Eels smash Dragons 40-14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eels smash Dragons 40-14

08/07/2005 09:36:04 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta fullback Wade McKinnon scored a match-turning try while the majority of players were brawling as the Eels defeated St George Illawarra 40-14 in a fiery NRL clash.

The controversial try overshadowed a stellar performance from Eels pair Dean Widders and Ben Smith, who bagged a hat-trick of tries in front of 20,184 fans at Parramatta Stadium.

With the Eels holding a slender 16-14 lead, McKinnon sprinted past a pack of players fighting to score the easiest of tries under the posts.

The brawl was sparked by Trent Barrett taking offence to a shot from Eels utility PJ Marsh after the Dragons skipper had put in a clearing kick from his 40m line.

Barrett's swinging arm connected with the top of Marsh's head, sending players from all directions in for the biff.

McKinnon fielded Barrett's kick and raced 80m to touch down. John Morris converted to give the second-placed Eels a 22-14 lead.

Smith pounced on a dropped ball from Dragons lock Shaun Timmins to run 90m and score a 69th minute try while Glenn Morrison and Chad Robinson crossed in the final 10 minutes to embarrass the Dragons.

The visitors, who had three players backing up from Origin, may drop out of the top eight following this weekend's round 18 of NRL action.

Widders set up two opening-half tries for Smith and crossed himself in the 49th minute.

His superb effort came less than a week after he was racially abused by Souths back-rower Bryan Fletcher, who was stripped of the captaincy and handed a one-game suspension.

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