Soward ends Dragons' 11-year wait for Title shot

He has done it before, but never had it meant so much as Dragons' five-eighth Jamie Soward potted a field goal against the Tigers last Night (Sat, Sept 25) to end St George Illawarra's 11-year wait for a second shot at their first Telstra Premiership Grand Final.

Soward was ice-cool as he clinically slotted his fifth field goal for the season from 33m out in the 74th minute to break the 12-12 deadlock and book his team's finals berth against the Roosters at ANZ Stadium next The Roosters won the other Preliminary Final 32-6 against the Titans on Friday night.

The scores were locked at 12-12 from the 50th minute and Soward's field goal gave the Dragons the lead (13-12) for the first time to end the Tigers' bid for their first Grand Final berth since their premiership victory in 2005.

Soward said he was just doing his job as he gave the Dragons the opportunity to avenge 11 years of Grand Final anguish, starting with their controversial Premiship loss to the Storm in 1999; followed by Preliminary Final losses in 2005 and 2006; and a straight sets last year despite winning the minor premiership in their first season under six-time title-winning coach Wayne Bennett.

"I did what I was expected to do," Soward told the Nine Network after the match in front of 71,212 fans at ANZ Stadium.

"I am expected to make those plays. I'll be soaking this in. I haven't been there (Grand Final) before."

The Dragons had to rely on their characteristic grinding style of play to snatch victory from the Tigers who led 12-6 at half-time.

Rookie halfback Robert Lui had a hand in both of the Tigers' first-half tries, setting up experienced winger Lote Tuqiri to score in the 17th minute; and scoring himself under the posts four minutes before half-time.

The Dragons scored their tries in the 28th and 50th minutes through Jeremy Smith and Jason Nightingale respectively.

The only downside for the Dragons was an altercation in the 21st minute between hooker Dean Young and his Tigers counterpart Robbie Farah. Young is alleged to have made a racially derogatory remark which is likely to be investigated by the NRL Match Review Committee as part of their normal review process tomorrow.