Wolves are sent packing as St George duo draw first blood

Warrington 12 St George Illawarra 18

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The Independent Online

St George Illawarra drew first blood in the new World Club Series by grinding out a win over Warrington in an action-packed game last night.

It was a full-blooded tie in which the NRL club incurred the wrath of the crowd with two high tackles that might have produced red cards in Super League.

The Wolves battled throughout without being anywhere near their best but had no answer to the craft of the Dragons’ Anglo-Kiwi half-back pairing of Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall.

The visitors made the best possible start when Tyson Frizell took a short pass from Marshall to go in for the first try with just 80 seconds on the clock. Widdop added the goal to make it 6-0 but Warrington’s response was impressive. Gareth O’Brien brought them level after dummying his way past Marshall and full-back Josh Dugan to score a superb solo try, to which he added the goal.

However, when Joel Monaghan failed to clear Marshall’s grubber on the last tackle, second rower Joel Thompson pounced to score a second try and regain the lead.

Warrington scored their second try on 29 minutes, centre Ryan Atkins taking Gary Wheeler’s pass to cross at the corner and they drew level with an O’Brien penalty on 58 minutes.

But Dugan touched down for the Dragons’ third try after Daryl Clark was only able to parry Marshall’s kick and Widdop kicked his third goal to wrap up the scoring.

Warrington: Wheeler; R Evans, Monaghan, Atkins, Penny; O’Brien, Myler; Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Laithwaite, Westwood. Replacements used: Bridge, Harrison, Higham, England.

St George Illawarra: Dugan; Nabuli, Nielsen, Farrell, Nightingale; Widdop, Marshall; O’Brien, Rein, Ah Mau, Frizell, Thompson, Creagh. Replacements used: Merrin, de Belin, Marketo, Rose.

Referee: B Thaler (England)