Dragons Outmatched By Broncos
The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 32-6 by the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday.
The Red-and-Whites managed only the one try in the encounter through the efforts of winger Justin Hunt near the end of play.
Head Coach Paul McGregor had made several changes to his line-up as a result of utility Jake Marketo succumbing to a minor hamstring strain during training midweek.
With Dragons halfback Benji Marshall already omitted from the line-up, having failed to overcome a minor hamstring strain sustained last round, prop Jack de Belin was shifted to partner five-eighth Gareth Widdop in the halves.
Furthermore, fellow prop Trent Merrin was elevated to the starting forward-pack in lieu of captain Ben Creagh who reverted to the interchange bench alongside hooker Craig Garvey, utility Drew Hutchison and prop Mark Ioane.
The visitors overcame their top-of-the-table opposition 12-10 when the two teams previously met earlier on in the season but found themselves trailing by two converted tries at the midway point of the stanza.
Broncos winger Jordan Kahu had managed to make the most of some poor-marking on the right flank in the fifth minute of play to score the opening four-pointer of the encounter before replicating his efforts on the opposite flank fifteen minutes later.
Broncos lock Corey Norman converted both attempts to make it 12-0.
The Dragons had had the opportunity to score just after the halfhour mark only for winger Justin Hunt to mistime placing pressure on the ball inside the in-goal area.
The home side however notched their third try of the encounter just shy of the interval after five-eighth Anthony Milford effervescently weaved his way through the visiting defence to score.
The Broncos continued where they left off when second-half play commenced following the break and secured their fourth four-pointer via halfback Ben Hunt in the 44th minute.
Norman successfully converted to make it 22-0.
The Dragons had a second try disallowed minutes later when winger Nathan Green‘s foot was adjourned to have been outside the touchline.
The home side though made no mistake with their efforts and further extended their lead on the cusp of the hour mark when Hunt notched his second try in the 56th minute.
The Broncos soon added a further four points eight minutes later through centre Dale Copley to make it 30-0.
Norman again converted to make it 32-0.
The visitors however ultimately managed to score a consolatory try towards the end of play when Hunt broke free from the line to slide across the stripe.
Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop converted to make it 32-6.
St George Illawarra Dragons 6. Tries: J Hunt. Goals: Widdop (1/1).
Brisbane Broncos 32. Tries: Kahu (2), B Hunt (2), Milford, Copley. Goals: Parker (4/5).