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The Dragons won a thrilling Anzac Day clash 28-24 in Round 8 last year, before the Roosters squared the ledger for the 2012 season with a convincing 26-10 victory at WIN Stadium in Round 22.

In the Anzac clash, the tri-colours looked home for all money when they led by eight points with just four minutes left on the clock before St George Illawarra unleashed a devastating finish that saw Matt Prior and Ben Creagh cross to steal the competition points.

The Dragons’ cause looked problematic when they trudged back to halfway following a Braith Anasta penalty goal in the 75th minute trailing 24-16. But then winger Jason Nightingale stole back the Steeden from a short-kick restart which triggered Prior’s four-pointer, before Ben Creagh crashed over from short range to score his second try of the afternoon inside the final minute.
The Roosters led 12-10 at halftime but extended their lead to 18-10 on the hour following a brilliant try to Mitchell Pearce and a conversion from Anasta.

The turning point came midway through the first stanza with the score tied at 6-all; the Roosters peppered the Dragons’ try line for five consecutive sets of six but could not make any impression, before Red V centre Matt Cooper scored a try against the run of play. The four-pointer snatched the Dragons an unlikely 10-6 lead in the 32nd minute before a try to Anthony Minichiello and conversion edged the home side ahead at oranges. 

Statistically there wasn’t a struck match between the teams, with the Dragons achieving a 52 per cent share of possession and completing just two more sets (28-26). The Roosters pegged back the Dragons with a deep kicking game (626 metres to 410 metres) while the Dragons missed 33 tackles to the Roosters’ 32.

However the Dragons dominated line-breaks 7-2 – with five-eighth Jamie Soward making a game-high two busts. The Roosters made 15 offloads to the Dragons’ 13.

Arguably best on ground was Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce (two try assists and a try), while teammate Anthony Minichiello made a game-high 17 runs, scored a try and made six tackle-breaks.

Playing centre for the Dragons Matt Prior scored a try, made 107 metres, four offloads and a line-break, while Soward chimed in with five tackle busts.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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