The St. George Illawarra Dragons defeated the Gold Coast Titans 32-18 to join Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins near the top of the preseason ladder

“[The Charity Shield defeat] probably helped us in some way,” Griffin said after the win. “Everything happens for a reason and we got a lesson against Souths. We’ve had really good preparation over the last two weeks and that showed tonight.”

After one hell of an offseason of police charges, trial losses, 6am hotel disputes and stupid poll questions, victory for St George Illawarra wasn’t going to solve everything. But it will help solve a lot of things.

And an early-season ranking aided by an unnecessary two points for the first-round bye certainly makes things look better on the one point that matters.

It’s almost as if, after Thursday night’s alleged racial slur against Latrell Mitchell, every other Indigenous NRL full-back decided to shine for the rest of the weekend to pay respects to their community leader.

First it was Cronulla’s Will Kennedy with his first NRL hat trick on Friday night. Most recently, it was St. George Illawarra’s Tyrell Sloan, whose lasting memory of the Charity Shield was crying in Mitchell’s arms after a forgettable afternoon a few weeks ago.

Sloan started his side’s comeback in the first half with a scintillating break to set up Jacob Liddle’s first try for the Dragons, then scored his own in the second half from a superb Ben Hunt pass.

Previously, Griffin looked like he was waiting for the St George Illawarra board to decide his future after a full game rather than a full season as Gold Coast went 12-2 ahead.

Both attempts failed. AJ Brimson danced and kicked to clear Alofiana Khan-Pereira and Sam Verrills dived over the dummy half.

But when Sloan burst into space to bring Liddle down, it prompted the Dragons to make three tries in the final nine minutes of the first half, with Mikaele Ravalawa clinching for a four-point lead over 13 seconds before the break in the break stormed.

Loading

“We did a lot of stupid things,” said Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook of two untouched penalties and a brief miss that went less than 10 yards. “We’re putting a lot of pressure on the middle, but I’m not here to make excuses. It’s a good learning curve for us and we have to bounce back next week.”

The Dragons swelled quickly in the second half as Sloan went over and Lawrie’s rare try contributed to some Zac Lomax penalty goals.

All of this left Bennett and the Dragons back on the NRL.

Is this real life?

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA KITES 32 (Jacob Liddle, Ben Hunt, Mikaele Ravalawa, Tyrell Sloan, Blake Lawrie tries; Zac Lomax 6 goals) defeated GOLD COAST TITANS 18th (Alofiana Khan-Pereira, Sam Verrills, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui tries; Tanah Boyd 3 goals) at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. Referee: Chris Sutton. Quantity: 8538.

Stream the NRL Premiership 2023 live for free 9Now.

Sports news, scores and expert commentary. Sign up for our sports newsletter.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/wayne-bennett-and-the-dragons-are-back-near-the-top-of-the-nrl-yet-it-s-not-2010-20230312-p5crea.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport The St. George Illawarra Dragons defeated the Gold Coast Titans 32-18 to join Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins near the top of the preseason ladder

Ryan Sederquist

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@internetcloning.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button