Dragons keen for break in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons keen for break in NRL

By Daniel Pace 21/08/2005 07:12:10 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra players will look forward to a much-needed rest after securing the club's maiden top four berth with a 25-22 victory over Parramatta in their NRL blockbuster at Kogarah.

Dragons skipper Trent Barrett set up three of his team's four tries in front of a ground record crowd of 17,523 - which included Prime Minister and the club's No.1 fan John Howard - at Oki Jubilee Stadium.

The Dragons' sixth consecutive victory moved them to 32 points on the NRL ladder, equal with Parramatta and two behind competition leader Brisbane following its narrow loss to Penrith.

"We've had a hard three weeks," said coach Nathan Brown following his team's recent trips to Townsville and Brisbane.

"The boys deserve a bit of a spell."

Dragons trio Matt Cooper (hamstring) and Justin Poore (ankle) - who both missed the thrilling match - and Ben Creagh (shoulder) will nurse their wounds before returning for the round 26 clash with Newcastle at Kogarah in two weeks.

Both teams' younger brigade will learn from the experience of playing in a match billed as a grand final preview.

"You cannot simulate the atmosphere that was out there today," said Eels coach Brian Smith.

"That was an early play-off game for us and we've got two more to come (against Canberra and Brisbane) to get ready for the real play-offs."

Brown said he wasn't even thinking of overtaking the Broncos to secure the minor premiership but it is clearly a goal for Smith.

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