Dragons Overcome Warriors
The St George Illawarra Dragons defeated the New Zealand Warriors 31-12 at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday.
The Dragons scored five tries in another promising attacking display orchestrated by Gareth Widdop and Sam Williams but it was their defensive efforts that won them the match.
The game saw the Video Referee called in to play for almost every try and possible try with both teams having four-pointers disallowed much to the dismay of the 14, 392 fans.
Warriors high profile recruit Sam Tomkins had the home fans cheering just four minutes into the game when he crossed in just the fourth minute, slicing through the Dragons right-hand defence. Shaun Johnson missed the conversion.
The Dragons hit-back in the 15th minute when hooker Mitch Rein dove over from dummy half off the back of strong lead-up work from Trent Merrin and Tyson Frizell.
Widdop kicked the Dragons in front 6-4.
Warriors centre Jerome Ropati put the home team in front with a try in the 28th minute that was converted by Johnson.
A penalty just a minute before half-time against Merrin afforded Johnson to extend the Warriors lead to 12-6 at the break.
The Dragons came out firing in the second half with dynamite fullback Adam Quinlan scoring a try and gave the last pass to Gerard Beale to give the Dragons two tries in as many minutes.
Widdop successfully converted to give the Dragons the lead 18-12.
The next points came to the Dragons in the 71st minute having repelled the Warriors attack for multiple sets.
Brett Morris survived a scare on his defensive try-line with Ben Henry deemed off-side having scored a try when Morris dropped the ball.
The next time the Warriors came down-field, Morris collected a grubber in almost exactly the same position and raced 100m to score untouched down-field.
Widdop was successful with all conversations again this week keeping his 100 per cent record in tact from last week and he also kicked a field goal.
Dragons captain Ben Creagh finished proceedings with a charge over the line on the whistle.
Widdop converted once more to make it 31-12.
St George Illawarra Dragons 31 defeated the New Zealand Warriors 12
St George Illawarra Dragons 31. Tries: Rein, Quinlan, Beale, Morris, Creagh. Goals: Widdop (5/5). Field Goal: Widdop (1/1).
New Zealand Warriors 12. Tries: Tomkins, Ropati. Goals: Johnson (2/2).