The Dragons scored two tries in the final three minutes to snatch a thrilling 28-24 victory over the Roosters in their traditional Anzac Day clash at Allianz Stadium in Round 8.
The Roosters edged to a 12-10 lead at the break after tit-for-tat scoring in the first half. St George Illawarra drew first blood when Ben Creagh crossed in the 12th minute after a Mitch Rein line bust from dummy-half, before Aidan Guerra returned fire for the home side in the 20th minute, pouncing on a Mitchell Pearce cross-field bomb for a 6-all scoreline.
The Dragons regained the lead when Matt Cooper gathered Daniel Vidot’s smart tap-back of a Ben Hornby chip kick to score, before Anthony Minichiello outleapt his opposite Brett Morris in front of the Dragons’ goal posts to make it two tries apiece heading to oranges.
Mitchell Pearce added to the Roosters’ tally on the hour when he followed through his kick into the Dragons’ in-goal and beat Brett Morris to the grounding, before a Michael Weyman rush from dummy-half made it 18-16 with 14 minutes remaining.
Braith Anasta’s try in the 69th minute and penalty goal with four minutes left for a 24-16 lead looked to be enough to secure the tricolours victory, before a remarkable comeback from the Red V. First Matt Prior scored after Jason Nightingale stole possession from the Dragons’ shallow restart kick, before Creagh sealed the win crossing off a Michael Weyman offload adjacent to the left upright with just 50 seconds remaining.
Although the Roosters had every right to feel ‘robbed’ the stats showed the Dragons deserved the two competition points: they dominated completions 80 per cent to 71 per cent and made five line busts to the Roosters’ one.
Weyman (a try and an assist) and Creagh (two tries, a line-break) were the Dragons’ stars while the Roosters were best served by halves Anasta and Pearce (two try assists).