Russell Packer of the Dragons is tackled by Jacob Liddle (left) and Kyle Lovett of the Tigers.
Russell Packer of the Dragons is tackled by Jacob Liddle (left) and Kyle Lovett of the Tigers. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Origin reps help Dragons to victory over Tigers

ST GEORGE Illawarra's star representatives have fired to help the Dragons to a scrappy 16-12 win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday afternoon at ANZ Stadium.

NSW Blues stars Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell showed little signs of the Origin slugfest of three nights before, but it was returning skipper Gareth Widdop who was particularly electric, scoring all the Dragons' first half points to send his side 12-2 up heading into the break.

Going into the game, the injury-hampered Dragons had lost three of their previous four games, but with their stars back on deck, the result cemented their spot in the top four behind Melbourne and Cronulla.

The only sour note for the Red V came midway through the second half when Frizell left the field with a rib injury and didn't return.

The Tigers were gallant in defeat, with both the team's Origin duo Aaron Woods and James Tedesco putting in impressive performances.

Both sides traded blows in the opening minutes before Kurt Mann beat a number of defenders and passed to Gareth Widdop who sliced through some soft defence to score out wide.

 

James Tedesco of the Tigers is tackled by Josh Dugan of the Dragons.
James Tedesco of the Tigers is tackled by Josh Dugan of the Dragons. DAN HIMBRECHTS

The Red V thought they'd scored one of the team tries of the season when Josh Dugan dived over next to the posts in the 25th minute, but the bunker ruled Jack de Belin was offside in the lead-up.

The home side didn't have to wait long to officially grab another after Widdop scooped up a loose ball from Kyle Lovett and raced 60 metres to score.

The Tigers got their first points of the game on the stroke of halftime through way of a penalty after Joel Thompson was put on report for a trip on Tedesco.

Off the back of two penalties, the Tigers got themselves right back into the contest when Tedesco threw a bullet-like pass out to Kevin Naiqama who touched down in the corner.

The Dragons hit back when Hame Sele put Frizell through a yawning hole in the defence.

A late try from Tigers utility Michael Chee Kam narrowed the margin to four points, but the Dragons were able to close it out and hang on for the win.

Tigers brand new recruit Tuimoala Lolohea jumped straight into five-eighth after his mid-season move from the Warriors and appeared dangerous in attack, but missed a couple of bad tackles with the Dragons particularly targeting him in defence.

"I don't know that five-eighth is his best position," league legend Peter Sterling told Triple M NRL.

News Corp Australia


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