A storming comeback from St George Illawarra powered them past the New Zealand Warriors 26-6 in Auckland on Sunday to keep the Dragons' NRLW campaign alive heading into the final round.  

The result means the Dragons, Roosters and Warriors head into the final round with a chance of joining the Brisbane Broncos in the grand final.

St George Illawarra will face the Roosters in a standalone clash at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, a day after the Warriors take on the Broncos at the Sydney Cricket Ground. 

The win came at the end of a dramatic week for the Dragons, who lost prop Teuila Fotu-Moala to suspension and key half Kimiora Nati to illness in the lead-up to the trip across the Tasman.

A crowd of 2518 was in attendance at Mt Smart Stadium for the first standalone game in the Holden Women's Premiership's short history but Dragons forward Maitua Feterika was almost joining them in the stands.

Feterika played a leading role in the Dragons' victory, scoring a second-half try and providing a key carry in the lead-up to another.

Match: Warriors v Dragons

Round 2 -

Full Time
Warriors

Home Team

Warriors

Scored 6 points
Dragons

Away Team

Dragons

Scored 26 points

Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network
  • GEM

The Dragons were left scrambling prior to kick-off after an administration error led to Feterika being omitted from the team list, leaving them with the prospect of fielding only 16 players.

The issue was resolved five minutes before kick-off when the NRL granted permission to include her in the 17.

After trailing 6-0 at the break, the Dragons dominated the second stanza and scored five tries inside the final 20 minutes to register a comfortable victory. 

Shaylee Bent and Tiana Penitani struck four minutes apart to hand the visitors the lead, before Feterika and Jessica Sergis gave them some breathing room. 

A long-range effort from Botille Vette-Welsh put the icing on the cake for St George Illawarra, with Jillaroo Maddie Studdon adding three conversions to blow the scoreline out. 

A crashing close-range run from Onjeurlina Leiataua and Apii Nicholls's conversion got the scoring started in a first half in which both teams were guilty of wasting try-scoring opportunities. 

By the start of the second period the Dragons were dominating possession, and eventually found a reward when Keeley Davis sent back-rower Shaylee Bent through untouched from 10 metres out.

Penitani then found space down the left before Feterika beat everyone to a loose ball under the sticks for a third Dragons try.

Tiana Penitani scores for the Dragons.
Tiana Penitani scores for the Dragons. ©Peter Meecham/NRL Photos

The game was all but over after Sergis scored with five to go, before Vette-Welsh capped off a remarkable comeback with her individual effort. 

Vette-Welsh peeled off a great show and go from deep within her own territory before speeding away from the cover defence to kick-start red and white celebrations.