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Dragons thrash Johns-less Knights

04/04/2004 09:40:56 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle received a not-so-subtle reminder of life without Andrew Johns courtesy of the man who may replace him as NSW captain.

Dragons five-eighth Trent Barrett saved his best performance of the National Rugby League season for a Knights side still overcoming the loss of Johns for the remainder of the year - prompting Newcastle coach Michael Hagan to state his side had to stop talking about its injured talisman and move forward.

St George Illawarra's outing was one of a number of eye-catching performances over the weekend, which began with Penrith stamping itself as the premiership's new benchmark with a 22-6 win over the Sydney Roosters at Telstra Stadium on Friday night.

There was joy for South Sydney fans as the Rabbitohs impressed with a 36-12 victory over Cronulla, Canberra returned to form by winning 26-12 against Parramatta at Canberra Stadium and Brisbane finally threw off the shackles at Suncorp Stadium, coming from 18-4 down to beat Melbourne 34-26.

The Knights, missing several other experienced players on top of Johns, were never in the game at WIN Stadium, losing 48-2.

"The events of last week and this week meant that it was always going to be pretty tough for us," Hagan said.

"There's not much we can do about it (Johns' absence) now. We've gotta stop talking about it and try to move forward."

On Friday night, the Panthers continued their recent dominance of the Roosters with a pulsating victory.

And the news could get worse for the Roosters, with Adrian Morley on report for a high tackle and another Roosters player likely to be charged over an incident which left young Penrith forward Luke Swain with a fractured jaw and minus several teeth.

"They (The NRL) have video reviewers and I'd like to think when a guy has a fractured jaw and two broken teeth, they will look at it," Penrith chief executive Shane Richardson said.

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