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Berry quartet not enough as Red V fall late to Titans

A four-try haul courtesy of Teagan Berry was not enough to propel the Dragons to victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday afternoon with the Gold Coast Titans coming away with a 23-22 win.

Dragons skipper Raecene McGregor spent the final period of the first half off the field for a HIA but was cleared to return during the break before the Dragons lost Keele Browne early in the second half due to an ankle sprain.

20-gamer Berry’s absurd try-scoring run continued with the 21-year-old becoming the first Dragon in NRLW history to notch four tries in a single game including a 91-metre dazzler that helped the hosts nose their way in front for the first time midway through the second stanza.

An early error compounded by a penalty invited the visitors into Red V territory with Jaime Chapman crashing through off a fifth-tackle Lauren Brown short ball to make it 4-0.

Their second came minutes later with front-rower Jessika Elliston charging her way through off Brittany Breayley-Nati face ball to dive over underneath the posts.

Lauren Brown slotted her first conversion of the afternoon to improve the lead to double-digits.

Titans second rower Zara Canfield was taken from the field the corresponding set for a HIA but was able to return later in the piece.

Shaylee Bent found some space down the left flank soon after but was ran down by Berry to stunt the attacking raid with the visitors knocking the ball on the following play.

Evania Pelite snared another for the Titans 18 minutes in steaming through off a Lauren Brown inside ball and shoving away from the cover to grow the advantage to 14-0.

Destiny Mino-Sinapati made a break of her own down the left wing for the visitors, but a determined Shenai Lendill dragged her down from behind.

The Dragons were hit with a double blow 10 minutes prior to the break with Angelina Teakaraanga-Katoa and McGregor both taken from the field for HIAs within the space of several plays; the pair were, however, able to pass their assessments and return for the second half.

A penalty earnt the Red V strong field position and Berry obliged taking in a Tyla Nathan-Wong ball from 40 out, juking her way past a defender, and stepping her way through close to a half-dozen defenders in the backfield to add another superb, individual effort to her tally.

Jamilee Bright added the extra two to cut the deficit to eight for the hosts.

Pelite made another break off an inside ball less than a minute shy of the intermission before being dragged down by Berry.

An untouched Mino-Sinapati looked to have strolled over to score on the stroke of half-time off the back of it but spilt the ball over the line in the left corner.

Breayley-Nati was placed on report for a dangerous tackle before Browne went awfully close to snaring the Dragons’ second skying to reel in a McGregor chip but failing to make an attempt at grounding the ball due to an injury concern.

Browne was taken from the field in the aftermath before Berry charged onto a McGregor grubber down the left edge to plant the ball down for her second of the afternoon and cut the deficit to four.

Berry’s ridiculous afternoon continued minutes later with the classy fullback scooping up a Titans grubber from inside her own 10 and stepping her way past the chasers to tiptoe down the right touchline and race away untouched for yet another length-of-the-field pearler.

McGregor added the extras to give the Dragons their first lead of the contest with less than 20 minutes to play.

A strip call – which the Dragons unsuccessfully challenged – put the Titans on the attack moments later and Chapman skipped her way through the line and evaded the cover to bag her second and wrestle the lead back for the visitors.

A right-side shift saw centre Niall Williams-Guthrie send Karina Brown over in the corner to extend the Titans lead to six with six minutes remaining.

Berry grabbed her fourth try with three minutes on the clock charging in behind the ruck off a Tara McGrath-West play-the-ball to slam the ball down next to the uprights.

McGregor converted the try to tie the game at 22-apiece with under three minutes to play.

A Lauren Brown field goal with less than 60 seconds to play sealed a 23-22 win for the Titans as Jamie Soward’s squad suffered their second one-point heartbreak in three games.

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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