Dragons win first NRL premiership in 31 years

The chokers tag has now left those associated with the Dragons as they romped to an easy 32-8 win over the Roosters at ANZ Stadium.

Despite trailing 8-6 at half-time, and with the Roosters seemingly in control for most of the first-half, the Dragons stormed home and came away with an easy win.

Whether it was something supercoach Wayne Bennett said, or simply a case of the players realising that they had to step it up and fast, it worked.

The win takes Dragons coach Wayne Bennett to an amazing 7 premiership wins, and he has only further solidified his stance as the game’s most successful coach.

Their premiership win helped to ease some of the pain from their heart-breaking 2009 finals series, in which the Dragons who were minor premiers, were knocked out in consecutive weeks.

The game had a few controversial moments for both teams, with both the Roosters and Dragons perhaps lucky to be awarded certain tries.

Brett Morris on his effort to keep the ball in play appeared to have both feet over the line, an incident which was not picked up by the touch-judge.

A Braith Anasta try was also questionable after the ball bounced off of Soward’s leg, and rolled forward for Anasta to score.

The rule states that if a player knocks the ball onto an opposing player, and it travels forward, or if they regain control of the ball, then it is deemed a knock-on.

After revealing a plan to gift the Dragons with a premiership within three years, Wayne Bennett certainly fulfilled it, winning one in just his second year with the club.

“It’s huge for the club … it’s been a long time coming for them,” Bennett said.

“They’re a great club and they’ve had a lot of disappointment over a long period of time, they’ve been much maligned.

“For me personally it’s all about them, I’m so pleased for them.”

When asked the tough question as to which grand final meant more, and were there any differences between them:

“The difference here is it’s been 31 years since they won a premiership, in Brisbane we went three or four years maximum after we won it in 92.

“There was a lot more emotion out there tonight for different reasons and for whatever reason it’s been so long coming.

“They’re much maligned , they feel the pain the players, the criticism. It was a very emotional victory lap there tonight.”

Emotion was running wild at Dragons camp, and for the players, there was only one man who could take all of the credit in this case.

“Greatest coach of all time – full stop,” said five-eighth Jamie Soward, who silenced his own critics in a coming-of-age performance.

“Was there any doubt? (he was the best) – seven from seven – pretty fair record.”

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