Hornby hails Dragons forwards - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hornby hails Dragons forwards

27/03/2011 05:16:49 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra skipper Ben Hornby saluted his side's forwards after the reigning premiers got their NRL season back on track following last Monday's shock loss to Cronulla.

The Dragons prevailed 25-12 against an error-strewn Warriors in Auckland at Mt Smart Stadium, and Hornby put the victory down to the good work from their undermanned pack without Michael Weyman, Beau Scott and Dean Young.

"We were obviously very disappointed with what happened last week, it was another tough game to come over here and try to win, but the way we started was the biggest difference," Hornby said.

"Our forwards were outstanding and that's where the offloads come - when you run hard, when you're not - they're not coming.

"Our forwards deserve a big rap for what they did in the first half."

Even without the injured Weyman and Young and the suspended Beau Scott, the Dragons had too much class for the Warriors.

Former Warriors rake Nathan Fein said the Dragons' victory was a case of returning to basics.

"We needed to get back to our blueprint which we know has worked, we were able to do that for the first half," Fein said.

"It was a little bit disappointing in the second half which was disappointing, but hats off to ourselves, we defended really well."

It was a game Kiwi winger Jason Nightingale won't forget in a hurry, bagging a brace of tries inside the first 15 minutes to set the tone for a one-sided encounter.

Matt Cooper scored the next try for the Dragons to give the reigning premiers an 18-0 lead at the break, thanks to Jamie Soward nailing every conversion.

Ben Matulino pulled a try back for the Warriors early in the second half to give the majority of the 11,651 in the crowd something to cheer about.

But the Dragons were still oozing confidence, so much so that when they had an easy penalty kick with 25 minutes to go they went for a tap and were rewarded with a try from Kyle Stanley, receiving a nice flick pass from Brett Morris.

As the game wound down Shaun Berrigan scored the Warriors second try when the Dragons had just 12 players on the field as Matt Cooper was given a 10-minute spell for back chatting the referees.

A Soward field-goal ended the scoring.

Warriors coach Ivan Cleary, whose side have yet to taste victory this season, hinted at changes for next Sunday's game against the in-form Cronulla.

"We've got to keep working hard and come up with a side and a bunch of guys that are going to work their way out of it," Cleary said.

"It is early days but its obvious that we've got to improve.

"When you play a side like the Dragons you need to be on top of your game and we are just not on top of it at the moment."

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