Warriors hold off fast-finishing Dragons side

The Warriors have held off a fast-finishing Dragons side to seal an impressive 18-12 win away from home.

An early sin bin to St George fulback Matt Dufty in the first-half opened the gates for the New Zealanders, running riot in the ten minutes Dufty was off the field.

It was only 2-0 to the Warriors when Dufty received his marching orders, but the Warriors capitalised on a stretched Dragons defence by scoring a stunning three tries in his absence.

The Warriors held off a fast-finishing Dragons side to record an impressive 18-12 win in the NRL. Pic: Getty

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck starred with 222m and a crucial try-saving strip over the line in the first half, while Issac Luke was also good and centre Solomone Kata scored a double.

The win marked their first in Wollongong since 1996 and moved them back to four points ahead of the ninth-placed Wests Tigers with four rounds to play.

It means just two more wins from their final four games would almost certainly be enough to qualify them for their first finals series since 2011.

In turn, the Dragons have lost four of their past five and could fall back level on points with fifth and sixth-placed Penrith and Cronulla if they win on Sunday.

Making matters worse for the Saints will be fears over an ankle injury for NSW prop Paul Vaughan after he was hurt in the 11th minute and did not return.

After the Warriors led 2-0 following an uneventful opening half-hour, the match turned when Dragons fullback Dufty was sin-binned for impeding Tuivasa-Sheck on a kick chase.

The visitors then got their first try in the set immediately after the offence when Kata crossed off an Isaiah Papali’i offload in the left-hand corner.

Luke was the next to score when Jazz Tevaga got away a late offload close to the line before Kata crossed off a three-man cut-out ball from Blake Green just as Dufty returned to the field.

Cameron McInnes and Luciano Leilua crossed for the hosts in the 10 minutes after the break but they couldn’t make use of the weight of territory and possession in the second half to land the win.

with AAP.