Not content with scoring his 100th career try, Dragons flyer Brett Morris produced an early contender for try of the year as the Dragons held out a desperate Sharks outfit 14-12 at Remondis Stadium.
- Dragons showing the fight they were missing in 2013
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The incumbent NSW and Australian winger literally took flight in pursuit of a Gareth Widdop chip kick, gathering the ball above his opposite Jonathon Wright before contorting his body mid-air and touching down centimetres inside the dead-in-goal line while parallel to the turf.
Morris's spectacular four-pointer came seconds before halftime and gave the Dragons a 14-6 lead at the break, a fair result after they had dominated both possession and field position against a plucky Sharks outfit.
It was also Morris who opened the visitors' account in just the fourth minute, finishing off a Dragons attacking move like he had done 99 times before as he crashed over in the left corner for the milestone four-pointer to give the Dragons an early 4-0 lead, as Gareth Widdop's sideline conversion attempt striking the upright and bouncing away.
The Sharks struck back soon after when veteran John Morris proved slipperier than a greased-up used car salesman when he slid between the lacklustre line defence of the Dragons from dummy half in the 12th minute.
Not to be outdone on the opposite wing fellow flyer Jason Nightingale climbed over his opposite Sosaia Feki to pluck a Sam Williams cross-field kick out of the air and wrestle back a two-point advantage, before Morris's spectacular second sent the Dragons into the sheds with some welcome breathing space on the scoreboard.
Both sides took to the air throughout the second half, as Todd Carney and Widdop repeatedly targeted their opposition's back three with probing kicks that kept the video referees busy, with potential tries from Leeson Ah Mau and Daniel Holdsworth being disallowed as high balls proved difficult to take in swirling wind.
For the second time in as many weeks the Dragons weathered a 20-minute period of extreme pressure as the Sharks had plenty of opportunities at their line, though the home side wasted plenty of chances, completing just 14 of 22 sets in the second stanza.
Eventually though the weight of possession against the undefeated Dragons told when John Morris crashed over for his second try with 12 minutes to go off the back of good leadup work from Carney and Michael Gordon, setting up a thrilling finish after Gordon's conversion closed the score to 14-12.
Both sides kept fans on the edge of their seats as the final 10 minutes featured plenty of dropped ball, contentious penalties and heart-in-mouth moments, but it was the Dragons who ultimately triumphed for the sixth time in the past nine clashes between the local rivals.
St. George Illawarra Dragons 14 (B Morris 2, J Nightingale tries; G Widdop goal) defeated Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 12 (J Morris 2 tries; M Gordon 2 goals) at Remondis Stadium. Crowd: 14,821