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The Dragons pulled off a 32-16 win over the Rabbitohs in their Knock-On Effect NSW Cup meeting at Redfern Oval on Saturday afternoon behind a Cooper Roberts double.

It took an hour for the Rabbitohs to eventually crack the Dragons’ line after the visitors jumped out to a 20-0 lead.

The Rabbitohs’ late flurry proved not enough however with Ben Woolf’s men holding firm to put an end to their three-game losing streak.

Savelio Tamale sped into space down the left flank in the opening exchanges to send the Rabbitohs an early warning shot before an eventual drop put an end to the Dragons’ raid.

The first points of the afternoon came through Tamale’s wing partner Roberts who took in a Lyhkan King-Togia ball to stroll over after the Rabbitohs’ left edge had been stripped for numbers.

Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Highlights: Round 17

Fa’amanu Brown slotted the extras to make it 6-0 the way of the visitors just 11 minutes in before Hamish Stewart was placed on report the following set for a dangerous tackle on Rabbitohs fullback Bayleigh Bentley-Hape.

The Dragons’ second came not long after in near identical fashion to their first with King-Togia crafting a cut-out ball for Roberts to scurry over in the right-hand corner.

Brown’s conversion attempt smacked into both uprights and out as the score remained 10-0 in the visitors’ favour.

Roberts threatened to snatch the Dragons’ third the following set going aerial to take in a Jonah Glover bomb only for the ball to eventually hit the deck.

Brown jinked his way over to extend the Red V’s lead further a half-hour in before converting his own try to make it a 16-point advantage.

Connor Muhleisen tore into the backfield the very next set to continue the Dragons’ momentum only for the Rabbitohs to come up with a needed kick defusal several plays later and end the possession.

The Dragons were gifted an early, second-half opportunity thanks to the kick-off travelling out on the full and they obliged with Hayden Buchanan steaming through off a King-Togia short ball for his first try at Knock-On Effect NSW Cup level.

It proved a familiar sight for the duo whose dangerous partnership produced a bulk of points for the Steelers at SG Ball Cup level earlier in the year.

Haele Finau was placed on report mid-way through the second period for a high shot which sparked a push-and-shove.

The Rabbitohs finally broke through the Dragons’ defensive line an hour in in through big man Billy Tsikrikas who found some space mid-field and outran the cover to score.

They went back-to-back the following set through winger Leon Te Hau to surge back into the contest entering the final stages.

The hosts steamed straight back onto the attack after their fifth-tackle option yielded six more tackles only for a crunching Brown hit to dislodge the ball and earn the Dragons possession.

Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Highlights: Round 17

The Dragons managed to stop the bleeding through Jonah Glover who scooped up a Rabbitohs error coming off their own line and dove over with Brown’s conversion extending the lead back beyond a pair of converted tries.

The visitors grabbed another the next set through Tamale who pounced on a Brown grubber in the left corner to seal the result for Woolf’s squad.

The Rabbitohs grabbed a try after the hooter, but it proved in vain with the Red V holding on for a key win away from home.

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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