Sport Rugby League Saints down Canberra in NRL

Saints down Canberra in NRL

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Playmaker Gareth Widdop scored 16 points as St George Illawarra moved into a share of the NRL premiership lead with a 32-18 victory over Canberra at WIN Stadium on Sunday.

The Dragons made it seven wins from eight games with a five-tries-to-three win to complete the home and away double over the Raiders this season.

St George Illawarra had the best defensive record and worst attacking stats heading into the round 10 clash but both teams were dangerous with the ball with the defences stretched.

The Dragons led 20-6 late in the first half but tries either side of the break – to Raiders interchange forward Shannon Boyd and then Queensland Origin hopeful Josh Papalii – cut the deficit to 20-18.

Former Raider Joel Thompson scored from a Gareth Widdop kick to ease the nerves of the home side before Benji Marshall collected a perfect grubber kick from the impressive Widdop to score and make it 32-18.

Man of the match Widdop finished with 16 points from a try and six goals.

Widdop scored the opening try and was involved in three others, while Marshall also scored a try, made a crucial 40-20 kick leading to a first half score and laid on the Widdop try from a great kick.

The Dragons, Storm, Broncos and Cowboys share the premiership lead on 14 points, while the Raiders (10 points) remain in the top eight.

Dragons fullback Josh Dugan and backrower Trent Merrin, who are both likely to be included in Laurie Daley’s NSW side named on Tuesday, had quiet games from the Dragons but made it through unscathed.

The Dragons have the round 11 bye, while Canberra are at home to the Bulldogs next Sunday.

Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker was denied a dream start in his 150th NRL game with a try contentiously disallowed in only the second minute by the video referees.

Croker was adjudged to have made a double-movement after being held onto by Tyson Frizell as he attempted to score.

It was a tough call against Canberra, with referee Ben Cummins telling a disbelieving Croker it was a “touch and go” ruling.

A minute later Widdop scored the opening try and from a 20-12 halftime lead the Dragons scored two of the three second half tries for an impressive win.

– AAP

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