Dragons hold off fast-finishing Cowboys
ST GEORGE Illawarra has survived an incredible second-half comeback from North Queensland to triumph 28-22 at WIN Stadium on Saturday night.
The home side ran rampant in the first half to take a 28-4 lead into the break before the Cowboys scored three tries in 10 minutes to get themselves back in the game.
The Red V were first on the scoreboard when winger Nene Macdonald showed great hands to dive over in the corner.
The Cowboys were quick to hit back in the 12th minute when Gideon Gela-Mosby pounced on a deft grubber from Blake Leary.
When a Michael Morgan kick sailed out on the full, the Dragons made the Cowboys pay when Gareth Widdop put Tim Lafai over virtually untouched.
The Samoan centre was back in the action in the 26th minute, when a lovely flick pass found Kurt Mann who did his best Superman impression to touchdown.
Prop Russell Packer left the field briefly for a concussion test midway through the first half, but when he returned made his presence felt.
In the 32nd minute, the Kiwi big man combined beautifully with Jack de Belin to put Widdop between the sticks with some enterprising play.
Lafai wasn't finished with the Cowboys and soon had his second of the night courtesy of a Widdop pass.
The Cowboys were first on the scoreboard after the break with bench prop Ben Spina dived on a Morgan grubber under the sticks.
From there it was one-way traffic with John Asiata showing his attacking prowess.
In the 62nd minute he threw a lovely ball to put Morgan over untouched.
Two minutes he put up a bomb, with Macdonald knocking on and Scott Bolton taking full advantage to dive over for a rare meat pie.
It was a frantic final 15 minutes, but the Dragons were able to hang on in front of a vocal Wollongong crowd.