The St George Illawarra Dragons opened tonights Monday night fixture with a bang – turning on a tidal wave of tries, including a first half hat-trick to Josh Morris, against an inexperienced and shell shocked Bulldogs side well down on forwards as their NRL season goes from bad to worse.Â Saints winning 30-0.
Any hopes the SBW dramas could somehow unite and solidify the young Bulldogs were well and truly gone by halftime when they were 26 points behind, despite an improved second half, they were unable to post any points.
The Dragons, getting points through Matt Cooper, Brett Morris and Jamie Soward, moved into 6th spot on the NRL Table with the win after back to back defeats recently which had seen them slide out of the Top 8.
Morris, bound for the Bulldogs next season himself, had the home side in front just four minutes in after Bulldogs winger Heka Nanai had spilled the ball in his own in-goal.
He claimed a second in the 11th minute when he finished off a move sparked by a strong Jason Ryles run and offload before Cooper crashed over eight minutes later.
Morris’ hat trick was completed inside 25 minutes when he leapt all over Nanai to claim a Ben Hornby cross-field kick before his brother Brett joined him on the scoresheet following some flashy footwork from Soward.
The conditions took their toll in a second half dominated by errors, and the Bulldogs best chance to score turned into another try for the Dragons, when Soward snatched an intercept and ran 90 metres to score in the 55th.
The Bulldogs’ build up to the game could hardly have been more dramatic with Ben Roberts and Lee Te Maari also being stood down after their involvement in an altercation at a Cronulla nightclub last weekend.
In further blows, they lost centre Tim Winitana after just four minutes while forward John Kite was placed on report with five minutes to go after lashing out with a boot on Dragons centre Simon Woolford.
Dual international Wendell Saior came off the Dragons’ interchange bench in the 65th, earning the cheers of a poor crowd of 7,802, though his first two touches resulted in errors