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NYC Rd 21 Dragons 24 Melbourne 12

went down to the Dragons 24-12, despite holding a 12 point lead with 20-minutes to go in the match.
NYC Rd 21 Dragons 24 Melbourne 12
by NRL

went down to the Dragons 24-12, despite holding a 12 point lead with 20-minutes to go in the match.

The match had serious September ramifications, with both teams in a log jam for the top eight.

Both sides had been in imperious form, winning their respective matches throughout the month of July.
Most recently, the Thunderbolts accounted for the Eels in a dominant all-round display, while the Dragons were too strong for the Rabbitohs in a spiteful affair.

The match couldn't have started any better for the visitors, with winger, Dane Chang, opening the scoring out wide. Despite his brilliant goal kicking in 2012, Jack Joass couldn't add the extras from out wide.

Kirisome Auva'a has been scoring tries for fun this season and he continued his rich vein of form with another four pointer in the 22nd minute. Joass missed another difficult kick, leaving the score at 8-0.

There would be no more points for either side in the first half, with the visitors dominating in most areas.

The Thunderbolts completed a staggering 95% of sets, and made three line breaks, compared to none by the home side.

Melbourne were keen to extend their slender advantage, and it didn't take too long before their prayers were answered. After setting up the opening try, Richard Kennar beat two would be defenders before finding his way over the line. The backs weren't making life easy for Joass, who narrowly missed another tough assignment from the sideline.

With 20-minutes remaining, it looked as if the Thunderbolts would reclaim a coveted top eight position. However, the Dragons had other things in mind.

Two tries in the space of four minutes to Jared Allen and Craig Harvey brought the hosts to within two points.

As the Dragons began to apply the pressure, the Thunderbolts started to make a number of uncharacteristic errors. Desperate to maintain their push for a spot in the finals, the home side capitalised.

In a devastating flurry, the Dragons scored three tries back-to-back. Having not touched the ball for over seven minutes, Melbourne had no chance to mount a late fight back.

It was a dominant second half display from the Red V, making over 300 metres more than the Thunderbolts. The visitors were competitive in all areas, but a 6-2 penalty count was always going to be difficult to overcome. Neither kicker had a good night with the boot, kicking a combined 2/8 goals.

The 24-12 win keeps the Dragons safely inside the top eight, while the Thunderbolts will now need to win the majority of their matches to keep their September dreams alive.

Tries (5): Jared Allen, Craig Garvey, Nathan Green, Kyle Martens, Kem Seru
Goals (2): Daniel Burke (2 from 5)

Tries (3): Kirisome Auva'a, Dane Chang, Richard Kennar
Goals (0): Jack Joass (0 from 3)

Referee: Gavin Reynolds
Halftime score: Melbourne Storm 8-0

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