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Dragons break 32-year drought

Dragons break 32-year drought (Photo - NSWRL)
Dragons break 32-year drought (Photo - NSWRL)

Dragons break 32-year drought

Author : Tayla Micallef

Dragons break 32-year drought

The St George Dragons have secured their first UNE SG Ball Cup Premiership in 32 years after defeating the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 40-18 at today’s Grand Final at CommBank Stadium.

The Dragons drought stretched back to 1992 but today they also secured the club’s fourth Under 19s premiership.

“We were well aware of it being such a big occasion for the club,” Dragons coach and former Bulldogs NRL player, Willie Talau, said after the win.

“Hopefully this is a reflection of the direction the whole club is heading.

“I’m happy we got to showcase our skills.”

They did that in an eight tries to four win, watched by St George Illawarra NRL coach Shane Flanagan.

Dragons wingers Jesse Williams and Zachariah Nachar both bagged doubles while five-eighth Shadi Hammoud had the ball on a string with his kicking game being a key factor in the Dragons win.

St George back rower Jacob Halangahu was named Player of the Match while Bulldogs captain Mitchell Woods was named Player of the Series.

Player of the Match: Dragons player Jacob Halangahu. Photo: Bryden Sharp

Player of the Match: Dragons player Jacob Halangahu. Photo: Bryden Sharp

The Bulldogs started the game strong in attack and wasted no time opening their scoreboard, with a try in the opening minute of the game.

Working their way to the 10-metre line, the ball was quickly shifted out to the left before a nice flick pass from fullback Roy Tatupu found winger Hamish Wilson, who scored in the corner (4-0).

It didn’t take the Dragons long to draw level, off the back of a penalty St George found themselves in great field position.

Sending the ball out to the right, Hammoud sent a cut out pass to Nachar who scored in the corner (4-4).

Holding all the momentum the Dragons went on to post four unanswered tries in 27 minutes to take their lead out to 26-4 heading into the break.

St George started the second half how they finished the first, with strong running which saw the Red-V players march their way up the field on each set.

The score was extended in the 37th minute through centre Lyric Craft-Te Moananui regathering the ball off a fifth-play kick before fending off a Bulldogs defender to score (32-4).

Off the back of a Bulldogs knock on, the Dragons were back in Bulldogs territory once again.

Quick hands from the Dragons fullback Tyler Peckham-Harris saw the No.1 send a quick pass out ball to Nachar who crossed for his second of the day (36-4).

The Bulldogs found the line for the second time in the game in the 36th minute when winger Ratu Rinakama found space out on the left edge to race down the sideline to score (36-8).

With 16 minutes remaining the Dragons were not finished scoring another four-pointer through centre David Afu, who pushed out the lead even further.

Two late tries to the Bulldogs brought the final score to 40-18.

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