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Live: St George Illawarra v Wests Tigers

That's it from me tonight - thanks for joining the blog. Glenn Jackson and Chris Barrett will have all the news from press conferences and dressing sheds tomorrow in the SMH and online at LeagueHQ. Cheers

That was a clinical performance from the Dragons - the major reshuffle to their team before kick-off didn't affect their performance. Kyle Stanley and Nathan Green combined well in defence, and Brett Morris at fullback was one of the Dragons best. Wests Tigers, premiership favourites before the season kicked off, have plenty of work to do.

80 min: Tigers pulled up for forward pass - maybe it was the one Marshall threw to himself - ends the game. That's fulltime. Dragons 36-12

77 min: After some hot potato from the Dragons - more the play you'd expect from the Tigers - De Belin is held up over the line. Next play Soward bomb, Morris picks up the crumbs, onto Creagh who goes in for the icer. Soward converts. Dragons 36-12.

75 Min: Moltzen drops it cold - he's certainly had a game to forget tonight. Scrum to Dragons 40m out.

73 MIN; Dragons doing it so easy Nathan Fien on the sideline with a bucket on his foot.

70 min; Even with all their attacking flair it's hard to see the Tigers scoring three tries in 10mins the way the Dragons have been handling their attack tonight.

69 min: Lovely three-man cutout pass from Soward to Vidot 10m out puts him in for a try. Video  ref called for, but it's an easy ruling. Soward's first difficult kick from out wide is off target. Dragons 30-12

65 min: Nice move down the left by Dragons, inside ball from Soward to Morris puts him close but last pass to Stanley ruled forward as he goes over.

64 min: Soward picks up a drop from Marshall on the halfway line, scampers 40m down the left-hand side. After play the ball a quick spread to the right ends when the ball goes through Nightingale's hands and out, but Dragons get penalty as Tigers defence offside.

63 min: Murdoch-Masila spills an inside ball 10m out, picked up by Morris who makes a good 40m break. Then Weyman breaks through on another raid. Set finishes with a bomb from Soward that's knocked on by Dragons players into in-goal.

62 min: Soward cleans up a Marshall grubber in-goal beats three, but pinned down. Line drop out.

60 min: Nathan Green flies high for a bomb, but under defensive pressure can't control it and it spills free.

58 min: Farah darts from dummy half on halfway, nice chip over the top regathered but he spills it trying to flick ball out the back.

56 min; Ashyford penalised for not lining up straight while playing the ball 40m out . Puts Dragons on the attack.

54 min: Good raid down the left hand side from Tigers, Lawrence draws two then nice overhead pass - a bit questionable - after being tackled puts Joel Reddy in. Marshall converts from outside. Dragons 26-12. 

50 min: Tigers only make 20m bringing the ball out from their own end. Bit of scuffle between the two team after Beau knows puts a nice shoulder on Nathan Green. Scrum to thge Tigers on halfway.

46 min; Penalty to Dragons, they decide against shot at goal and go on the attack. Moltzen then penalised for being offside. This is giving points to Soward, who puts it over from 15m out. Dragons 26-6.

44 min: Marshall drops the ball cold running on the last and attempting to pass - like watching Nadal miss an easy overhead smash. Blood bin for Farah, who has plenty of claret coming from a cut.

42 min: Dean Young penalised for holding down in the tackle. Tigers right on the attack, but a loose pass lets Dragons off the hook.

41 min: Tigers make 80m on their first set of six, run on the last and Lawrence spills the ball 10m out trying to get a ball away.

And we're away in the second half - Dragons kick off.

Last week it was the 10 minutes after half-time that killed the Tigers when Manly went over for two tries, this week it could be the period just before halftime that costs them the game.

And for those of you interested in the aquatic games, Ian Thorpe has missed out on a spot in the 200m freestyle final at the Olympic trials.

Here's Glenn Jackson's take on the first 40 minutes: "The Tigers would have been happy to go into the break at 12-6. But tries to Nathan Fien and Ben Hornby just before halftime have given the Dragons clear air. The Tigers have shown poor defence up the middle for each of the Dragons' four tries. It's been a combustible affair, made more lively by high shots and dangerous tackles, and inaction by officials. Perhaps the Tigers have been rattled. Certainly, the Dragons have been the better side, and deserve their lead."

