The St George Illawarra Dragons won a hard fought local derby 14-12 against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in front of 14,821 fans at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night.
Representative winger Brett Morris starred on the night with two inspirational tries with defence again playing a key role for the visitors.
The Dragons scored all their points in the opening and managed to hold on in the second half to record victory in the match that means so much to supporters of both Clubs.
The honour of first try of the night went to Dragons winger Brett Morris and fittingly it was his 100th try in the NRL at the ground his made his NRL debut in 2006.
Morris received the cut-out pass from Widdop who crashed over in the corner with Video Referees Bernard Sutton and Matt Rodwell confirming the milestone. Widdop’s conversion hit the upright bring to an end his 100 percent kicking record over the first two games.
The Sharks first points came off the back of penalty for off-side against the Dragons. The Sharks marched down-field and dummy half John Morris caught the Dragons napping, diving over in between Tyson Frizell and Gareth Widdop in the 13th minute. Michael Gordon converted to give the home-team the lead 6-4.
Morris and the Dragons faithful thought that he has his 101st try in the 24th minute only to be denied by the Video Referees who deemed Morris’ elbow touched the sideline before he grounded the ball.
The Dragons only had to wait a further four minutes when opposite winger Jason Nightingale flew above Sharks winger Sasaia Feki to gather a cross-field kick from half-back Sam Williams. Widdop was again denied by the upright, the Dragons again taking the lead 8-6.
The Dragons again went close five minutes before the break when Widdop created the opportunity and space for Quinlan who was unable to take the pass just two meters out with the line wide open.
The Video Referees were called in again for Morris in the final seconds of the first half who scored what could be argued as the best of his career. Morris leaped up to gather a Widdop kick and dive down hands first with his body outside of the field to successfully plant the ball down right in front of the ecstatic Dragons fans. Widdop didn’t miss with his third attempt and the Dragons headed to the break deservedly leading 14-6.
The second half was a real arm wrestle and no points came until the 70th minute. Smart play and quick hands down the short side from the home team saw Morris cross for his second try of the match with the video referees again called in to play. Gordon converted to bring the Sharks to within two of the Dragons, 14-12 which is how the scores remained.
Dragons14: Tries: Morris 2, Nightingale Goals: Widdop
Sharks 12: Tries: Morris 2 Goals: Gordon 2