Gareth Widdop during the NRL round one match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, March 9, 2014.
Gareth Widdop during the NRL round one match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, March 9, 2014. AAP Image/Action Photographics - Colin Whelan

Cooper and Widdop lead Dragons to win over Tigers

DRAGONS recruits Mike Cooper and Gareth Widdop showed there may be hope for the red and whites in 2014, after the two played leading roles in their side's 44-24 win over the Tigers at ANZ Stadium yesterday.

Cooper offered the Dragons must-needed starch with his hard-running up front, with the Englishman producing 23 tackles.

Fellow English buy Widdop continually threatened at five-eighth with the former Storm premiership winner also kicking eight goals from eight attempts.

The Dragons trailed 18-6 early, but got back into the contest with a brilliant try to Ben Creagh set up by halfback recruit Michael Witt who was impressive before suffering a dislocated shoulder.

Tigers utility Liam Fulton suffered a nasty concussion in that movement, catching teammate James Tedesco's leg. Fulton had to be stretchered off the field.

Blues representative Trent Merrin was another Dragons standout, setting up a Tyson Frizell try in the 61st minute courtesy of a brilliant offload inches from the ground.

In yesterday's other game, Parramatta had a first-up 36-16 win over the Warriors at Pirtek Stadium.

Last year's wooden-spooners scored seven tries with both wingers - Vai Toutai and Semi Radradra - scoring hat-tricks.

Jarryd Hayne scored the other try. The Warriors pulled the score back to 14-12 at half-time with tries to Glen Fisiiahi and Carlos Tuimavave, the second an eight-point try. Manu Vatuvei scored a try after the break but the visitors could not match the Eels.


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