In the world of rugby league, they say that defence often wins games and in the case of the clash between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos, it rang true – as a spirited defensive effort by the Broncos saw them defeat a disappointing Dragons side 22-6 at WIN Stadium.
The Broncos victory was soured with two injuries, however – one a potentially long-term calf injury to prop Josh McGuire and a hamstring concern for Justin Hodges, who later said it was just precautionary and he might be fit for next week.
In a game that was full of steely resolve in defence by the Broncos, defence that kept them in the game – a game that they perhaps should not have been in, it was the Dragosn ruing their missed opportunities.
Lacking clinical prowess when needed and unable to correctly execute their plays due to the stellar Broncos defence, the win will now heap more pressure onto Dragons coach Steve Price, as the Dragons find themselves bottom of the ladder for the time being.
As hard as the Dragons tried, they just could not break down the Broncos defence – a mix of solid defence and poor execution, dropped balls and incorrect calls on their part.
For Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, he had nothing but praise for his players – a game that showed that despite rumours of a split between the ranks, that the players and coach are well and truly getting along.
“One thing we showed tonight was a heap of courage and character and belief,” he said.
“It wasn’t pretty, but that’s what got us home in the end.
“This time of year, it’s very hard to get momentum. Tonight, we had no right to get it but we fought for it.”
Disappointed with his side’s overall effort, Price believed that it was not the individual personnel that let them down – but rather, the fact that they strayed from the initial game plan.
“It was a tough one to take … we had our chances in the first half and we came in at 6-all which was a bit disappointing,” he said.
“We’re just having too many temporary lapses with our attack at the moment.
“I’ve got all the belief and confidence in this playing group – that’s not an issue whatsoever.”
3. Corey Norman
2. Matt Gillett
1. Trent Merrin.