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Dragons held off by Roosters at SCG

The Dragons NRLW squad were unable to finish atop the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night at the Sydney Cricket Ground with the hosts claiming a 30-0 victory behind an Isabelle Kelly double.

Tries to Kelly and Tarry Aiken in the first eight minutes got the Roosters off to a dominant start before the Dragons mounted a fightback but were denied several tight tries later in the half.

The visitors’ defence held strong through extended periods of pressure but the floodgates ultimately opened with Kelly notching a second before a trio of tries in the space of five minutes ended the Red V’s chances.

Dragons fullback Teagan Berry showed off her defensive chops early mowing down a speedy Jessica Sergis just metres out from the line.

The hosts got over first however through opposite centre Kelly who found her way through off a short ball from Aiken down the left edge.

Jocelyn Kelleher nailed the conversion to make it 6-0 early in the piece.

A pair of quick penalties put the Roosters back on the attack and they took advantage of it through Aiken who stepped her way through the defence to plant the ball on the line.

Raecene McGregor forced an error off a kick to get the Dragons down the other end of the field and go within inches of their first points of the contest with Tyla Nathan-Wong diving on a fifth-tackle Berry grubber out of acting half only for video officials to rule a Dragons knock-on in the lead-up.

Sophie Clancy replaced Kaarla Cowan with 12 minutes to play in the opening half for her first taste of NRLW action.

Cortez Te Pou was denied a try soon after off a McGregor cut-out with officials ruling the pass forward.

Maddison Weatherall earnt the visitors a penalty with her first touch of the football but the Red V’s misfortunes continued with Ella Koster ruled offside on a kick that ended with a Roosters error on the try-line.

Roosters winger Brydie Parker was disallowed a try late in the first half due to a forward pass off the back of an Olivia Kernick break before some more desperate Dragons defence bucked an attacking raid on the siren as the hosts took a 12-0 lead into the break.

Roosters front rower Mille Boyle was placed on report for an apparent hip drop on Clancy early in the second stanza before Clancy was taken from the field moments later for a head injury assessment following a separate incident.

Kelly snatched her second off a left-side shift from 30 metres out to extend the Roosters’ lead to 16-0 with 20 minutes on the clock.

Parker dived over in the left corner for the Roosters’ fourth soon after off an Aiken cut-out to make it 20-0 with under 10 to go.

The hosts found their way over again the following set through interchange forward Otesa Pule who poured through a hole in the middle and swerved away from the cover defence to slide over.

They nabbed their third in five minutes through Jayme Fressard who crashed through off a Kernick short ball to make it 30-0.

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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