Titans take down the Broncos after Dragons soar to the top

Related Story: Sea Eagles repel the Raiders, Warriors stay perfect in Sydney

A week ago, the Gold Coast Titans were hammered 54-8 by the Dragons in Toowoomba, and the pressure was right on coach Garth Brennan and his players.

On Easter Sunday, the Titans produced a stunning form turnaround, against their "big brother", the Brisbane Broncos, to win 26-14 at Lang Park.

It was only the second win for the club at the venue — the other occasion was the very first encounter between them back in April 2007.

External Link: Broncos – Titans summary

The win also ended a run of seven Titans losses to the Broncos, and pushed the Brisbane side out of the top eight.

The shock result came after the Dragons earlier regained top spot by beating the Knights.

External Link: Broncos – Titans chalkboard

Brisbane — in particular the left-side of the Broncos defence — was caught napping early by the Titans, who scored two tries inside five minutes to silence the home crowd.

Winger Phillip Sami was the star of the show, scoring in the opening minute before going on to bag a hat-trick.

External Link: Broncos – Titans stats

Brisbane managed a try to Andrew McCullough, converted by Jamayne Isaako, midway through the first stanza, and a late penalty to the home side made it 16-8 to Gold Coast at the break.

Almost all hopes of a Broncos comeback were extinguished early in the second half when Anthony Don came down with a high ball to score a try that made it 20-8, and another converted try to Sami with 25 minutes left sealed the win.

All Brisbane could manage was a converted try from Cody Nikorima in the final 20 minutes, but nothing was going to deny the Titans a famous win.

Dragons dominate Knights in Wollongong

Euan Aitken of the Dragons scores against Newcastle in Wollongong on April 1, 2018.

St George-Illawarra have gone undefeated over the first month of the NRL for the first time in the merged club's history, after beating Newcastle 30-12 in Wollongong.

Easily the best attacking team over the opening month of the competition with Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop at the helm, the Dragons laid on five tries to continue on their merry way on Sunday.

The victory took the Dragons' attacking aggregate to 138 for the season, at an average of 34 points per game, to keep them at the top of the ladder ahead of the similarly undefeated Warriors.

External Link: Dragons – Knights summary

Hunt and Widdop were again magnificent in attack, linking directly twice for two tries in four minutes in the first-half to take the control of a match they never relinquished.

In just their fourth game together, the pair first threw long cut-out balls before Tim Lafai provided a falling flick pass for Nene Macdonald — who is becoming a serious strike weapon on the left wing.

Moments later, they were at it again off the back of a set piece to create space for Matt Dufty to put Euan Aitken in and set up an 18-6 lead after the two teams had traded tries early.

External Link: Dragons – Knights chalkboard

For all their flair, the Dragons made just five errors and completed at 83 per cent in the rout, while their forwards were again dominant up front.

Jack de Belin — who declared last week he was made for State of Origin with NSW — produced bell-ringing tackles to force errors in the lead up to each of Hunt and Widdop's first-half efforts.

External Link: Dragons – Knights stats

Prop Paul Vaughan — whose Origin chances also increased with the Blues' losses of Andrew Fifita and Jordan McLean over the weekend — ran 143 metres, James Graham had 156 and Leeson Ah Mau scored his first try in almost four years.

Newcastle's loss marked their second in as many weeks after they started the season with two wins.

They also lost centre Tautau Moga to a knee injury when he was hurt stepping for the game's opening try, before the Dragons took control and played the Knights out of the match.


Original Article


ABC .net


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