The St. George Illawarra Dragons have reversed the frustration of their loss to the Melbourne Storm earlier this season, overcoming their opposition 24-12 tonight at a freezing WIN Stadium in Wollongong.
After falling short after the siren in the first meeting between the sides, the Dragons had a point to prove and shot to an early lead through tries to Josh Dugan and Gareth Widdop. With the wind at their backs it was all the hosts early, before a Billy Slater special delivered the Storm back into the contest midway through the half. It stayed 10-6 til the halftime siren, with an injury scare to Josh Dugan prior to the break sending worries through the St. George Illawarra camp.
Those worries proved unfounded as the Dragons surged on in the second half - a pulsating opening where both teams had good opportunities eventually fell the way of the home side with Mitch Rein scoring in the 53rd minute off a deflected Benji Marshall grubber. They backed this up with fifteen minutes remaining when Josh Dugan found a sublime offload for Jason Nightingale to crash over, then sealed the deal with Charly Runciman scoring in the final ten minutes.
After the Runciman try, the Storm came back hard and looked set for a late rush on the Dragons when Kurt Mann scored with five remaining, but it was too little too late. The Dragons' victory sees them leapfrog the Gold Coast Titans on for-and-against, lifting them to 12th position on the NRL table.
Next week the Dragons have their second home game within five days, hosting the Cowboys at Kogarah on Saturday evening. The Storm will welcome their second bye of the season ahead of the third Origin match, before hosting the Bulldogs at AAMI Park the following weekend.