That's it from the blog tonight - thanks for joining us. Brad Walter and Michael Chammas will have all the news from sheds in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald and online at LeagueHQ.
The Dragons just gave the Bulldogs too much start. After a terrible first half, they played some expansive football in the second half to run the Bulldogs close.
80 min: Bulldogs 28-20.
79 min: The Dragons launch another productive raid but the Dogs defence muscles up. That's probably the last chance for the Dragons to score.
76 min: Reynolds pins Soward in his own in-goal with a perfectly placed last tackle bomb. Repeat coming up for the Dogs.
74 min: This might kill the Dragons comeback. Creagh cleans up Reynolds with a late tackle as he kicks on the last. Dogs get a penalty and will move down into Dragons territory.
72 min: Finally a pass doesn't stick for the Dragons. Creagh looks to have cracked the defensive line and is about to slip a pass to a flying Cooper but it spills out. Dogs will be relieved to get this scrum.
71 min: Another set coming up for the Dragons. His last-tackle bomb puts pressure on Wright who has to knock it dead over the line. Bulldogs still lead 28-10.
69 min: Maybe Steve Price did threaten his team with the Cole-Terp comeback at halftime. Another good set of six ends with a pinpoint Soward grubber being rushed over the in-goal line by Barba. Dragons will go on the attack again.
67 min: The Dragons have gone from a flat attack in the first half to throwing the ball around wildly in the second - like watching a marching band change to Herbie Hancock free-form jazz.
65 min: Try to the Dragons. This has been an amazing turnaround by the Dragons. Persistent on line attack from the Dragons results in Cooper scoring. Soward hits the post and misses with the conversion. Bulldogs 28-20.
64 min: Dragons get another penalty close out but the Dogs defence holds but have to drop-out after a Nightingale grubber.
62 min: Ennis takes out Hornby as he's chasing a Soward grubber with one of the most obvious shoulder bumps you'll ever see. Dragons on the attack 5m out.
60 min: Barba shows how dangerous he can be with a blistering 60m break down the left-hand side before he's rounded up by the defence.
57 min: Dragons on the move again but a good looking backline move breaks down when Morris, J loses the handle on the ball when passing when they looked like having a 3 on 1 down the left hand side. They were 50m out, but that could have led to something for the Dragons.
54 min: Try to the Dragons. The Red V throw the ball around and go 80m in five tackles and after a quick play the ball on the last Soward moves the ball wide to Morris, J who goes through to score. Soward converts from in front. Bulldogs 28-16.
49 min: Try to the Dragons. Oh, momma! The Dragons score an unbelievable 4-pointer. On the last tackle on half-way, Soward doesn't kick but slips an inside ball to Morris who makes a break down field, onto Hornby, back to Soward who kicks across field to Vidot and he's over in the corner. Soward misses the conversion. Bulldogs 28-10.
45 min: The biggest danger to Frank Pritchard proves to be team-mate Kris Keating's head. Nasty head clash between the two while they make a tackle results in a groggy Pritchard being helped from the field.
44 min: Try to the Bulldogs. Morris goes over for his second. Another well-constructed play from the Dogs - Des Hasler has this team working smoother than Sterlo's skull - a good little run around, then Barba puts through a grubber which Morris wins the race for easily. Inu converts and it's Bulldogs 28-6.
42 min: Easy yards from the Dogs results in Nightingale knocking a last-tackle grubber dead. Line drop-out from Dragons.
41 min: Ben Hornby kicks off to start the second half.
Here's Brad Walter's take on the first half: "It is hard to know how well the Bulldogs are going because the Dragons made just about every error in the book in the first 40 minutes but even if they hadn't St George Illawarra don't seem to have any answer to Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard in defence. It is going to be a long second half for the Dragons."
Half-time. The Dragons fan should be pulling down the re-opened grandstand after that first 40 by their team. They looked flat from the start and have given away some very cheap penalties. BTW, nice bit of sledging by Ennis to the refs just before the Dogs try - after a 50-50 play-the-ball ruling went the Dragons way he produced "I know we're in Wollongong, but..."
40 min: Try to the Bulldogs. Well this sums up the Dragons night. Latimore sticks out his foot after a wayward pass, it bounces up to Young who then has it stolen from his grasp by Reynolds who runs away from 30m out untouched. The smiler misses the conversion. Bulldogs 22-6.
