NRL 2 years ago

It's a Knock Out – Dragons Win @ WIN

  • It's a Knock Out – Dragons Win @ WIN

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Trainer Ronnie Palmer calls for a stretcher after Will Smith of the Panthers received a head knock during the round four NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium on March 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • It's a Knock Out – Dragons Win @ WIN

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Jack De Belin and Tyson Frizell of the Dragons congratulate with Euan Aitken of the Dragons as he celebrates scoring a try during the round four NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium on March 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • It's a Knock Out – Dragons Win @ WIN

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Josh Dugan of the Dragons regathers the ball as he falls during the round four NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium on March 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • It's a Knock Out – Dragons Win @ WIN

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Tyson Frizell of the Dragons passes as he is tackled during the round four NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium on March 27, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

It was a Maradonna moment but Gypsy reckoned he'd spotted this one: Trent Merrin's limp wrist deflecting the ball into touch. Duges scored from the ensuing scrum and Widdop slotted the extras. What a perfectly scripted four minutes of Easter Sunday footy.

 And to think it came on the back of one of the league's once most reliable kickers missing an oh-so critical conversion for Penrith. It was enough to bring this grown Red V supporter to scof down another choccy goog.

For the Panthers, the loss couldn't have involved a nicer pair of turncoats. To be fair, you've got to hand it to big Trent and to little Jamie for that matter. There were no histrionics, fist pumps or fingers to the crowd from the two once loyal  Red V' ers when they  looked to have snatched the game with only minutes to spare. It was true sportsmanship.

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76 minutes in to the game and the scene in my lounge room  was decidedly different. Lying on the floor in front of the widescreen and with a  belly stuffed full of cheap chocolate, I was ready to throw up, just like  JDB.

The hooded No7 and mean 13 orchestrated a Penny Panthers try at the death which looked to have sealed the deal for those living at the foot of the mountains.

In the end, Soward's errant conversion and Merrin's last minute miss proved the difference in a game that showcased all the defensive intensity of the Dragons' gutsy win against the hapless rabbits.

There is still a lot to get right but two on the trot won by bees-dick margins are definitely worth birds in the hand. Mary said as much when noting the two points all add up at the end of the season, no matter the scoreline. Genius.

These back-to-back wins are the perfect tonic for the Dragons which now enters a tough period  on the road. Cowboys, Broncs and Titans: what odds on winning that trifecta?

While the forward pack is knitting together nicely, problems remain out wide and the team is miles away from matching the current form of the competition's front-runners.

But who really cares? How can you be disappointed with the level of effort the lads have shown since the afternoon snooze session against the Sharks?

 Nine penalties and an inability to score does not make great viewing but it's the Dragons' players resilience and commitment to one another that is worth a zillion trophies. 


Much of the talk has centred  around the positioning of  Duges. This case is thankfully closed and thoughts turn wider.

Some laugh at Lafai who is a shadow of his 2015 playing self, but he showed enough again yesterday to retain his spot.

Mata Utai's defensive blunders on the wing are ugly but they're no worse than some of the players' haircuts.

Ned Kelly Wil  Matthews is Red V for value  off the bench. Perhaps Benny Creagh will now quietly leave the field? And have a go Havili. Surely he has to be involved, somewhere? Rein Man and the Kiwi recruit used in tandem signal double trouble for opposing sides.

A four-day holiday, enough chocolate and hot cross buns to last the season and another epic Dragons' win. Can Easter 2016 be any better than that? 

Maybe ....


 

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