Rugby League

Second-half blitz sees Dogs slay Dragons

May 24, 2024 6:37 am

[Source: NRL]

A slashing seven-try second half carried the Bulldogs to a 44-12 win over an injury-hit St George Illawarra at Accor Stadium last night.

In a horror night which saw them lose forward Hame Sele (shoulder) and Jack Bird (ankle) early in the match, the Dragon gave up a 12-6 lead after conceding 38 unanswered points in the second half.

A tough carry from Jack de Belin gave the Dragons ideal field position and Moses Suli opened the scoreboard in the 13th minute after powering onto a sweet pass from skipper Ben Hunt.

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The Bulldogs hit back just six minutes later with late call-up Toby Sexton stamping his class, fashioning a clever kick into the Dragons vacant in-goal for Matt Burton to put down just before the line.

St George five-eighth Kyle Flanagan came to the fore in the 32nd minute, with a quick play the ball after coming up short of the line and Jacob Liddle burrowed over from dummy half for a 12-6 lead.

A blow for the Dragons came just before halftime when Bird was taken from the field in a medical after coming from the sideline in extreme discomfort, clutching at his ankle.

With the Dragons returning to the second half down to just two men on the bench, the Bulldogs were quick to expose tiring defenders with Jaeman Salmon, throwing a dummy and exploding through the gap to score. Burton kicked to lock the score 12-12.

The Bulldogs backrower made it a double just six minutes later, finishing off some slick passing from Jacob Kiraz and Reed Mahoney to steal the lead from St George.

Come the 57th minute and winger Kiraz got one of his own after Stephen Crichton found some space down the right edge and the Dogs skipped out to a 24-12 lead.

Next to join the party was young gun Jacob Preston after Mahoney scooted out from dummy half to send the barnstorming backrower over from close range.

The Dragons night went from bad to worse when they lost star winger Zac Lomax to the sin bin for a professional foul and the Bulldogs upped the tempo again, with Origin hopefuls Matt Burton and Stephen Crichton both bagging tries for a 40-12 lead.

With a minute left on the clock, the Bulldogs once more stamped their authority over the Dragons’ left edge defence and star winger Kiraz made it a double to ice the 44-12 victory.