It is a performance that he can be proud of and one that kept his side in the game against the much more fancied Canterbury Bulldogs side, but despite the best efforts of St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan, it was the Dogs who came out on top with a 39-20 win over the Dragons.
Dugan, who scored 2 tries in the first half and gave his side some confidence heading into the second half, was easily the Dragons best player – though his side could not match that intensity they had found late in the first half, as the last 30 minutes of the second half was all one-way traffic.
Led by bullocking forward Sam Kasiano and Tony Williams and backed up by the crafty play of halves Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson, it was a second-half romp for the Bulldogs as they cruised to victory in the end.
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler admits that his side let themselves down in the first half and that they had to work tirelessly to swing the pendulum back in their favour.
“We probably Pokies let ourselves down a little bit … I think they had six penalties in a row which made it really difficult,” Canterbury coach Des Hasler said of his side’s mid-game slump.
“It was difficult for us to build momentum and then when we were down their end a couple of times we squandered a couple of opportunities.
“Once we got a bit of footy in the second half we were able to get on a bit of a roll.”
Despite two stellar individual tries from Josh Dugan and a performance to boot, Dragons coach Steve Price was left fuming with his side’s performance.
With a win needed to keep their faint finals hopes alive, he was furious with how his side let the game slip away.
“20-8 up, we started to play like a footy team that was behind and that was the most frustrating thing,” Price said.
“We started to throw balls out of our arse as opposed to playing field position, kicking long.
“We didn’t play with any smarts at all.”
3. Sam Kasiano
2. Trent Hodkinson
1. Tony Wiliams