It wasn’t quite the ‘perfect’ Dragons, but St George Illawarra still had way too much for the Wests Tigers at Kogarah last night. The home side winning 34-10 in front of nearly 17,000 Saints faithful.
It was billed as the attackers vs the defenders, with many feeling that the electric play of the Tigers with the ball could really test the well drilled Dragons outfit.
But as they have done all year, Wayne Bennetts men held strong. Despite St George Illawarra looking the better for the most part, the game was still in the balance until the hour mark – when a Saints touchdown put it beyond doubt.
Is it all good news for the Saints? Is this going to be the year?
Well, they are going beautifully – and with Mark Gasnier poised to come back, they have outstanding depth and will scare the hell out of every single other team.
Things are going so good, you just wonder if they will have some kind of form drop prior to during the NRL finals? Most believe that every NRL side experiences a dip in form, either through desire, luck, injuries or drama.
Do the Dragons need to get this out of the way now? The good news for them, is that at least they are virtually assured of a Top 2 finish. They’ll get their second bite at the cherry which is always handy. (Not to mention a week off in the finals if they win!)
The only hiccup was a citing of big bopper Michael Weyman, the NSW prop set to face the judiciary this week.
For the Tigers, while it was a loss – it gives them an indication of exactly where they are.
After 4 consecutive wins, they were flying high. But the gap between the ‘good’ sides and the ‘top’ sides is certainly there.
Wests are a talented football side, they have plenty going for them. But as coach Tim Sheens told his men last night – if you want to win the NRL Premiership you need to mix it up with teams like the Dragons.
Sheens described the Dragons as well drilled and physical. A fair description, the Dragons seem to play a ‘controlled’ physical match. They, unlike other teams can channel their aggression without overstepping the mark.
It’s not quite back to the drawing board for the Wests outfit, but they certainly need more work. (As do a bunch of other teams chasing the likes of the Dragons and Panthers.)
St George Illawarra 34 (D Boyd, B Creagh, B Morris, J Soward, K Stanley tries; J Soward 7 goals) Wests Tigers 10 (C Lawrence, L Tuqiri tries; B Marshall goal). Referees: S Hayne, J Robinson. Crowd: 16,574.