37 min: Brett Lane, who started the season playing for the mighty Newtown Jets (under-estimated since 1908), makes a nice play on his debut by scooping up a Soward grubber 10m out from his own line.
36 min: Dragons get a great opportunity to make up for their poor first 20min. Kasiano spills the ball and then on the next tackle Nightingale gets a penalty for being held down in a tackle. ON the attack 15m out.
34 min: Dogs go on the attack after another cheap penalty from Dragons. A set play unfolds nicely before an inside ball from Pritchard to Barba hits the deck. Scrum to Dragons 20m from their own line.
31 min: Dean Young comes on for his 200th game, while old man Craig who played 234 for the Dragons watches from the sideline.
29 min: Try to the Dragons. Marketo shows some nice cross-field footwork and passes on to Soward who finds Kyle Stanley who crosses out wide. Soward converts. Maybe this will kick-start the Dragons. Bulldogs 18-6.
28 min: Dragons get back-to-back penalties and will go on the attack 5m out from the Dogs line.
26 min: Hornby nailed by Halatau and he loses the ball 20m out. Dogs still lead 18-0.
25 min: Soward rolls a last tackle kick into the in-goal and it's rushed over the dead-ball line. Repeat set to Dragons.
24 min: Dragons penalty, will go on the attack 30m out. Let's see if they can produce something here.
22 min: Dragons finally get the ball and finish a set with a Soward bomb, but he drops the bat back and the Dogs get possession on their own 20m.
20 min: Another penalty to the Bulldogs after Kyle Stanley is penalised for holding on in a tackle. This first quarter by the Dragons would rate close to the worst start to a game by a team in the NRL this year. Maybe Price should see if he can find Keith Cole or Rex Terp to come on as late replacements.
17 min: Try to the Bulldogs. After the penalty the Dogs go on the attack, and Nightingale spills a cross field bomb from Keating, which Inu picks up and goes over in the corner. Inu puts the smile on as he converts. Bulldogs 18-0.
15 min: Dragons kick-off dead on the full. Bad to worse for the Dragons.
13 min: Try to the Bulldogs. Josh Morris in, the Pritchard-Kasiano short passing combination works perfectly with Kasiano then putting a nice ball to Morris 20m out who runs past twin brother to score. Inu converts. Bulldogs 12-0.
11 min: The Dragons looking pretty flat so far, an insipid set ends with a poor bomb from Soward that finds touch. Then the Dogs get a penalty for a ball strip.
10 min: We've gone to the video ref, Inu crashes over the line but looks like he may have spilled the ball. Yep - Mr Bean rules that he's dropped it over the line. Dragons very lucky there.
9 min: Possession changes hands after both teams drop the pill then Dogs get penalty after Brett Morris drags Inu over the touchline. Dogs on attack close to the line.
6 min: Couple of sets from both teams, play between the 20m lines.
3 min: Try for the Bulldogs. Dogs get a penalty close to Dragons line after Hunt's late tackle on Josh Reynolds, Kasiano makes a charge at the line, the ball pops out the back and from Ennis to Josh Reynolds who strolls over. The smiling assassin Inu converts. Bulldogs 6-0.
1 min: And we're away with Inu kicking off for the Dogs.
To the team changes. For the Dragons Dean Young will start his 200th game from the bench with Jake Marketo starting, and Chase Stanley comes on to the bench for Leeson Ah Mau. For the Dogs, Luke MacDougall is out with Brett Lane his replacement.
Welcome to the live blog of the St George Illawarra v Canterbury Bulldogs match.
There will be plenty of eyes north of the border on the performance of Bulldogs No.1 Ben Barba tonight as the Maroons search for a replacement for Billy Slater for Origin III.
We all know Barba can (insert your own cut, slice, trim up, lacerate synonym here) opponent’s defensive structures but he’ll have to prove he can handle the high ball to be a serious contender for an Origin call-up.
Wollongong’s WIN Stadium is hosting its first game of the year after repairs to the western grandstand - a grandstand that shamefully has yet to be named.
So who should they name it after? Surely it has to be one of the greats who wore the scarlet of the Illawarra side before the merger with St George.
Here’s our shortlist of candidates: Keith Cole (1986-88, 18 games, 0 tries) or Rex Terp (1995, 3 games, 1 try).
The club has spared no expense for the re-opening bringing in one of the Gong’s finest bands, The Proton Energy Pills to provide the pre-match entertainment.