St George Illawarra Dragons vs Canberra Raiders: Five things we learned

As the NRL took another game rural to Mudgee, here is what we learned from the Dragons vs Raiders clash.

  1. 1 Dragons over May blues

    Murmurs of May premiers were going around once more after the Dragons lost to the Rabbitohs. Flat and tired possibly due to playing the same squad for the opening 10 rounds of the competition the Dragons did what they had not done for a number of years, win immediately after a loss in May. 

    They weren't at their best however the Dragons came away with the two points , coming from behind and putting last weeks loss straight behind them like they did after the loss to the Warriors.

    Produced enough to say they will be there, or thereabouts come the business end of the season. Additionally, with half their squad in contention for Origin the confidence they gain from that, will make them an exciting proposition towards the back end of the season barring injury and fatigue. 

  2. 2 Canberra own worst enemy - tale of their season

    Whenever they seemed to be getting some momentum a moment of ill-discipline or a drop ball halted this. As a result Tapine is on report for a shoulder charge on Dufty late in the first half as is Papalii for a high tackle on the same player. 

    Their ill-discipline didn't get any better in the second half with McDonald shunned off the ball resulting in a penalty and Austin dropping the ball after looking likely to score. If the Raiders want to compete this year they need to reign in some of their foolish play, because when they execute their gameplan they are more than capable of being a top eight side. 

  3. 3 Dufty can be one of the most exciting talents in the NRL for years

    Ran rings around the Raiders defence, scoring a try that reminded me of Jarryd Hayne against the Sharks some years ago albeit a much smaller and agile Hayne although I'll stop naming differences there. Last week the Rabbitohs managed to shut Dufty out of the game however the diminutive live-wire continually troubled a Raiders defensive line unable to cope with his speed and swerve. 

    Exudes confidence and ended the match with a try, a try assist, 5 tackle breaks, 2 line breaks and 166 running metres. A constant menace and whilst he can be tad selfish at times, knows not to go far too overboard. Brilliantly set up his skipper with a deft chip kick following the move of the match. 

    Whilst I am no Dragon fan I look forward to watching Dufty for years to come as one of the most exciting talents in the game. 

  4. 4 Play to the whistle!

    In the first half with the Dragons committed the cardinal sin when letting Leilua waltz over for what they deemed an unfair try due to obstruction. The referees went upstairs, and the try awarded the Dragons were left bemused by their own lack of urgency and willingness to surrender in the play. 

    Desperately need to address this onwards from here and it was a poor look for a side that has otherwise looked brilliant for much of this season. 

  5. 5 Mudgee big winner on a beautiful Sunday afternoon

    Mudgee was gifted a beautiful Sunday afternoon of footy and treated to two of the finest tries of the season along with it. Whilst there was plenty on show on the field, the crowd attendance was strong for a rural game and shows the NRL is getting it right with sharing games around at smaller rural towns around the east of the country. 

    What were your favourite moments from a big Dragons win in Mudgee? Let us know in the comments below.

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