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St George Illawarra held on for a thrilling 19-16 win at WIN Jubilee Oval in Round 5 this year.
With both sides boating a certain level of inside knowledge of the other thanks to Wayne Bennett’s successful three-year stint at the Dragons between 2009-2011, it took quite some time for either side to crack, with St George Illawarra scoring the only try of the opening half through Brett Morris. In fact, more points came from Jamie Soward’s boot in the first 40 as the home side went to the break with a handy 9-0 lead.
That was slashed immediately after half-time when Boyd played cleverly on a play he once used at the Dragons by chiming into the backline on the left and running straight through a gap as his former teammates anticipated the cut-put pass to his winger.
Eleven minutes into the second half, the Dragons extended their lead once more when Soward threw a superb long ball for Jason Nightingale to cross untouched. Soon afterwards, Boyd had the ball dislodged by a big Nathan Fien hit and the Dragons quickly shuffled the ball out to Tyson Frizell who strolled over to make it 19-6.
Newcastle wasn’t done yet though, with Timana Tahu and James McManus combining on the left for Tahu to score and Uate finishing off a great team try in the dying seconds, but the clock was always a few steps ahead and St George Illawarra came away with their third win of the year.
The Dragons enjoyed 53 per cent possession and kicked 25 times to Newcastle’s 19.
Dan Hunt was superb for the home side with 213 metres and 28 tackles while three Knights – Kurt Gidley, Chris Houston and Robbie Rochow – surpassed 40 tackles.