JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Warriors crash out as Fien finishes with a bang

Dragons 19 Warriors 10

Directing traffic: Nathan Fien was instrumental in the Dragons win.

Directing traffic: Nathan Fien was instrumental in the Dragons win. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Defiant St George Illawarra coach Steve Price says his side’s nine-point victory against the Warriors  will not be his last in charge despite the Dragons slumping to their worst season in the joint-venture’s history.

A statement released by the Dragons last week indicated an internal and external review into coaching and other aspects of football operations would take place at the end of the season. Despite just seven wins, Price was confident he would see out the one-year contract extension he inked earlier this year after watching his side beat the Warriors at WIN Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Neil Henry has emerged as a potential coaching option for the Dragons. Price’s assistant, Steve Folkes, is moving on.

Attracting attention:  Nathan Fien takes a hit in his final game for the Dragons.

Attracting attention: Nathan Fien takes a hit in his final game for the Dragons. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Time
80.00
Team
STG
Score
19
Team
NZW
Score
10
St George Illawarra versus Warriors
View Match Statistics
Players Quinlan, Green, Runciman Tries 3 Tries 2 Players Taylor, Vatuvei
Players Stanley 2/3 (66%) Conversions 2 Conversions 1 Players Johnson 1/2 (50%)
Players Stanley 1/1 (100%) Penalty goals 1 Penalty goals 0 Players
Players Drinkwater 1/1 (100%) Field goals 1 Field goals 0 Players Locke 0/1 (0%)

‘‘I’m not concerned one bit,’’ Price said of the review. ‘‘The season we had, we’re a proud footy club and we want to do better. I’m under contract next year. I will continue to improve myself. I am very confident [I will be coach].

‘‘We have to look at ways we need to improve going forward and that starts with me. It has been tough. You learn a lot about yourself.’’

Two vintage plays from the retiring Nathan Fien ended St George Illawarra’s poor season on a high and quashed the Warriors’ faint hope of a top-eight finish.

While Fien has started all season wearing No.7, it was his switch to hooker that sparked St George Illawarra to life midway through the first half. Down 4-0 early, Fien laid on the first points for the Dragons when he jumped out of dummy half, making a blindside line break, before passing to allow Brett Morris to sprint down the flank.

A classy offload from Morris, surrounded by two defenders, to centre Charly Runciman continued the play before Runciman offloaded to Adam Quinlan, who raced 20 metres to score and give the Dragons a 6-4 lead eight minutes before half-time.

Fien  set-up the Dragons’ next try with a crossfield kick in their first real attacking opportunity of the second half. Winger Nathan Green, who received a late call-up after Daniel Vidot was dropped for turning up to training late on Friday,  outleapt Manu Vatuvei  to score in the corner to give St George Illawarra a 10-4 lead three minutes after half-time. ‘‘Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards,’’ Price said. ‘‘Take out the past two weeks, which I was really disappointed with, [but] prior to those tough losses, I couldn’t ask for much more of the playing group. A lot of those young players were thrown in a lot earlier than I anticipated. Sometimes you’ve got to take some pain.’’

After withstanding a barrage of attack, the Dragons eventually leaked a four-pointer through Vatuvei who jumped above Green to score from a  Nathan Friend kick. It came after the Warriors dominated the midway point of the second half. Despite the pressure, their attack lacked penetration against a determined Dragons defence.

A Shaun Johnson sideline goal levelled the score with 14 minutes left but the Dragons scored nine points in less than 10 minutes to wrap up the game.

With the Dragons in front by one after a Josh Drinkwater field goal,  Chase Stanley added a penalty  and Runciman scored in the dying stages. The Warriors played without intensity despite  the chance of a finals finish. Warriors coach Matthew Elliott lamented his team’s effort. ‘‘We are a better group of people and team than that,’’ Elliott said. ‘‘It’s something we need to work on together. It’s a final reminder that our season has been determined by a frame of mind we show up in sometimes.’’

