Dragons finish on a high over under-strength Melbourne

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St George Illawarra Dragons v Melbourne Storm

The St George Illawarra Dragons have ended the NRL season on a high with a 30-22 comeback victory over a very understrength Melbourne Storm at Jubilee Oval.

The Storm started the game strongly with three tries inside the opening twenty minutes. The first try to the visitors came after just nine minutes when Ryan Papenhuyzen got into space on the left and found Paul Momirovski who scored through an unconventional grounding.

The second of Melbourne's tries came when Sandor Earl scored in the corner but some were left questioning the lead up after Chris Lewis contacted Cody Ramsey in the contest which stopped Ramsey from getting the ball. The bunker examined the play and gave it the green lights.

Chris Lewis scored his first NRL try for the Storm when the Dragons right side defence was again caught napping and the Storm took advantage. Poor goalkicking from Ryan Papenhuyzen kept the Dragons in the game.

The Red ‘V' closed the gap to six just minutes later when Matt Dufty scored after some good work between Dragons rookies Jayden Sullivan and Cody Ramsey which saw the latter kick the ball back inside for Zac Lomax who's second kick sat nicely for Matt Dufty who scored.

The Storm were making easy metres in attack and they took advantage when adding a fourth first half try when Isaac Lumelume got his first NRL try after Cooper Johns saw space in behind the Dragons defence which gave the Fijian international a chance to chase down the kick which he did and scored. Yet again, the inability to convert from out wide for Ryan Papenhuyzen kept the Dragons in the contest.

Just after the half hour mark, Tyson Frizell took advantage of a disjointed Storm defensive line to make a charge at the line and score. Lomax's success off the boot meant that despite conceding tries, the Dragons trailed by just four points.

The second half was a true contest for the first 20 minutes but as the time went on, the Dragons started to get on top of the Storm. The first points of the second half came through a Penalty Try for the Dragons when it was ruled by referee Matt Cecchin that in his opinion that Zac Lomax would've scored had it not been for contact by Ricky Leutele. An opinion that was confirmed by Henry Perenara in the bunker and the Dragons lead for the first time despite scoring one less try.

The Dragons extended their lead not long after when Matt Dufty was backing up on a Cam McInnes burst out of dummy half and with the speed that both possess, the Storm defenders couldn't catch them as the Dragons extended their lead.

Melbourne gave hopes of a fightback when Nicho Hynes scored off his own kick under the posts which saw Hynes kick the Storm's only conversion of the afternoon. The hopes of a fightback were dimmed when Tyson Frizell farewelled the Dragons in style adding a second try after debutant Jayden Sullivan's kick bounced perfectly for Frizell.

The victory caps off a poor season for the Red ‘V' who look forward to 2021 under Anthony Griffin meanwhile Melbourne are yet again playing finals footy as they host Parramatta on Saturday night.

St George Illawarra Dragons 30 - Melbourne Storm 22

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Crowd: 2738
Halftime Score: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 Melbourne Storm 16

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cameron McInnes
2 points - Matthew Dufty
1 points - Tyson Frizell

Tries: Matthew Dufty (2), Zac Lomax, Tyson Frizell (2)
Field Goals:
Conversions: Zac Lomax (5/5)
Penalty Goals:

Tries: Paul Momirovski, Sandor Earl, Chris Lewis, Isaac Lumelume, Nicholas Hynes
Field Goals:
Conversions: Ryan Papenhuyzen (0/4), Nicholas Hynes (1/1)
Penalty Goals:

See how it happened in our Match Centre