That's halftime and here's the ad break.

40 min: And Dragons make them pay. Fein scampers from dummy half and Hornby runs a great line to find the gap and go in under the black dot. Too easy for Soward. Dragons 24-6.

39 min: Groat penalised on the 5th tackle. That's a Sheens killer. Dragons 10m out.

37 min: Hornby puts Merrin through a small gap, who brushes off a Blair shoulder hit, Fein gets the ball in support and it's try time for the Dragons. Soward converts. Dragons 18-6.

35 min; Hornby grubber in-goal goes dead. Timmy Moltzen most relieved man in Kogarah.

32 min: Blair and Farah get square with Merrin, forcing him to loose the ball 10m out with solid combo tackle. Uh oh - Molzten spills the ball from the back of the scrum. Crowd cheer, then boo.

30 min: Beau doesn't know where he is, runs into Trent Merrin and spills the ball. Merrin lucky not to be penalised. Dragons get the ball 25m out. Creagh then spills the ball to take the pressure off, then Blair spills the ball. Dragons will get the ball from scrum 10m out.

28 min: Promising Tigers raid ends when Lawrence spills the ball in heavy traffic after Marshall trys to put him through.

26 min: Tigers get a penalty after a minor scuffle. Marshall obviously ok with a good mini-bomb, ball back to Tigers but Hornby holds up Murdoch-Masila over the line.

25 min:   Marhsall receiving some on-field treatment in the background from a trainer - looks a bit dizzy. May have copped a swinging arm from Latimore.

20 min: Marshall grubber into in-goal. Scramble for the ball. We're off to the video ref. Beau knows where the ball is. Try. Marshall drains conversion from the sideline. Dragons 12-6.

19 min: Soward penalised after being offside clearing up a Marshall grubber. Tigers right on attack here.

18 min: Tigers get a penalty on their own 30m after a De Belin hold down.

16 min: Despite all the late changes the Dragons look far more organised than the Tigers.

13 min: Morris breaks through the defence from 10m out. Humble holds him up on the line, but he spins and pops a ball to Dan Hunt who takes it one-handed and plunges over. Soward converts. Dragons 12-0.

12 min: Moltzen penalised on halfway for not being back 10. Crowd love that decsion. Dragons on attack again.

9 min: Try Mitch Rein throws more dummies than a cranky baby after taking off from dummy half 10m out. The Wests Tigers defence hangs off and lets him through. Soward conversion from in front. Dragons 6-0

8 min: Blair gets Nightingale with a loose arm, it's good night Nightingale - he's looks shaken. Penalty to Dragons, they're 20m out after the pentlty.

7 min: Dragons attack broken up 15m out. Lawrence puts a good hit on Stanley forcing his pass to miss the mark.

4 min: Farah terrible spear tackle on Ben Hornby. Penalty to Dragons on their tryline.

2min: Moltzen gets his first touch and kicks on the last. Shock: the crowd boo. Daniel Vidot spills the ball in play the ball. Tigers will get the ball 30m out.

And we're off.

Is 2012 the year of the grudge match? If so, we’ve got one of the top raters tonight - St George Illawarra v Wests Tigers.

If you’re a Dragons fan Moltzen is the modern-day Benedict Arnold (ball-playing second rower with American Tomahawks 1775-78, before switching to Great Britain Lions 80-81) for reneging on agreement to join the Dragons and stay with the Tigers.

Tonight's refs Tony Archer and Phil Haines signed up as members of the Moltzen fan club - he’ll cop more abuse tonight than the men in pink.

Tonight’s pre-match entertainment, inspired by Moltzen, is provided by one of the great, if not greatest, bands - The Clash with Should I Stay or Should I Go?


We've got some team changes to get through - the Dragons have thrown the jigsaw pieces around. Matt Cooper and Beau Scott both ruled out with Nathan Green and Kyle Stanley to play in the centres, Daniel Vidot to the wing and Brett Morris at fullback. In the forwards Dan Hunt and Jack De Belin to start with Dean Young and Jeremy Latimore on the bench and Leeson Ah Mau is out. For the Tigers, Gareth Ellis is out with Liam Fulton to start in the backrow and Junior Moors on the bench.



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