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Dragons stun Souths 22-18

Josh Dugan

St George Illawarra produced the upset of the NRL season, Brett Morris scoring three minutes into extra-time to cap a miracle 22-18 win over ladder leaders South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.
Dragons stun Souths 22-18
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, July 22 AAP - St George Illawarra produced the upset of the NRL season, Brett Morris scoring three minutes into extra-time to cap a miracle 22-18 win over ladder leaders South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.


Down 18-6 with just ten minutes remaining in regulation time, the Dragons scored two tries to set up a grandstand finish - a bevy of field goal attempts from both side sailing wide before Morris crossed to spark delirious celebrations.

It's been a tough season to date for the Dragons, who were second last on the ladder coming into the contest and without a try for 154 minutes before Morris scored his first of the night just before the hour mark.

That had reduced the Rabbitohs' lead to 12-6, but when Sam Burgess steamrolled over Nathan Fien four minutes later to extend the home side's advantage, it looked like they had done enough to secure a scrappy two competition points.

But no-one counted on the Dragons as first Trent Merrin crossed before Adam Quinlan scored his first ever top grade try off a brilliant Matt Prior offload three minutes later - to set up a finish no-one would have imagined.

When Sam Burgess was held up over the tryline three minutes from time Adam Reynolds had a set shot from the re-start, but the sweetly struck kick drifted wide.

Reynolds had another two long distance attempts, while Josh Dugan - who was brilliant for the Dragons - Nathan Fien and Chase Stanley all missed one-pointers for the Dragons.

Dugan looked to be setting himself for another when pressured by the Bunnies, the NSW Origin fullback instead stepping and grubbering his way through to secure an extra set of six - Fien finding Morris with a magic pass to secure the Dragons their sixth win of the season.

It was an ominous start to life without Greg Inglis for the Rabbitohs, who looked a shadow of the team which has dominated the season to date without their star fullback, who may not return until just before the finals due to a knee injury.

"You could describe it as a bit of relief," under siege Dragons coach Steve Price said.

"We've got a football club who believed in themselves against a very formidable football team and competition leaders.

"We have been under a bit of pressure of late and I'm just really proud of the players to hang tough in tough situations."

Asked about Dugan's impact, Price said:

"That's what good players are supposed to do. He certainly stood up tonight."

Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire denied the absence of Inglis was the difference in his side's flat performance.

"Not at all. The boys in the front line, they're making their tackles the way we're capable of (we might have won)," Maguire said.

"It's (Inglis being out) got nothing to do with it to be honest."

It was the first time in 24 golden point matches where a try broke the deadlock. 




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