The St George Illawarra Dragons have comprehensively defeated the Manly Sea Eagles 38-12 on a picturesque night in Wollongong.
Zac Lomax had the first attacking chance of the match, rising above Dylan Walker but failing to bring the ball back down cleanly to score.
Undeterred, the Dragons kicked again to Lomax minutes later on a near-identical play. The star centre was able to redeem himself by completing the catch and crossing for the first try of the game.
Lomax goes leapin’ ?
— NRL (@NRL) March 26, 2021
Working away from their own end, the Dragons soon broke free again through Corey Norman but the ensuing pass to an unmarked Matt Dufty was put down.
Any pressure built by Manly through the early stages was squandered, with nine errors and a measly 47% completion rate through thirty minutes.
The Saints soon made the Sea Eagles pay for their discipline, with Tariq Sims breaking through an attempted tackle from Moses Suli before sending Matt Dufty away to score.
Cody Ramsay then compounded Manly’s misery by crossing for the Dragons’ third try of the first half.
The only blemish on the first half for the Saints came with three minutes to go until halftime, with a miscued bat-back from Matt Dufty ending up in the arms of Reuben Garrick to score.
Garrick slotted his own conversion from the sideline to cut the halftime lead to twelve.
Both sides traded sets coming out of the break until Zac Lomax kicked the Dragons fourteen points clear in the 56th minute.
Ten minutes later, Matt Dufty broke free and weaved around Jason Saab to score his second try of the game.
— NRL (@NRL) March 26, 2021
When Zac Lomax secured his double three minutes later, the result was all but sealed.
Daly Cherry-Evans and Brayden Williame nabbed a consolation try each to finish the match.
Manly have now lost each of their first three games while the Dragons should hold their place in the top eight for the remainder of the weekend.
The Dragons will advance to face Newcastle in the Hunter next week while the task doesn’t get any easier for Hasler’s men, who will play Penrith on Thursday night.
NRL News Player of the Game:
3 Points – Corey Norman – Two try assists, one try contribution, one linebreak – Was outplayed by his halves partner in last week’s win, but it was Norman’s night on this occasion. His combination with Dufty was electric.
2 Points – Matt Dufty – Two tries, one line-break, six tackle busts – Timed his runs perfectly and was solid at the back. Could’ve had a hat-trick if not for a poor ball from Norman in the first half.
1 Point – Zac Lomax – Two tries, seven conversions from seven attempts – Lomax has emerged as one of the best aerial threats in the league and he demonstrated his ability in scoring the first try of the game. The only thing better than his aerial play tonight was his goal kicking.