Fiji Bati winger Mikaele Ravalawa’s try was not enough as his St George Illawarra Dragons side fell in the NRL Nines final last night.
Ravalawa’s Dragons were beaten by Jason Taumalolo’s North Queensland Cowboys 23-14 in Perth.
In front of a healthy crowd of 14,739 , the Cowboys added a matching piece of silverware to their 2014 Nines title with victory in the fast- paced final at HBF Stadium.
It finished off a wonderful campaign for the Cowboys, who went undefeated across the two-day tournament, which unearthed a number of stars.
Returning Dragons veteran Jason Nightingale polished off his impressive Nines campaign with a try midway through the first half, finishing off a flick pass from centre Euan Aitken.
Less than a minute later, they backed it up through Ravalawa to take an 8-6 lead before the Cowboys hit back through former Dragon Reece Robson, who split the defence to score in the bonus zone and regain the lead before halftime.
Cowboys half Jake Clifford sealed the win with a wide try in the second half, backing up his defensive effort to save an almost-certain try before halftime.
A late try from fast-moving prop Josh Kerr kept the Dragons in the game, but it wasn’t enough.
It was the first NRL Nines final for the Dragons, who earlier knocked Penrith out of the finals controversially when a try was given wrongly to rookie Cody Ramsey in the dying seconds of their quarter-final.
Ramsey was awarded his third try of the match in the 17-14 win, but replays showed the ball was planted in touch.