The Warriors, who haven’t won in Wollongong since defeating the Illawarra Steelers in 1996, had an up-and-down season and their inconsistency  cost them a chance of qualifying for the finals.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 19 (N Green A Quinlan C Runciman tries C Stanley 3 goals J Drinkwater field goal) bt WARRIORS 10 (E Taylor M Vatuvei tries S Johnson goal) at WIN Stadium. Referee: Jared Maxwell, Henry Perenara. Crowd: 9,022.

 

2 comments so far

  • A win is a win and a good way to end the season and to mark the retirement of some very good, even great players (especially Matt Cooper). It was a better performance from all including Fien, whose head I have called for all season. It was good from Mike Weyman and Matt Prior to be able to remember their last Dragon's game as winners.
    I am still not convinced that Steve Price is the right man for the coaches chair and if a better candidate is available then the board MUST ask him to resign. Despite today's win there was still no real structure to their style of play and this can only be corrected by a new coach.

    Commenter
    Saint Mike IV
    Location
    Kiama Downs
    Date and time
    September 07, 2013, 10:16PM
    • Have a look at the names of the Dragons' scorers - Green, Quinlan, Runciman and Drinkwater are all young guys in their first season. None of them have played more than a handful of games in first grade but they have really stepped up in recent weeks. Well done to those guys and the rest of the team for a big finish. Nathan Fien was on fire!

      Commenter
      MotorMouth
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 08, 2013, 4:24AM

      Make a comment

      You are logged in as [Logout]

      All information entered below may be published.

      Error: Please enter your screen name.

      Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Please enter your comment.

      Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

      Post to

      You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

      Thank you

      Your comment has been submitted for approval.

      Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

      Related Coverage

      Cowboys nail finals spot as Benji bows out

      Just like their entire regular-season campaign, North Queensland did it the hard way on Saturday night to qualify for the NRL finals.

      Cronk's boot puts Titans out of their misery

      A reignition of Origin hostilities between Melbourne’s Billy Slater and Gold Coast’s Greg Bird sent the crucial round twenty-six clash between the clubs into overtime.

      Roosters offer Ferguson chance

      The Roosters would only entertain the thought of securing wayward star Blake Ferguson if he went through a successful bush footy sabbatical like their former five-eighth Todd Carney.

      Blake's broke and couch surfing

      Despite being one of the NRL's best players, Blake Ferguson doesn't have a cent to his name.

      Ferguson welcome in far north

      The Queensland publican who saved the career of Todd Carney believes he can produce a similar turnaround for Blake Ferguson.

      Raiders job is only one I want, says Dunemann

      Interim Raiders coach Andrew Dunemann claims he withdrew from the coaching race at the Cowboys to ''send a message'' he wants the Canberra job full time.

      Waerea-Hargreaves set for ban

      Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is likely to miss at least the first game of the finals, with the match review committee set to charge him for his raised forearm in Friday night's spiteful win over arch-rivals South Sydney.

      Big Sam's discipline a cause for concern

      Souths leader Roy Asotasi revealed that the discipline of Sam Burgess is a work in progress for the Rabbitohs but the power forward won't be asked by his teammates to tone it down any time soon.

      Hayne urges Ricky to stick with Eels

      Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne hopes coach Ricky Stuart will stay put amid growing speculation he is the preferred candidate to take over at Canberra.

      Wrestling clampdown is review boss's finest hour

      After announcing his decision to stand down as chairman of the NRL match review committee, Greg McCallum declared that combating the rise of wrestling had been his biggest challenge and also one of his proudest achievements.

      Roosters have trick up their sleeve to tackle Souths ace in pack

      Sydney Roosters now have a blueprint for beating South Sydney if they meet again in the playoffs, perhaps on grand final day.

      No regrets on joining Eels, says Maitua, despite wooden spoons

      Had Reni Maitua taken a different path he would probably have at least another premiership record by now, but instead he leaves his 2½-year stint at Parramatta with the two wooden spoons.

      Fine game but not quite in top league

      What a great event on Friday night. There are so many things to talk about as a result of what we witnessed.

      Related Coverage

      Four Nations 2014

      Round 1
      Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
      ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
      AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
      NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
      AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
      NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
      Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
      AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Final
      Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
      NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Four Nations 2014
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D +/- Pts
      New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
      Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
      England 3 1 2 0 0 2
      Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
      View all
       
      Featured advertisers