Dragons Lose Charity Shield
The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 38-20 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield match at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.
The Dragons scored four tries courtesy of Peter Mata'Utia's double as well as Jason Nightingale and Adam Quinlan in front of the 14,633 in attendance.
Head Coach Steve Price Dragons confirmed centre Charly Runciman will be starting inside-edge position after replacing the injured Gerard Beale.
Additionally, Dragons sextet Adam Quinlan, Peter Mata'utia, Michael Witt, Yaw Kiti Glymin, Craig Garvey and Josh Ailaomai have all been included on the interchange bench with the Illawarra Cutters Ryan Carr also being named on the interchange bench.
Dragons players ran onto the field wearing black armbands in honour of CRL chairman Jock Colley who was president of the organisation from 2008 before passing away at the age of 61.
The home side attempted to start strongly with utility Leeson Ah Mau going over for what was thought to be a try in the fifth minute before it was ruled held up.
The Dragons continued to assert their strength containing the Rabbitohs to their half for the next three minutes before the Rabbitohs took control and went over for a try in the form of Beau Champion in the 8th minute off a Sam Burgess kick.
Souths centre Bryson Goodwin successfully converted to take their score to 6-0.
It took the visitors two minutes to dominate the scoreboard with Bryson Goodwin taking the ball over for another four points.
Goodwin successfully converted his own try extending the Rabbitohs lead to 12-0.
The 18th minute saw five-eighth Gareth Widdop get the ball to pass long to winger Brett Morris only to fumble it forward and miss the chance to put some points on the board for the home side.
It was two minutes later when the ball found its way to winger Jason Nightingale’s hands to be taken over the line and open scoring for the Dragons.
New recruit and five-eighth Gareth Widdop attempted to convert from the eastern sideline but swung wide to keep the scores at 12-4.
The visitors were quick to respond with Rabbitohs winger Lote Tuqiri flying over the tryline to extend their lead to 16 in the 25th minute.
Goodwin attempted the conversion from 21 metres out but was unsuccessful to keep the scoreboard at 16-4.
The Rabbitohs continued to control the game with utility Joe Picker falling over the line to take their lead to 20-4 in the 30th minute.
Another successful conversion from Goodwin extended the visitors’ lead to 22.
As the half-time siren sounded Dragons fullback Josh Dugan attempted to add some flair to an otherwise flat game with a grubber kick down the middle of the field but missed the collection when he tripped over a fallen Rabbitoh.
Three minutes into the second half saw Rabbitohs fullback Greg Inglis go down after clashing head with prop Dan Hunt.
After Inglis was removed from the field, Souths gained the upper hand and went over for their first try of the second half when Chris McQueen caught the ball in goal.
Goodwin was unsuccessful in his attempt at conversion to keep the scoreboard at 26-4.
The Rabbitohs proved to be too strong when the Dragons lost the ball twice in the visitors’ half within four minutes.
The visitors continued to dominate when hooker Issac Luke fell over the tryline in the 51st minute to take their score to 30.
Centre Bryson Goodwin was successful converting from in front of the goalposts to take the score to 32-4.
Fullback Josh Dugan was injured when Rabbitohs forward George Burgess crossed over to put another four points on the board in the 58th minute.
Goodwin proved to be a worthy goalkicker when he successfully converted to take the visitors’ lead to 38-4.
Young gun Adam Quinlan took over the role of fullback when Dugan was sent from the field with an assumed knee injury.
Dragons centre Peter Mata’utia scored in the 62nd minute to take the Dragons score to 8.
Widdop was unsuccessful in his second conversion attempt to keep the scoreboard at 38-8.
Quinlan proved his worth in the fullback position when he crossed the stripe for a try in the 69th minute to take their score to 12.
Widdop was successful in his conversion attempt to shrink the visitors lead to 38-14.
The Dragons put up a fight in the remaining three minutes and went over in the form of Mata’utia for the second time of the match.
Widdop successfully converted from the western sideline to take the scoreboard to 38-20.
St George Illawarra Dragons 20. Tries: Mata’utia (2), Nightingale, Quinlan Goals: Widdop (2/4).
South Sydney Rabbitohs 38. Tries: Champion, Goodwin, Tuqiri, Picker, McQueen, Luke, Burgess. Goals: Goodwin (5/7).
The Dragons are auctioning their player-worn Charity Shield jerseys and Red V Members and supporters alike can make a bid on their favourite player’s worn-jersey simply by clicking here!
Each successful bidder will have their respective player-worn jersey signed by that player!
All proceeds from the auction will go directly to the St George and Wollongong Hospitals.
The auction commences directly after the final whistle via Dragons Online Auctions on Saturday, February 22 (7.00pm) and will close on Thursday, February 27 (9.00pm).
Click here to March With Us in 2014!