Widdop inspires Dragons to Sharks upset, Rabbitohs end barren run


Gareth Widdop claimed a 16-point haul as St George Illawarra Dragons prevented Cronulla Sharks from returning to the top of the NRL by stunning their derby rivals with a 32-18 victory on Saturday.

The Sharks were without a win in two matches after stringing together a club record 15 consecutive victories and Shane Flanagan's side were blown away in the second half at UOW Jubilee Oval to suffer only a fourth loss of the season.

Cronulla received a blow before kick-off when captain Paul Gallen was ruled out after injuring his calf in the warm-up, but tries from Valentine Holmes and Ben Barba, along with four points from the boot of James Maloney gave them a 12-6 half-time lead.

The Dragons, still in with a chance of reaching the finals, came storming back after the break with Mitch Rein adding to a first-half try from Euan Aitken and Tariq Sims grabbing a quickfire double to leave Cronulla trailing.

A Ricky Leutele try and a Maloney penalty cut the gap to six points with 11 minutes remaining, but captain Widdop went over and added a fourth conversion as well as a penalty to end his side's run of five defeats in a row and strike a dent to the Sharks' minor premiership bid.

South Sydney Rabbitohs ended their nine-game losing streak by seeing off New Zealand Warriors 41-22 at Mt Smart Stadium.

Joe Burgess scored a first-half double, while Alex Johnston, Aaron Gray, Greg Inglis and Hymel Hunt also touched down to give Michael Maguire's men a first victory since May and strike a blow to the Warriors' final hopes.

James Tedesco suffered a fractured jaw and Jarryd Hayne landed a dramatic last-gasp field goal to give Gold Coast Titans a 19-18 victory at Wests Tigers which moved them up to seventh spot.