Dragons defence overwhelms poor Roosters side on ANZAC Day

St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Ben Hunt

Rugby league is never short on controversy and it reared its ugly head in the St George Illawarra Dragons win over the Sydney Roosters. 

On a day that means so much to so many, ANZAC Day, the two rivals did battle in the first of two games.

With the Dragons emerging 24-8 winners, it was a decision to award Nene Macdonald a try that had everyone up in arms.

In what seemed to be a great try-saver by Roosters half Cooper Cronk, it was instead given a try.

Appearing to lose control of the ball, the bunker gave the all-clear and thus awarded the try.

When asked about the decision, NRL referees boss Bernie Sutton said:

“Having reviewed the decision it can be seen that the ball rotates, which indicates possession has been lost,” Sutton said.

In the end, it was the Gareth Widdop and the Ben Hunt show as the latter scored a great individual try.

Try as they might, the Roosters were unable to effectively breakdown a resolute Dragons defence.

It was ominous early as the Dragons went 100m in their first set to score through Macdonald.

Despite penalties, knock downs and so much more, the Roosters instead opted for two points.

Then, with just mere seconds left in the half, Hunt’s magic feet saw him scoot over for the Dragons to lead 12-2.

The Dragons went further ahead when Tariq Sims barged over.

Though the Roosters would hit back as James Tedesco and Luke Keary combined for Latrell Mitchell to score.

It was in vain, however, as Macdonald scored his second try, the controversial one.

The win cements the Dragons spot in the top two for another week.

Despite the controversy surrounding the Dragons try, Roosters coach Trent Robinson says he does not care.

“To be honest, I don’t care,” Robinson said.

“I don’t think it was a try, simply, but we have got to get some stuff right for ourselves.”

Although the application is there in Robinson’s eyes, the execution is lacking for his side.

“That’s us pushing them to where we want them to get to but then the subtleties need to come off the back of that,” he said.

“These boys are working hard in that area and it is putting a lot of pressure on our game at the moment.

We are just not applying enough pressure in that area on opposition teams.”

With Hunt the difference between the two sides, he drew praise from Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

“To start the game you’d be looking for field position but if they see anything they’re allowed to go out there and execute it,” McGregor said.

“Benny did that. He was looking to put the ball deep in the corner or high in the air, it opened up for him, he created something, we reacted and got a try.

Player of the Game:

3. Ben Hunt

2. Tariq Sims

  1. Luke Keary

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