29 Aug 2010

Dragons clinch minor premiership, Canberra smash North Qld

6:10 am on 29 August 2010

St George Illawarra have wrapped up the National Rugby League's minor premiership, holding off a brave fightback at Newcastle to win 26-18 and end the Knights' faint finals hopes.

The Dragons will now finish on top after the end of the regular season but the Knights made it difficult, fighting back from 22-0 down early in the second half with three tries in seven minutes, only for Dragons star Jamie Soward to seal the win with a four-pointer three minutes from time.

Gold Coast lost their chance of taking out the NRL minor premiership after being rolled 30-16 by Cronulla in Sydney, the Sharks producing one of their best performances of the season to farewell retiring veterans Trent Barrett and Luke Covell from their home ground with a memorable victory.

Canberra's NRL finals hopes remain in their own hands after the Raiders scored an impressive 48-4 win over hapless North Queensland at Canberra Stadium.

The in-form Raiders piled on nine tries before the forgettable Cowboys answered back, catapulting the home side back into eighth spot on the ladder and just a win away from a spot in the last eight.

Victory against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium next weekend will ensure the Raiders qualify for the finals regardless of other results.