The St George Illawarra Dragons have bounced back from their tough draw last week to record a dominant 28-6 victory over the Vodafone Warriors in today's Canterbury Cup encounter at Mount Smart Stadium.
Jordan Pereira made the most of his omission from the Dragons' NRL squad with two first-half tries, while Jackson Ford continued his stellar form with a tireless performance and a long range try to top it off.
Vodafone Warriors standoff Adam Keighran burst through after nine minutes, almost scoring in the corner but a perfect cover tackle by Sailor saved a certain try.
Sailor was in the action not long after, chiming into the line off some nice work by Adam Clune and providing the last pass to send Jordan Pereira over for the game’s first try after 14 minutes. The fullback then judged the wind perfectly, landing the conversion from the sideline.
The home side hit back shortly after when Keighran showed some great skill off a set that seemed to be going nowhere.
After putting a kick along the deck, he managed to grab the deflection and popped a pass for Phillip Makatoa to dive over in the corner. Like Sailor, he put in a perfect kick to convert and lock up the scores at 6-6.
A fast set saw the Dragons threaten again with nine minutes left in the half, and the Vodafone Warriors had no choice but to concede a ruck penalty close to their line. Sailor edged them in front with the shot just to the right of the posts.
Pereira then cut his way back through a couple of tackle attempts to score his second, giving the Dragons a handy 14-6 lead at the break.
Sailor again edged the Dragons further ahead with a penalty goal shortly after the restart before Clune scored a spectacular try off his own kick that was taken and offloaded by winger Jason Saab close to the line. In fact, the Dragons deprived the Vodafone Warriors of the ball for almost the first 10 minutes of the half.
They finally got a break after a bad lifting tackle saw Lachlan Timm, Josaia Lovodua and Eli Levido all put on report.
The ensuing attacking set saw Sean Mullany held up over the line, but that’s as close as the Vodafone Warriors got.
With 20 minutes to go, though, they seemed destined to score. However a pass from Hayze Perham ended up in the hands of Dragons’ second rower Jackson Ford. He had 90 metres to run, outpacing Adam Pompey and Cole Waaka to score under the posts to make the score 28-6.
At Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Vodafone Warriors 6 (Phillip Makatoa try; Adam Keighran conversion).
St George Illawarra Dragons 28 (Jordan Pereira 2, Adam Clune, Jackson Ford tries; Tristan Sailor 4 conversions, 2 penalties).
Halftime: 14-6 Dragons.
Vodafone Warriors | Adam Pompey; Cole Waaka, Hayze Perham, Solomone Kata, Edward Kosi; Adam Keighran, Chanel Harris-Tavita; Jackson Frei, Tyler Slade, Sam Lisone; Blake Ayshford, Taane Milne; Preston Riki. Interchange: Sean Mullany, Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard, Phillip Makatoa, Paulos Latu.