The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 26-0 by the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Thursday.
Head Coach Paul McGregor had been forced to make a late change to the starting line-up named midweek following halfback Benji Marshall’s failure to overcome a minor hamstring strain.
Consequently, utility Josh McCrone was named in the pivot’s role to join co-captain Gareth Widdop in the halves.
Additionally, prop Dunamis Lui was named as replacement for hooker SIliva Havili and started on the interchange bench.
The visitors had entered the encounter on the back of a 36-0 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys five days earlier but found themselves unable to score against last season’s defeated Grand Finalists.
The home side opened up their scoring account through winger Corey Oates who had been the recipient of a cut-out pass by five-eighth Anthony Milford in the fourth minute.
Broncos lock Corey Parker booted a penalty goal moments to make it 6-0.
The hosts scored their second four-pointer of the match on the half hour mark when five-eighth Anthony Miford’s deft chip-kick found second-rower Alex Glenn unmarked inside the try-area.
Parker added the extras to make it 12-0.
The Dragons had been denied a try minutes earlier after lock Jack de Belin had been adjourned by the NRL Bunker to have been stripped of the ball mere millimetres from the white stripe.
The Cootamundra Bulldogs junior’s attempt proved the closest opportunity the visitors had to scoring throughout the game as they found themselves forced to defend their line for the majority of play following the interval.
The Red-and-Whites managed to successfully do the task required for the majority of the second stanza, conceding only the one further penalty goal to Parker just prior to the hour mark.
Unfortunately, the visitors were cruelly dealt a double-blow in the final ten minutes of play with both Milford etching his name in the score sheet as well as winger Jordan Kahu.
Parker booted both goal attempts to make it 26-0.
St George Illawarra Dragons 0
Brisbane Broncos 26. Tries: Oates, Glenn, Milford, Kahu. Goals: Parker (3/4). Penalty Goal: Parker (2/2).