St George Illawarra put the dramas of ‘sirengate’ firmly behind them on Saturday to chalk up a comfortable 20-10 NRL win over the Warriors at Kogarah Oval.
The victory ends a run of three straight defeats for the Dragons and makes it 10 successive victories over the Warriors, who’ve not beaten the joint-venture since July 2007.
First-half tries from Jason Nightingale and English prop Mike Cooper laid the foundations for the win in front of a crowd of 10,559.
Kiwi winger Nightingale scored the first four-pointer of the night with a tremendous diving effort following a smart Michael Witt pass.
Cooper then opened his account in the NRL on the stroke of halftime, running over countryman Sam Tomkins to score under the posts.
Trailing 12-0 at the interval, the Warriors struggled to produce back-to-back sets after the restart but they put themselves back into the game through million dollar man Tomkins’ wonderful 50th-minute effort.
The fullback picked up the ball 15 metres from the goal and danced past three defenders and touched down under the posts for his fourth try in seven games.
A Gareth Widdop penalty extended the hosts’ lead to 14-6 but the mercurial visitors hit back with another top-drawer try through Manu Vatuvei.
Tomkins instigated the move with a strong run and pass to Dane Nielsen who then found the giant winger with a flick pass that looked marginally forward.
But there was no doubt about the finish of the veteran New Zealand Test star who charged nearly 50 metres and trampled over Josh Dugan to cross the line.
However, Shaun Johnson’s sideline kick missed the target and Dugan iced the win for the hosts with his first try of the year 11 minutes from time when he was able to get his hand to the impressive Witt’s perfectly weighted grubber kick.