Dragons remain in the top eight after win v Panthers albeit unconvincingly

Gareth Widdop

A win is a win but the St George Illawarra Dragons know they will have work to do, after a scrappy, unconvincing win against a dogged and defiant Penrith Panthers side.

Emerging 19-12 victors after trailing during the second half, the Dragons will face nervous waits both from other results this week and for three of their players that were put on report.

The Panthers, for the most part, were the better side throughout the game, though they failed to capitalise on a lot of their chances and that was what allowed the Dragons to take the lead when they did.

The player likely to be in the most strife is Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell, who was put on report for tripping. Euan Aitken (knee to the head) and Jake Marketo (dangerous throw) are also expected to come under scrutiny.

The game was a tense affair throughout, locked up at 10-10 and then 12-12, before a Gareth Widdop try and a field goal by Benji Marshall put the game beyond doubt.

Collectively, the two teams made 27 handling errors, conceded 16 penalties and 42 missed tackles, further illustrating the scrappy and at times dour nature of the clash.

There was further bad news for the Panthers, with lock Elijah Taylor likely to be out for the rest of the season with a broken arm.

His side may have won but McGregor knows that there was very little to take out of the clash apart from the two points.

“It was a scratchy win,” McGregor said.

“But it was a win and we’ve won three of our last four so that’s really important.

“It keeps us alive but we’ll push that aside and look forward to the Titans.”

The errors cost his side and Panthers coach Ivan Cleary knows they did not respect the ball.

“We kept turning the ball over – that’s what we did,” Cleary said.

“Every time we had momentum or looked like something was going to happen, someone made a bad decision.

“We just didn’t want to grind away.”

Panthers captain Jamie Soward echoed his coach’s sentiments.

“It’s tough when you don’t respect the ball and you want to throw offloads. I’m guilty of it as well and you get beat,” Soward said.

“We just didn’t do it in the second half. If we had held the ball we would have won.”

Player of the Game:

3. Gareth Widdop
2. Jack de Belin
1. Lewis Brown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *