Round 5 – Match 1 Results: St George Illawarra Dragons 34 v Brisbane Broncos 16

The opening game on Friday night saw the Broncos suffer their fourth consecutive defeat when they were well beaten by the in-form Dragons at WIN Stadium.

The ‘baby Broncos’ were missing Ben Te’o and Antonio Winterstein after club-imposed suspensions were handed out to the pair for being late to training, and with such a young side they really need all the experience and players they can get every match.

It was the Dragons who put the first points on the board when Beau Scott scored seven minutes in. Commentators had a joke about a Morris boy not scoring the opening try, but Brett Morris soon atoned scoring himself a first half double putting tries down in the 33rd and 40th minutes.

Before Morris blitzed the field, Brisbane’s Dale Copley was able to open the Broncos account in the 14th minute.

All four of the first half tries were converted, the Dragons’ three by Jamie Soward and the Broncos’ sole try by Wallace, and St George led the Broncos into the break 18 – 6.

The half-time margin was nearly increased when Morris got over the line in what would have been the opening try of a hat-trick for the top try-scorer, but the video ref found an obstruction and denied the 30th minute try.

Going into second half the Dragons resumed their dominance against the Broncos who, despite showing some improvement on their previous few matches, failed to keep up and play at the same level.

Brisbane’s young guns need to step up, work more as a team and show more strength and determination in their defence if they are to feature in this year’s premiership at all and get out of their bottom position on the ladder.

Jason Nightingale scored the Dragons first second half try in the 51st minute before Ben Hornby and Dean Young added two more to their blitzing of Brisbane in the 58th and 67th minutes. Soward converted two from three brining their final score to an impressive 34.

Josh Hoffman and Andrew McCullough were able to soften the blow slightly for the Broncos scoring a try each in the final 10 minutes of the game, but with Wallace only converting the final one in the 80th minute they went down 16 – 34 in the end.

The victory has seen the Dragons secure their spot at the top of the ladder board. It is still the Storm leading the premiership betting markets, though the margin between the two has shortened as Ladbrokes.com.au are paying $4.75 for Melbourne and $5 for the Dragons.