Dragons snap four-game losing streak with win over Knights

A 78th minute field goal to Zac Lomax and late try to Mat Feagai has helped the Dragons snap a four-game losing streak with a 21-16 win over Newcastle on Sunday.

Lomax broke a 16-16 deadlock with two minutes left on the clock before the Dragons kept the ball alive on the last on the stroke of full-time with Feagai crossing for his second of the afternoon in the win.

It was an enthralling encounter between the two clubs, who were equally as desperate to turn their early season form around after sluggish starts.

The Dragons enjoyed 56 percent of possession in the opening half to set up an 8-0 lead but didn't have it all their way with Newcastle repelling their attack and hitting the lead midway through the second half.

Back-to-back tries to Jack Bird (51st minute) and Feagai (53rd minute) got the Red V back in front but the Knights had another say when Kalyn Ponga crossed a short time later to level the scores.

From there, it was an end-to-end contest with the Dragons and Knights battling out the final quarter of the game before Lomax's one-pointer split the sides.

Earlier, a penalty goal for a late shot after a kick enabled the Dragons to take a 2-0 advantage before Andrew McCullough made a mockery of his former teammates to catch defenders napping close to the line. 

Newcastle weren't afraid to throw the ball around despite being down on the scoreboard and managed to jag a try back before half-time with Tyson Frizell and Ponga keeping the ball alive to send Enari Tuali over on the right edge.

The Knights hit the lead after the break in the 48th minute when Dane Gagai finished off a frantic last-play.

Match snapshot

  • The Dragons have now extended their winning streak to 11 years over the Knights at WIN Stadium.
  • The Dragons secure the Alex McKinnon Cup.
  • Jack Bird has now scored six tries in seven games against the Knights.
  • Knights winger Edrick Lee made a memorable return to the NRL after more than 500 days on the sidelines due to a foot injury.
  • Dragons centre Moses Suli proved difficult to stop all afternoon, finishing the match 

Play of the game
Zac Lomax went from villain to hero in the second half when he slotted the 78th minute field goal to get the Dragons home.

Lomax copped some criticism during the match for taking out Tyson Frizell after the Knights back-rower fumbled the ball in-goal that led to Jack Bird's try.

The incident had Lomax warned and the Dragons centre a target for the Knights, who had some success down his edge.

However, Lomax had the last say to kick home the match-winner.




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What's next
The Dragons will have an eight-day turnaround before they prepare to host the Roosters at the SCG in the annual ANZAC day clash.

Newcastle will return home to McDonald Jones Stadium for a Sunday afternoon classic against the Eels. 

Knights coach Adam O'Brien will be hoping to have Adam Clune available after he was a late withdrawal on Sunday due to injury.




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Story first published on NRL.com

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Alicia Newton, NRLW Chief Reporter, NRL.com