just as dangerous with Weyman sure to be eyeing a long stint on the sidelines.

It took the gloss off a wonderful performance from the hosts, particularly Soward who capped his effort with a brilliant individual try just before fulltime which had Queensland legend Wally Lewis singing his praises.

"If he's not picked in the NSW side at five-eighth, I'll be very, very surprised," Lewis said while commentating on the Nine Network.

The Dragons sensed they were in for a tough night when they opted for the penalty goal after 17 minutes which became 8-0 lead when Boyd finally broke his 2010 duck when he scythed through a poor Benji Marshall tackle for just his second try for the club.

Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon looked set to reply but served only to set himself up for a week of ribbing from teammates when his 70m run was terminated by a chasing Ben Creagh, Chris Lawrence saving his blushes with a brilliant put down in the corner to halve the lead.

If Marshall's miss in the lead-up to Boyd's try was bad it had nothing on his gaffe just before the break - an innocuous forward pass on halfway presenting the Dragons with an opportunity for Ben Hornby to set up Kyle Stanley's fifth try from as many top grade games.

The late letdown no doubt added fuel to coach Tim Sheens fiery halftime address, the Tigers playing like a team that had just been given a rev-up when Marshall and Lawrence combined to put Tuqiri away for his ninth try of the year from inside their own half.

Down by four points the Tigers were now full of running, Weyman's hit on McKinnon only adding to their impetus only for the last-play options which had plagued their play all night to again let down the visitors.

The methodical Dragons took their lumps and hit back in clinical fashion when Brett Morris touched back a Soward bomb for Ben Creagh to put the pink and whites - the Dragons wearing a pink v in recognition of women in league week - up by two converted tries.

Soward beat four defenders to kick-start early celebrations with Morris grabbing his customary four-pointer as fulltime sounded.

While Lewis said the time was right to blood Soward in Origin, Dragons mentor Wayne Bennett wasn't so sure.

"I don't see any point in throwing any player into the third State of Origin game that shouldn't be," Bennett said.

"It's not going to be a picnic and again it's just going to leave a lot of guys exposed and open to a lot of criticism.

"They're better off going with what they've gone with and see if they can just resurrect something."

Lewis, the five-eighth in the Team of the Century, claimed the Blues didn't have a better option.

"I don't understand what the NSW selectors are looking for or whether they're planning for the future of whether it's a long-term decision or a short-term, but either way I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be picked," Lewis said.

Soward admitted to being taken aback by Lewis' praise.

"It's pretty humbling coming from a bloke that I've admired my whole career," he said.

"It's not about Origin for me - it's about playing for the Dragons."

Despite the loss Sheens said Lawrence may have down enough to earn himself a NSW jumper.

"I think Chris can handle any level of football, it just comes down to what selectors are looking at but I think his form has been pretty good," Sheens said.

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Post by RatedRKO » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 12:31 am

Toothless Tigers no match for Dragons
It was a nervous start from the two teams featuring near full-strength line-ups
Priddis dived over on the next tackle but was denied by the video referee in what appeared to be a poor decision.
After reading that I thought this bloke has NO idea what hes talking about.

Then I seen:
* From: The Daily Telegraph
And it all makes sense.


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Post by willow » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 10:42 am

Dependable Dragons too good for roar talent of the Tigers
GLENN JACKSON
June 26, 2010

BLACK against white and, sure enough, these two teams are exact opposites. Predictable against unpredictable. The Dragons won out but, ultimately, we failed to learn much. Both teams played as most would have thought, but questions remain as to how much improvement is left in both sides leading into the final matches.

The Dragons, the deserved competition favourites, are predictable in a good way. That's not to say they are easy to stop. But they play a game that doesn't change a lot from week to week, highly drilled in defence and highly skilled in attack, without the out-and-out brilliance that some sides have. What is not so predictable is whether they have more gears available, because they will need them. There is a thought that the Dragons, while effective during the home-and-away rounds, are unable to produce premiership-winning football. That was certainly the case last season, when they were bundled out of the finals in straight sets.

But they have surely learnt from that. And the way they go about their football appears so cool and without much fuss that it would appear inevitable that there's more to give. And besides, defence like they have shown for most of the year will make them difficult to beat when the going gets tougher.

Much of their attack, especially in the attacking quarter, goes through fullback Darius Boyd. Remarkably, for someone who is credited with 12 try assists so far this season, he was yet to grab a try himself before last night.

He scored the first against the Tigers, relying on a poor defensive effort from Benji Marshall to do so, to give the Dragons an 8-0 lead, coming shortly after Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward had opened the scoring with an 18th-minute penalty goal.

The game seemed to open up as a result. Lote Tuqiri, who had fumbled an earlier Soward kick, this time produced an exceptional play from the five-eighth's bomb when he offloaded to fullback Wade McKinnon, who was eventually felled by second-rower Ben Creagh.

But the damage was done. Even well-drilled defences can break on the back foot, and centre Chris Lawrence found the reply on the half hour.

To beat the Dragons, you have to hold the ball better than them. The Tigers sold possession over on a number of critical occasions, exemplified when Marshall's forward pass from dummy-half allowed the Dragons to rumble downfield and enable centre Kyle Stanley to run in his fifth try in as many appearances.

The Tigers' unpredictability is well-documented, even though they won four in a row before last night's defeat. But there is still a feeling that with the precocious talent in their side they can improve significantly. Right now, they can vary from wonderful to awful. Even from game to game.

Their first half was a little like that; good and bad as the Dragons attempted to strangle them out of the contest. In the second half, though, the Tigers came to life. Marshall, who produced more bad than good in the first period, hit back himself, putting Lawrence through a gap. The centre did well to put Tuqiri over and haul the Tigers back into the contest.

It rattled the Dragons. McKinnon made another surge and Michael Weyman probably ended his Origin III hopes by spearing him into the turf. And then Marshall produced a wonderful tackle, dropping the much bigger Weyman inches from his own line.

It looked to be to no avail, as Luke Priddis darted over from dummy half, but the try was denied after Weyman was ruled to have held back Beau Ryan. But predictability, or more appropriately relentlessness, won out. Dragons winger Brett Morris, kept relatively quiet on the night, leapt high above Ryan and parried to Creagh. Soward finished the contest off in the final moments with a wonderful solo try, and Morris rubbed it in on the siren.

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