Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
When thinking of the late 2000’s and early 2010’s teams such as the Melbourne Storm and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles generally come to mind and understandably so.
There was another team who experienced a short period of dominance though in the St.George Illawarra Dragons of 2009 and 2010.
After finishing 7th in 2008, the Dragons took many by surprise when they won 17 games the next year and finished 1st on the NRL ladder under new head coach Wayne Bennett.
Brett Morris would also take out the top try scorer honour with an astonishing 25 tries, with five Dragons players being selected for the State of Origin.
A lack of finals experience would see the red v lose two straight games to the Eels and Broncos which resulted in their elimination.
Following such a poor finals campaign there was a belief that the Dragons would be unable to replicate their amazing season the following year.
They would, however, do exactly that, once again winning 17 games and this time winning the minor premiership by four points.
Any predictions that they would once again choke come finals time were soon put to rest after St. George Illawarra defeated the premiers from just two years earlier the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28-0.
This sent the Dragons through to a preliminary final showdown with the Wests Tigers two weeks later.
In front of 71,212 at ANZ Stadium, the red v managed to just edge past a great Tigers side 13-12 and booked themselves a spot in the Grand Final for the first time in 11 years.
On paper, the Dragons were clear favourites against the 6th placed Roosters, but would go into halftime in the 2010 NRL Grand Final down 8-6.
82,334 fans would then witness nothing short of a second half shellacking though, with the Dragons scoring 26 unanswered points to win the game 32-8.
Fullback Darius Boyd was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal to round out a great season for himself and his side.
Since then Wayne Bennett and the majority of the 2010 team have left the club or since retired, with the Dragons only getting as far as the second week of the finals.