Australia Dragons hope scrappy win reignites season
Tigers secure upset win over the Dragons
The pressure on coach Michael Maguire eased a notch this afternoon after the Wests Tigers upset the St George Illawarra Dragons 16-8. The Tigers dominated a bunch of statistics but it wasn’t until late in the game that they pulled clear. In doing so, they secured their second win of the season. It didn’t start that way however with the Dragons on top early. They went ahead after five minutes through a Zac Lomax penalty goal. Just three minutes later, they extended their lead. After their right-side play yielded no results, Blake Lawrie and Corey Norman swung it left.
It was an ugly win but St George Illawarra coach Anthony Griffin is hoping Sunday's 32-12 thrashing of Canterbury will reignite his team's NRL season.
The Dragons have been languishing over the past month since their stunning win over Parramatta in round five, losing their next three games before Sunday night.
With a clash with Melbourne looming in Brisbane next weekend, Griffin wants the Dragons to show themselves that they can compete with the top sides in the competition.
"They (Melbourne) are the form team of the competition at the moment, the way they took apart South Sydney the other night," Griffin said.
The Warriors' future looks bright
Last week the Warriors were rumoured to have turned down the opportunity for a reunion with one of their former greats, Shaun Johnson. It came after they saw the future against Melbourne last week in Reece Walsh. And it was confirmed against the Cowboys that the Warriors have a special talent. The non-reunion with Johnson shows how far the Warriors have come as a club, and more importantly that they have a solid plan for the future.
"It'll be a good test for us.
"It's a test we need to take us to another level, you've got to be able to compete at that level.
"We've only been going nine weeks but we've been able to compete hard with the top four sides... the Roosters for a half and we beat Parramatta.
"What that looks like next week, we have a whole week to prepare for, we're just happy we got through tonight without any major issues."
Tryscorer Mathew Feagai is the only casualty from Sunday's victory, with the debutant winger suffering a rolled ankle that could see him miss Magic Round against the Storm.
Backline players Zac Lomax, Cody Ramsay, Brayden Wiliame and Jayden Sullivan are already in the casualty ward.
However, Mikaele Ravalawa is due to return from suspension for the clash.
Honesty session inspires Tigers, for now
Adam Doueihi says an honesty session with the group helped spur on a win for the Wests Tigers, but it will count for nothing if they can't back it up this week.Following a demoralising loss to Manly - their sixth from seven games which stirred up pressure on coach Michael Maguire - Tigers players organised a meet up to hash out what was going wrong.
The Dragons showed defensive resilience in the first half against the Bulldogs but put the icing on the win late in the second half when Will Hopoate was sin-binned for a professional foul.
Feagai and fellow debutant Junior Amone both scored as well as Corey Norman and Paul Vaughan, while fullback Matt Dufty claimed a double.
After three weeks of losses, the boost of positivity could revive what was a promising start to the year.
"It was a big night for our club," Griffin said.
"We've got a lot down injured at the moment so to bring two 19-year-olds in who haven't played first grade before... it was good for them individually, but for the team and our club to debut players and see them play like that is a good night."
Question that caused 'heartbroken' Dog to crack .
Canterbury Bulldogs halfback Kyle Flanagan has broken down in front of reporters after being cut from the 17.Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett pulled the former Shark and Rooster from the field as Canterbury trailed 6-0 at half-time, replacing the 22-year-old with young playmaker Lachlan Lewis.