Dragons edge past Panthers in thrilling finish


St George Illawarra Dragons claimed back-to-back NRL wins after seeing off Penrith Panthers 14-12 in a thrilling finish on Sunday.

After a try-less opening half in Wollongong, the Dragons huffed and puffed and were eventually rewarded as Gareth Widdop kicked the winning points in the 78th minute.

Widdop made no mistake with his conversion having seen team-mate Josh Dugan level proceedings four minutes from time, just three minutes after Jamie Soward failed to convert Josh Mansour's try at the other end.

With the scores locked at 2-2, the game finally came to life in the 53rd minute as the Dragons made the breakthrough thanks to Euan Aitken, who weaved his way over the line.

The Panthers, though, hit back just seven minutes later. Penrith were forced to run the ball and Peta Hiku managed to find some space as he crossed the whitewash, with Soward converting.

Soward was in the thick of the action eight minutes from the end, setting up Mansour out wide for a 12-8 lead, but the veteran half-back was unable to kick the two points.

And it proved decisive, with the Dragons going up the other end and scoring before Widdop converted the try to seal a second straight victory after they had lost their first two games of the campaign.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have lost three of their opening four matches.