A missed conversation from Ben Stevanovic after the siren has seen Wests Tigers Jersey Flegg fall 16-14 to the St. George-Illawarra Dragons today in their season opener in Corrimal.
Having fallen behind 16-10 late in the contest, 2020 Development Player Reece Hoffman's try in the final minute set the game up for a potential grandstand finish but it wasn't to be for the visitors, with Stevanovic's attempt waved away in wet conditions to see the Dragons home by the narrowest of margins.
The home side started the stronger of the two and posted first points through Mathew Feagai just before the hour mark, before Connor Muhleisen's sin-bin shortly after opened the door for the visitors to hit back in the contest.
Stevanovic carried his good pre-season form over to nab his side's first try of the day — converting just before the break to lock the scores up at six-all.
Daniel Sykes put Wests Tigers in front midway through the second half with a determined run, but the Dragons quickly hit back off another kick — Feagai grabbing his second to level the scores. Duke Grant put the Dragons back in front soon after with Muhleisen adding a penalty goal with five minutes to go to push the lead to six.
That decision would prove a masterstroke in the end, as Hoffman's late effort went unrewarded and the Dragons held on for a nervy 16-14 win in the end.
Wests Tigers will look to hit back next Saturday when they host the Newcastle Knights at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
St. George-Illawarra Dragons 16 (Feagai 2, Grant tries; Muhleisen 2/4 goals) def. Wests Tigers 14 (Stevanovic, Sykes, Hoffman tries; Stevanovic 1/3 goals)
Match: Dragons v Wests Tigers
Round 1 -
Venue: Ziems Park, Sydney
Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Callum GROMEKFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Craig McKenzie
Winger for Dragons is number 2 James SchillerWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 Liam SCOLARI
Centre for Dragons is number 4 Mathew FeagaiCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Zac Cini
Centre for Dragons is number 5 Jack WalshCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 Reece Hoffman
Winger for Dragons is number 14 Aidan GaffeyWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Josh Rizk
Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Braxton WallaceFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Tyler Field
Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Zach HerringHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Ben Stevanovic
Prop for Dragons is number 8 Jalal BazzazProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 Mavoni Tuifua
Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Connor MuhleisenHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Rua Ngatikaura
Prop for Dragons is number 10 Oliver ParrishProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Etuale Lui
2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Bailey Antrobus2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Felix Niutili-Schmidt
2nd Row for Dragons is number 20 Duke Grant2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Daniel Sykes
Lock for Dragons is number 13 Hudson SpicerLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Rajko Jankovic
Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Harris GeorgopoulousInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Brandon Webster-Mansfield
Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Oscar FitzpatrickInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Felix Smith
Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Ben ARANDTInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Benjamin Fisiilose
Interchange for Dragons is number 18 Dallas CollinsInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Sione Tupou
Reserve for Dragons is number 12 Hayden BuddReserve for Wests Tigers is number 20 Luke Rouland
- Referee: Robert Morey
- Touch Judge: Luke Saldern