st-george-dragons.jpgA fast finishing St George Illawarra Dragons side led by Ben Hornby came home strong to over power the highly fancied Brisbane Broncos 24-20 at Suncorp Stadium.

The home side had the lead 12-0 before the starring Ben Hornby turned on an impressive display to outshine his opposite – Darren Lockyer.

“We’re not ruthless enough,” fumed Broncos coach Wayne Bennett after the match.

“At this time of the year, at 12-0, where we’re trying to get to, what we want to achieve later on in the season …. It just can’t happen,” he said.

A downheartened Darren Lockyer tended to agree with his coach and was concerned about the lack of intensity from the Broncos.

“Two weeks ago we played Canberra here and I thought the performance was good.” said Lockyer

“The last two weeks we’ve gone backwards.

“On a positive note it’s probably good it’s happened tonight because we can address it leading into the next few games.”

Ironically for the Broncos, it was former favourite son – Wendell Sailor who gave the traveling Dragons the edge, nabbing an aerial try over Brisbane outside back Reece Robinson shortly before the half time break.

“We weren’t going too flash before that,” said Dragons coach Nathan Brown.

Sailor, was ecstatic to get one over his old team – hurling the football into ground in celebration.

“Everyone knows I’m a passionate guy,” said Sailor who originally set to line up for the Queensland Cup side Burleigh Bears until getting a late call up from Nathan Brown.

“It was a big night for Locky (Lockyer) but I was happy to spoil his party.

“I’m a likeable guy, regardless of what you read.”

Such was the class of Ben Hornby’s performance that he won man of the match honours and ultimately swung the game to the Draongs, with a slick passing display to set up tries for game breaking centres Matt Cooper and Mark Gasnier.

Brown acknowledge their contribution but said the win came from his forwards muscling up after a tame first half.

“You can have all the wheels you like but it doesn’t matter unless the guys in the middle get it done,” said Brown.

Bennett was critical of a decision to penalise forward David Taylor after he charged out of the line and caught Dragons five-eighth Ben Rogers with the ball on the last tackle 30 metres out from his own line in the 44th minute.

“I don’t know where that came from to be honest with you,” said Bennett.

“The penalty had been completed and everything else and they blow a penalty for being offside.

“If you’re offside, you’re offside, it should have been called long before he made the tackle.

“He puts the guys on the ground and all of a sudden he’s offside.”

Brisbane hooker Michael Ennis may have an anxious weekend after a tackle in the 51st minute which could attract the attention of the match review committee.

Brisbane fullback Denan Kemp had a mixed night, scoring his 16th try and then making a mess of two passes in the second half that could have changed the result.

By ricky

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