x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Canberra take down St George, cutting the Dragons' lead to two points

The St George Illawarra Dragons stumble to a 32-16 loss against the Canberra Raiders and see their lead in the NRL sliced to two points.

The St George Illawarra Dragons stumbled to a 32-16 loss against the Canberra Raiders yesterday, and saw their lead in the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) sliced to two points. The Raiders continued their 10-year jinx against the Dragons, making it 10 victories from 11 encounters, and remaining unbeaten against them in the nation's capital since 2000. The Dragons led 4-0 at half time, but the Raiders dashed away to lead 26-4 in the first 20 minutes of the second half to claim their third consecutive victory and stay in the hunt for a top-eight finish with two games remaining.

The Dragons hope that history does not repeat itself: St George lost to Canberra in the final rounds last year and never managed to regain their confidence before being bundled out in the second week of the 2009 finals. But Wayne Bennett, the Dragons coach, is confident this year will be different. "It's more about ourselves and there's something why we can't play too well here," he said. "Last year we kind of threw it away and I felt today we did the same thing."

The Dragons lead the Wests Tigers by two points after the Tigers held on for a thrilling 20-18 win over the Parramatta Eels at Parramatta Stadium. The Eels came up just short of completing a spirited comeback after trailing 20-6 with 16 minutes left to play. Luke Burt, the NRL's most accurate goalkicker, had a relatively easy conversion attempt with less than a minute to go, but pushed it wide after the Eels had set up a tight finish with two late tries.

Tim Sheens, the Tigers coach, was happy with the result. "We got a little bit of luck with him [Burt] missing the goal but I thought overall we were the better side," he said. "I was pleased to see we got away with what is a great win for the club." The Tigers are almost assured of a home game in the finals. Today's action sees the Sydney Roosters play host to the Gold Coast Titans. * Australian Associated Press