Well it wasn't overly pretty tonight... But 3/3 thank you very much @NRL_Dragons #redv — Benjamin Everill (@beneverill) March 22, 2014
The Dragons' perfect start to the season continues.
ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 14 (B Morris 2 J Nightingale tries G Widdop goal) bt CRONULLA 12 (J Morris 2 tries M Gordon 2 goals) at Remondis Stadium. Referees: Adam Devcich, Henry Perenara. Crowd: 14,821.
78 min: Superb defusal of a swirling Carney bomb by Quinlan, and then the Dragons get a penalty. Time is not the Sharks' friend.
77 min: A Williams error means the Sharks are still alive but they are 90 metres from the Dragons' line.
Derby flashback: A common sight - Dragons winger Brett Morris scoring an acrobatic try against the Sharks in 2013. Photo: Getty Images
Gotta love the way @bryceegibbs plays every week 4 @Cronulla_Sharks absolutely gives everything!Bad timing just made a mistake but who cares — Andrew Ryan (@BobcatRyan78) March 22, 2014
75 min: Bryce Gibbs loses control of the ball while being tackled early in the count. Great field position for the Dragons as the clock winds down.
74 min: Dragons working the ball out of their half. Can they hold on?
Derby flashback: Ben Hornby makes a break for the Dragons in their victory over Cronulla in Wollongong in 2012. Photo: Andy Zakeli
69 min: It's a Morris-athon tonight! John Morris crashes over for his second try - his first double in eight years - to set up a thrilling final 11 minutes. Gordon adds the extras. DRAGONS 14-12
Derby flashback: Dragons centre Mark Gasnier is given a guard of honour in his last match against Cronulla at Kogarah in 2011. Photo: Steve Christo
67 min: How good is Morris? Takes a towering bomb, then charges 30m upfield to put his team on the front foot.
Derby flashback: Ex-Dragons skipper Trent Barrett in his first match against his old team for Cronulla in 2009. Photo: Getty Images
Be tough to be a sharks fan watching this half... #errorserrorseverywhere — Benjamin Everill (@beneverill) March 22, 2014
63 min: The Sharks continue to ask plenty of questions of the Dragons but their defence continues to hold firm. Handling errors aren't helping the Sharks either.
Footy has improved out of sight. Crowds will go thru the roof by end of year. #sortoutpricesnrl — Brad Fittler (@BradFittler) March 22, 2014
Derby flashback: Sharks winger Luke Covell is mobbed by teammates after kicking a penalty goal in extra time to sink the Dragons. Photo: Anthony Johnson
58 min: But Carney knocks on at first receiver from the scrum. Massive let-off for the Dragons.
57 min: Quinlan knocks on a kick, giving the Sharks back-to-back sets on the Dragons' line.
50 min: NO TRY. The Sharks are out of luck again as Holdsworth is denied a try because of a knock-on by Tupo Sopoaga. But the home side is beginning to threaten in attack, and there is no shortage of passion from them too. Chris Heighington just gave Siosaia Vave a huge spray for turning his back on the play when Heighington was looking to off-load.
Derby flashback: Referee Tony Archer sends Adam Peek of the Dragons from the field after a late and high elbow on Adam Dykes of the Sharks. A bandaged Jason Ryles looks none too impressed. Photo: Getty Images
47 min: Great set by the Sharks almost ends with Feki scoring from a pinpoint Daniel Holdsworth bomb but he is unable to control the ball.
Derby flashback: Dragons firebrand Shaun Timmins and Sharks forward Paul Gallen start a fight that led to both being sent to the sin bin during the 2006 clash at WIN Stadium. Photo: Andy Zakeli
Well Brett Morris's 101st try was ridiculous. #ffrreeaakk — Brad Fittler (@BradFittler) March 22, 2014
Oh yeh...mesmerising Morris. Special stuff. — Peter Wilkins (@WilkoSport) March 22, 2014
40 min: What a finish to the half by the Dragons! With one second remaining, Morris plucks a superb Widdop kick out of the air and sensationally plants the ball while still airborne and with most of his body hanging over the sideline. Freakish effort - who says tries from kicks are boring!. Widdop ices the cake by converting from the sideline to give the visitors an eight-point lead at oranges. DRAGONS 14-6
Derby flashback: Dragons skipper Trent Barrett scores in the narrow finals win over Cronulla in 2005 at Wollongong. Photo: Andy Zakeli
35 min: Chance goes begging for the Dragons as Adam Quinlan spills a short pass from Widdop close to the Sharks' line. The pass appeared to be a bit hard. The better option might have been to throw a cut-out.
