The St George Illawarra Dragons have put the NRL one up in the three game World Club Series this morning by defeating the Warrington Wolves 18-12 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in the UK.
The winner of the World Club Series will be dictated by which competition – NRL or English Super League – procures the most wins across the three game series that will culminate in Monday morning’s (AEDT) World Club Challenge between the Rabbitohs and St Helens.
It didn’t take long for points to be scored, with the Saints getting on the board first courtesy of Tyson Frizzell, who powered his way over out wide, with Widdop adding the extras.
The Wolves hit back in the 13th minute through a slippery Gareth O’Brien, who strode through the narrowest of gaps before racing 20 metres to touch down and score. O’Brien added the extras to level the scores up at six apiece.
The Saints marshalled themselves though and mounted an attack that would see a flying Joel Thompson swoop onto a Gareth Widdop grubber into the in-goal to give the lead to the Australians.
In what was proving to be a spiteful encounter, a spectacular high shot by the Dragons’ Eto Nabuli on Wolves player Kevin Penny, saw the home side gifted a penalty 30 metres out from the line. They would make the most of it, with Ryan Atkins crossing out wide on the back of a well-orchestrated short-side play, leaving the Wolves trailing the red v by two points at 12-10 going into the break.
On the resumption, an arm-wrestle ensued, with the points drought eventually being broken in the 58th minute thanks to a penalty to the Wolves that allowed O’Brien the opportunity to kick his team level at 12 apiece.
The Dragons got back onto the board though through some Benji Marshall magic with the boot – a deft kick landing in the hands of Josh Dugan who did well to plant the ball over the line. Widdop converted to give the Saints the lead and ultimately the win by 18-12.
The Brisbane Broncos now have the opportunity to wrap up the World Club Series tomorrow morning (AEDT) with victory over the Wigan Warriors.
Dragons 18 (Tyson Frizzell, Joel Thompson, Josh Dugan tries; Gareth Widdop 3 goals)
Wolves 12 (Gareth O’Brien, Ryan Atkins, tries; Gareth O’Brien 2 goals)
The World Club Challenge match will be broadcast live on GEM with coverage beginning at 5:30am on Monday 23rd (AEDT).