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Nightingale flies high with Dragons


March 26, 2014

Nightingale flies high with Dragons

St George Illawarra wing Jason Nightingale has ridden his team’s surprise unbeaten run to produce one of this week’s best Kiwi performances in the NRL.

The Dragons finished two spots off the bottom of last year’s competition table with a 7-17 record, but after three rounds, they have defied their lowly ranking for three wins.

Nightingale (Kiwi 747) has been instrumental in that great start to the season and helped lead the way again in their latest 14-12 victory over Cronulla Sharks. He scored his first try of the season and ran for a game-high 181 metres.

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney, for one, has noted the veteran’s great form.

“For Jason, it’s probably been a cumulative thing, along with the Dragon’s unbeaten run,” says Kearney.

“He’s been a really consistent performer and was again against the Shark, with his numbers and what he and Brett Morris are doing for their team.”

Melbourne Storm are the other winning outfit, with Kiwis prop Jesse Bromwich continuing his rich vein of form.

“He a really good front rower’s performance against Newcastle and it’s a real positive for us that he has been one of Melbourne’s best players.

Bromwich (Kiwi 775) was Kearney’s top pick last week and subsequently extended his contract with the Storm for another four years. He ran for 143 metres and made 29 tackles in a 28-20 result over the Knights.

The NZ coach’s other outstanding performer for Round Three was Penrith centre Dean Whare in an 18-16 win on the final siren.

Whare (Kiwi 776) contributed a try and ran for 112 metres.

“He came up with a couple of big plays this week and was also pretty good the week before against Melbourne, so I’m again rewarding the consistency of performance,” says Kearney.

St George face Brisbane Broncos, where Kearney is assistant coach, on Friday, while Penrith meet Parramatta and Melbourne visits Canterbury Bulldogs on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Kearney is now sweating the health of top Kiwis hooker Issac Luke, whose availability for the Anzac Test on May 2 is jeopardised by a shoulder injury.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” he laments.


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