The St George Illawarra Dragons have a storied rivalry against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. The following throwbacks to these three games are a reflection of this thrilling local derby.
St George Illawarra Dragons 24 defeated Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 8
Preliminary final. Sunday, September 19, 1999.
The Dragons' first season as a joint-venture was perhaps one of its most enjoyable to date. Anthony Mundine would make it a certainty with a special second half hat-trick.
Cronulla's Mat Rogers would kick the Sharks to an early lead before David Peachey helped extend their lead to eight come the break.
Cue Choc. Mundine would have his first in the 43rd minute courtesy of a run more typical of a front-rower.
10 minutes later, he'd have his second four-pointer following a handy chip back inside from now Knights coach Nathan Brown.
Luke Patten would put the result beyond doubt in the 67th minute before Mundine completed his hat-trick with a front flip to boot in the final two minutes.
Current coach Paul McGregor would captain the Red V on the day against his opposite number, fisherman and eliminated Survivor battler Andrew Ettinghausen.
St George Illawarra Dragons 20 defeated Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16
Round 2. Thursday, March 15, 2018
Southern Cross Group Stadium
This game certainly isn't the most memorable across the local derby's history but will always be remembered for Nene Macdonald's freakish first half try.
It didn't start in the greatest fashion for the Red V either given tries to Jayson Bukuya and Sosaia Feki put the Sharks out to a 14-0 lead after half hour.
Macdonald would eventually make his mark in the 33rd minute when he leaped high above Valentine Holmes to grasp a Gareth Widdop cross-field kick.
Commentator Matt Thompson would yell instantaneously "I don't think so" but quickly changed his tune on first replay – the Papua New Guinean having the foresight to pull both legs off the ground before planting the ball down.
Second half tries to Tyson Frizell and Euan Aitken would put the Dragons ahead finally in the 57th minute. Although Jason Nightingale's sin bin would put a cat among the pigeons as scores were then levelled at 16-all.
Two penalty goals from Widdop would tip the game in the Dragons' favour by full-time.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28 defeated Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22
Qualifying final. Saturday, September 10, 2005
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
The old McIntyre finals football system would pit the second-placed Dragons against the seventh-placed Sharks at WIN Stadium, Wollongong in 2005.
Points were hard to come by in the first half as the Sharks held a tight 6-4 lead at the break – the floodgates would open come the second half however in front of a 19,608-strong crowd (a record attendance that still remains).
Dragons centre Colin Best's double was boosted by respective four-pointers from Trent Barrett, Wes Naiqama and Dean Young. Michael Ennis would kick four goals on the evening.
Now Sharks co-captain Paul Gallen (a try-scorer on the night) is the only individual left currently playing from this absolute thriller of a game.