Dragons crush Sea Eagles to stay top - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons crush Sea Eagles to stay top

By Steve Jancetic 12/07/2009 06:57:05 PM Comments (0)

Manly skipper Matt Orford has implored the NRL to re-consider stand-alone State of Origin matches after the weakened reigning premiers were dumped out of the top eight in a 48-18 thumping by premiership front-runners St George Illawarra.

With a combined eight players from both sides forced to watch on from the sidelines due to Origin commitments ahead of Wednesday night's series dead-rubber in Brisbane, Orford claimed it was wrong to rob high-profile clashes such as Sunday's meeting at WIN Stadium of the best players.

Each side had four players unavailable, but it was the Sea Eagles who felt it the most as the Dragons ran in eight tries to three to stay top of the ladder, wingers Wendell Sailor and Brett Morris having a day to remember with two tries apiece in front of a healthy 16,792 fans in Wollongong.

"I think State of Origin should be looked at stand alone for sure - it's the pinnacle of our game isn't it?" Orford said.

"Whether that's the system or something else they can come up with, I think it deserves the spotlight.

"And (then) you have your full team there in the (NRL) comp and you have a great afternoon and a great spectacle with every single player in the team."

It's hard to believe the Dragons fans who filled a sun-drenched WIN Stadium would have been complaining too much about the spectacle after watching their side pile on their eight four-pointers, including three in the last 13 minutes to blow Manly away after the visitors had closed to within two converted tries late.

While disappointed about dropping out of the eight, which only came as a result of Morris' 79th minute try which left them behind Penrith on for-and-against, Manly coach Des Hasler remained upbeat.

"Obviously they're deserved competition leaders, but both sides with so many players out, I'm sure it will be a different contest next time," he said.

The Dragons shot out of the gates with two early tries but it was only when Jamie Soward ran it on the last to set up Sailor's first of the afternoon that the home side's ascendancy transferred to the scoreboard in the form of a 24-12 halftime lead.

The Sea Eagles threatened a comeback with Michael Robertson scoring to cut it to 30-18 late, but when Soward crossed for four of his 20 points to start the avalanche there was no stopping the Dragons.

Sailor noted the change in thinking within the group.

"Last year blokes went out there and I think it was more they'd hope they'd win," Sailor said.

"This year we rock up and we know we're going to win and if you don't win, you're going to be close."

Soward's exemplary display again gave ammunition to those who thought he should have been given a crack at Origin, but Dragons coach Wayne Bennett said his time would come.

"He's been great, he accepted the fact he wasn't there," Bennett said of Soward's Origin snubbing.

"He knows he's not ready for it. But what he's doing at the moment, another 12 months behind him, it could be a different situation altogether."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news