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Dragons Win the Charity Shield Against Souths for the First Time in 10 Years

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The St George Illawarra Dragons won the Charity Shield for the first time in 10 years after beating the South Sydney Rabbitohs 16-10 in an exciting clash in Mudgee.

Both teams named strong sides with a mixture of youth and experience in what was a final trial game for Dragons and Souths before round one of the NRL.

The Dragons started the game on fire with winger Cody Ramsey getting the ball down in the corner with an incredible acrobatic finish after a nice cut-out pass from fullback Tyrell Sloan.

In an amazing effort, Ramsey was outside the field of play and put in a huge superman dive to somehow plant the ball down on the try line while mid-air.

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On commentary for Fox League, Andrew Voss called it an ‘out-of-this-world finish’ and an ‘early favourite for finish of the year’.

In the next set after the kick off, the Dragons were in again as forward Jack Bird scored after skipper Ben Hunt chose to run the ball on the last tackle. Hunt produced a short pass to Sloan, who then combined with Bird and centre Moses Suli to send Ramsey sprinting down the sideline. Ramsey produced a ball on the inside to put Bird over who was backing up his flying winger.

The Dragons were ahead 8-0, however the Rabbitohs settled with exciting young rookie Lachlan Ilias kicking a brilliant 20-40, only the second in NRL history, to get his team down field and out of trouble.

Off the next set of six, Souths star Cody Walker put centre Jaxson Paulo over for a try in the 16th minute to get his side back in the game.

Both sides continued to attack and the Dragons were over again in the 26th minute when centre Zac Lomax used some fancy footwork as he stepped three Souths defenders and put winger Mikaele Ravalawa over with a superb flick pass.

South were back in the game on the verge of half-time when Cody Walker darted over from dummy half after Dragons skipper Ben Hunt stopped a bulldozing Keaon Koloamatangi just short of the try line. Walkers’ try cut the Dragons deficit with Souths trailing 12-10 at half-time.

The second half saw both sides make numerous changes to their teams with the Dragons getting the only try of the half when winger Mat Feagai scored after good play and fast hands from Hunt and Suli.

Feagai’s try took the Dragons lead to 16-10, a lead they would hold onto as they claimed a confidence-boosting Charity Shield victory.

As an old Illawarra Steelers fan, and now a Dragons fan, this author has seen many heartbreaking losses and tough seasons.

The Dragons performance in the Charity Shield was promising – skipper Ben Hunt played well and his kicking game was strong, young guns Talatau Amone and Tyrell Sloan looked good, outside backs Cody Ramsey, Zac Lomax and Mikaele Ravalawa had some nice touches and the forwards delivered an excellent team performance.

With a good mix of young guns, experienced players and some new signings to freshen up the squad, 2022 could see a return to finals footy for long-suffering Dragons fans, we can only hope.

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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