Dufty Dazzles as St George punish Cronulla

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The St George Illawarra Dragons were looking to make it 6 on the trot as they hosted the Cronulla Sharks down in Wollongong for the second game of Friday Night football. St George were coming off a 16-12 grinding win against the Bunnies, while Cronulla were pumped at home by the Roosters and looking to rebound at the expense of the Dragons.

Both teams would be 1-17, although injuries would be a calling point for Cronulla. Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita and Wade Graham are all going to have scans on Saturday after going down during the game.

Gareth Widdop would take advantage of an early penalty to make it 2-0 for the DragonsMatt Dufty would create something out of nothing to open the try-scoring for St George, with Dufty running across the field to find a gap and go screaming through the Sharks defense to make it 6-0.

Paul Gallen would be the first casualty of the injury bug tonight, with his knee getting caught as he kicked. It turned out to be a medial ligament strain, so the Sharks would lose there captain for the night and the next few weeks.

Cameron McInnes would be sin binned for a professional foul, leaving the Dragons short for 10 minutes and the Sharks would take advantage straight away. Jayden brailey and Adrew Fifita would work with either other, as an offload would send Brailey over to make it 6-6 after the Townsend conversion. A penalty goal would see the score move to 8-6.

Some lovely work out wide by the Sharks would see Edrick Lee go over for Cronulla to give the Sharks the lead, with Townsend missing the conversion. Gareth Widdop would have no trouble to make it 10-10 through another penalty goal. Andrew Fifita would hurt his knee, with a possible ACL injury seeing him done for the night.

Cameron McIness would run through from dummy half to make up for his sin-binning to score, and a Widdop conversion would see the score end up at 16-10 into half time.

It would be the exact same start for the Dragons to the second half, with Matt Dufty going across for his second to make it 22-10 after the conversion. Paul Vaughan would condemn the Sharks even further with a try. Widdop converted to make it 28-10.

The Sharks would score twice in quick succession to put the pressure back on the Dragons, with Valentine Holmes going over in the corner for Cronulla to make it 28-14. Wade Graham would go off with a hamstring strain to send their bench down to 1, but it wouldn't affect the Sharks as Ricky Leutele would go over off some lovely work from Hodkinson to make it 28-20.

That would be the Sharks comeback done though, with tries to Jack De Belin and Euan Aitken sealing the Dragons points and confirming that they are a premiership contender yet again in 2018. It would end up at 40-20 in the favour of the Dragons, and the Sharks would lose Luke Lewis late to further compound a poor night.

The Dragons head over for a top of the table clash with the Warriors next week, while Cronulla host the Panthers in the final game of Sunday football.



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