Derby flashback: Dragons winger Reece Simmonds gets past Sharks counterpart David Simmons to score in the 2004 clash at Kogarah. Photo: Getty Images
28 min: Jason Nightingale opens his try-scoring account for the season, spectacularly leaping above Sosaia Feki to bring down a Sam Williams cross-field kick. Widdop hits the upright again with his kick but the Dragons are back in front. DRAGONS 8-6
Derby flashback: Greg Bird evades Mark Gasnier and scores for the Sharks in their 40-24 finals win over St George Illawarra in 2002. Photo: Craig Golding
24 min: NO TRY to the Dragons. Morris denied No.101 after touching the chalk at the same time he grounded the ball. So close!
20 min: Strong return of the football by Gordon after taking a bomb. Both fullbacks have been strong so far tonight.
Derby flashback: Dragons five-eighth Anthony Mundine celebrates after scoring in the win over Cronulla in the 1999 grand final qualifer at what was then known as Stadium Australia. Photo: Craig Golding
13 min: Sharks hooker John Morris brings the home crowd to life by dummying his way over for the simplest of tries. Michael Gordon converts. SHARKS 6-4
9 min: Todd Carney almost levels the scores but the Dragons do well to deny him a try early in his comeback match. He makes such a difference to this Sharks side.
Congrats @bmozzle 100 career tries yew yew dooooozy bra — Cameron King (@CAMKINGY) March 22, 2014
5 min: Quick hands by the Dragons puts winger Brett Morris over for his 100th career try. No better finisher in rugby league. Gareth Widdop's sideline kick hits the upright and bounces away. DRAGONS 4-0
1 min: The Dragons are working the ball off their line after the Sharks kicked off. There's a bit of rain around tonight - which is not unusual for night games at Remondis Stadium.
Good evening and welcome to our live blog of this clash between two bitter rivals, who have made contrasting starts to their season. The Dragons are flying high at the top of the table with two wins, while the Sharks have lost both of their matches.
The official teams have been lodged and the Dragons have made one late change to their line-up - Jack De Belin takes Bronson Harrison's spot on the bench. Cronulla have also tinkered with their team, promoting former Rooster Tinirau Arona to the starting line-up instead of Chris Heighington, who joins Isaac De Gois, Matt Prior and Siosaia Vave on the bench.
Cronulla Sharks v St George Illawarra Dragons
At Remondis Stadium, Saturday 7pm
Referees: Adam Devcich, Henry Perenara
Head to Head: Sharks 16 Dragons 15 Drawn 1
Last clash: Sharks 22 bt Dragons 18 at WIN Stadium, Rd 23 2013
Ladbrokes: Sharks $2.55, Dragons $1.55
Betfair: Sharks $2.60, Dragons $1.57
AAP writes: Things might just be about to go from bad to worse for the win-less Sharks, who find themselves up against a high flying Dragons outfit that’s put on convincing wins against the Warriors and Tigers. The one thing Cronulla does have going for them however are the returns of Todd Carney (hamstring) and Siosaia Vave (suspension). Yet while they will add impact to an attack that’s yielded just 16 points in two games, it’s the Sharks’ defence that is in desperate need of a patch-up after leaking 60 points in the first two rounds. Meanwhile, Jack de Belin and Jack Stockwell have been added to an extended Dragons bench.
Key: Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop hasn’t looked back since leaving the Storm, recording a 100 per cent kicking rate with a haul of 27 points and notching up five try assists in the first two rounds.
Michael Chammas writes: It’s the battle between first and last in the local derby. The struggling Sharks welcome back Todd Carney from a hamstring injury, but it’s not going to make too much of a difference. The Dragons are beaming with confidence, and on the back of Gareth Widdop, should make it three from three to start the year. Dragons by 6.
SHARKS: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Blake Ayshford, Ricky Leutele, Jonathan Wright, Todd Carney, Daniel Holdsworth, Sam Tagataese, John Morris, Bryce Gibbs, Tupou Sopoaga, Wade Graham, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Michael Lichaa, Tinirau Arona, Matt Prior, Siosaia Vave, David Fifita (one to be omitted).
DRAGONS: Adam Quinlan, Brett Morris, Dylan Farrell, Gerard Beale, Jason Nightingale, Gareth Widdop, Sam Williams, Tyson Frizell, Mitch Rein, Dan Hunt, Leeson Ah Mau, Ben Creagh (capt), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Kyle Stanley, Joel Thompson, Mike Cooper, Jack de Belin, Jack Stockwell (two to be omitted).