he St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 32-6 by the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday. Picture: draSt George Illawarra’s bidto reach the semi-finals is in their ownhands after they were convincingly beaten 32-6 by competition-leader BrisbaneBroncos on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
The Dragons were down 16-0 at halftime and didn’t score until wingerJustin Hunt crossed for a try converted by five-eighth Gareth Widdopin the 69th minute.
The Dragons were seventh on 24 points entering the game and now havethree games to play before the finals against Penrith, Gold CoastTitans and Wests Tigers.
Halfback Benji Marshall was a late withdrawal with a torn hamstring fromlast week’s win against the New ZealandWarriors.
Second rower Jack de Belin started the match at halfback.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett, who coached the Dragons between2009-2011, would have been pleased to down his former club inBrisbane.
The Dragons tried hard but were no match on the night against adefiant Brisbane defence.
The Broncos scored tries in the seventh, 19th and 32nd minutes in a dominant first half display.
The Dragons haven’t beaten Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.
Brisbane, who lost their past two games, got back to theirmethodical approach in attack and brick-wall defence to frustrate theDragons.
Second-rower Tyson Frizell, fullback Josh Dugan and secondrower Joel Thompson never stopped trying.
Benji Marshall is expected to be fit for the Thursday, August 20round 24 clash against Penrith at WIN Stadium,Wollongong,at 7.45pm.
The Dragons lost Ben Creagh with a head knock and smashed nose and hedidn’t return in the second half.
Gareth Widdop said on ABC Radio after the match that Brisbane were toogood on the night and he was confident the Dragons will bounce back over the next three weeks and return to the winners list.
Dragons forward Trent Merrin told Channel Nine that the team needs to win every game to make the finals.
It will be Merrin’s final game at Wollongong as next year he is headed to Penrith Panthers; the Dragons’ opponentsnext Thursday.
Leader Man of the Match, Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt.
Brisbane 32 (Ben Hunt 2 tries, Jordan Kahu, Lachlan Maranta, Anthony Milford, Dale Copley tries, Corey Parker 3 goals, Anthony Milford onegoal) defeated St George Illawarra 6 ( Justin Hunt try, Gareth Widdopone goal ) Crowd: 33, 840.