St George Illawarra Dragons centre Euan Aitken

Only just did the St George Illawarra Dragons hold on for a historic fifth straight win to start the season. 

Though it almost did not happen, as a late fightback by the South Sydney Rabbitohs threatened to derail it.

In control at 16-2 with nine minutes to go, the Dragons took their foot off the pedal.

In doing so, they allowed the Bunnies a chance to get back into the game and they took it.

A Cody Walker try that turned the game and a further try to captain Greg Inglis set up a grandstand finish.

The Rabbitohs had a further chance to potentially win but a crucial dropped pass by Walker ended those chances.

The Dragons 5-0 start is now officially the best in the club’s history and it would take a brave person to bet against them making the finals.

On 12 previous occasions when a team has started the year 5-0, only once have they not made the finals – this was the 2006 North Queensland Cowboys side.

Souths looked shaky under the high ball early but their defence held firm to begin with after a try-saver on Dragons winger Nene Macdonald.

As the Dragons scored their points to get the lead, the Rabbitohs threw everything they had at the Red V.

Though as hard as they tried, they continued to come up short against a resolute Dragons outfit.

The two late Souths tries then came but it was too little, too late, in the end.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor believes this sort of game is not one that his side would have won last year.

With their newfound tenacity and resolve, he knows that by winning it, the club are heading in the right direction.

“We wouldn’t have won that game last year and in fact we didn’t win that game against Souths last year, whereas we did this year, so that tells me we are going in the right direction,” McGregor said.

“These games are what you can build your year on, we know we can play footy when we have got it but defensively we have kept another team under 16 points, which is our goal.

It’s as good as winning by 50, that’s for sure.”

Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold was proud of his side’s efforts but knows they cannot keep relying on late flurries to get back into a game or win it.

“We won’t give in. That’s the big take away, we kept fighting to the death and that’s all of us in the group,” he said.

“We keep fighting and give ourselves a chance at the back end of the game – that’s what I said at halftime again tonight.

“With three minutes to go, we had a penalty on their line and we could have stolen the result but we just weren’t good enough tonight.

“You can’t keep relying on that every weekend.”

Player of the Game:

3. Euan Aitken

2. Cody Walker

  1. Matt Dufty

By ricky

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