Young Dragons Return To Winning Ways
The St George Illawarra Dragons were 36-24 winners over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Monday.
The Young Dragons scored six tries in the victory with prop Addin Founa-Blake bagging a double either end of the interval.
Dragons co-Head Coaches Ben Hornby and Dean Young made several changes to the team announced midweek with wingers Rowland Kotobalavu and William Tom named in lieu of Isaac Thompson and Sitiveni Moceidreke respectively.
Furthermore, Dragons second-rower Jack Bird shifted to the centre to replace Euan Aitken whilst Luciano Leilua and Bronson Haoni were named on the interchange.
The Dragons returned to the action after a week’s rest period courtesy of the bye but showed little cobwebs in the legs with a quick opening try in the third minute.
Dragons centre Dylan Lauri had been the recipient of some quick ball work through the middle to secure his name on the score sheet.
Dragons halfback Adam Clune converted to make it 6-0.
However, the hosts replied with two successful tries of their own to lead 10-6.
Rabbitohs winger Tom Hughes was the first to strike over the stripe in the ninth minute before prop PJ Los’e did likewise four minutes later.
Rabbitohs fullback Irae Simone was on target with one of his two goals.
Yet the visitors continued storming forward and equalised the lead through winger Rowland Kotobalavu in the 24th minute.
Clune converted to make it 12-10.
Not to be outdone, Dragons fullback Matt Dufty broke through the opposition pack to notch a four-pointer on the halfhour mark.
Clune converted again to make it 18-10.
It was a tense last five minutes prior to the interval with both teams scoring converted tries before the whistle blew.
Rabbitohs hooker Aaron Booth crossed first with four minutes remaining with Simone converted to make it 18-16.
But Dragons prop Addin Founa-Blake was not to be outdone scoring two minutes later with Clune adding the extras to make it 24-16.
The home side were the quickest off the mark when second-half play commenced with utility Cameron McGuiness scoring after seven minutes.
But in a similar way to his efforts in the first stanza, Fonua-Blake stormed over the line again for the Dragons to bank his second of the clash.
Clune converted to make it 30-20.
The visitors notched a final try through winger William Tom in the closing minutes of the encounter.
Clune converted once more to make it 36-20.
Not to be outdone, Souths followed suit through with Irae scoring a consolatory four-pointer on fulltime to make it 36-24.
St George Illawarra Dragons 36 defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 24.
St George Illawarra Dragons 36. Tries: Fonua-Blake (2), Lauri, Kotobalavu, Dufty, Tom. Goals: Clune (6/6).
South Sydney Rabbitohs 24. Tries: Hughes, Los’e, Booth, McGuiness, Irae. Goals: Simone (2/5).