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Maroons teammates Jaydn Su'a and Ben Hunt bounced back from their disappointing Origin defeat to help the Dragons to a 26-6 victory over the Dolphins on Sunday.

It took the Dragons 47 minutes to come up with their first try before the home side went on a run to make it three wins from their last four matches, staking their claim as 2024 finals contenders.

Su'a was among the second half stars with the backrower coming up with an incredible 216 run metres, eight tackle breaks and a try assist after jumping in at centre while Hunt had a try assist and 487 kick metres.

After a physical opening with both sides trading sets for 27 minutes the Dragons looked to open their account when Mat Feagai went flying over the right corner however replays showed the winger put his feet into touch. 

In a double blow for the Dragons, Feagai was sent from the field after picking up a shoulder injury during the try attempt. 

Fuller & Farnworth save a sure try

Seven minutes later the Dragons finally opened the scoreboard when Tevita Pangai Junior was pinged for a dangerous tackle and Kyle Flanagan landed a two-point penalty goal.

The Dolphins hit the lead after coming up with a big play on the stroke of half time when Isaiya Katoa picked up a stray pass and sent the ball right for Tesi Niu to go over untouched and send his side into the sheds with a 6-2 lead.

Tesi Niu Try

The Dragons finally got on their first try in the 47th minute when Raymond Faitala-Mariner took a short ball from Hunt and powered over from close range. Flanagan couldn't add the extras and the scores were locked 6-6.

St George were gifted more field possession in the 53rd minute when Connelly Lemuelu came up with an error and the home side capitalised when Flanagan and Tyrell Sloan combined out of the scrum to send stand-in winger Christian Tuipulotu over in the left corner.

Four minutes later and the home side had a third when Hunt sent a looping ball over for Su'a who took the ball to the line and came up with a quality offload to send Sloan over for a four-pointer. Flanagan kicked for a 16-6 lead. 

Katoa wrestled back some momentum for his side with a 40/20 in the 61st minute but the Dragons defence held firm after Su'a pushed Kodi Nikorima into touch. 

The Dragons' forwards continued to lay a solid platform and in the 65th minute props Francis Molo and Jack de Belin did it all themselves with Molo putting his teammate over with another crafty offload from close range.

A lack of discipline continued to haunt the Dolphins and after losing Kurt Donoghoe to the sin bin, the Dragons took advantage when Jacob Liddle played to the whistle and saw an opportunity for a quick tap and go to put the game out of reach 26-6.

The Dolphins' night was summed up when English centre Herbie Farnworth looked to come up with a consolation try with five minutes to play but the ball was knocked out of his hand after some desperate defence from Moses Suli.

Match Snapshot

  • Dolphins hooker Jeremy Marshall-King left the field in the 23rd minute and did not return after being ruled out with an ankle injury. 
  • The Dragons lost winger Mat Feagai with an AC shoulder joint injury in the 28th minute.
  • Dragons forward Jack De Belin left the field in the 24th minute for a HIA which he later passed.
  • Dolphins utility Kurt Donoghoe was placed on report and sent to the sin bin for a high shot on Francis Molo in the 67th minute.
  • The Dolphins conceded nine penalties compared to the Dragons' four.

Donoghoe sent to the bin

  • Dolphins five-eighth Kodi Nikorima left the field in the 32nd minute for a HIA but returned in the second half.
  • Dolphins forward Felise Kaufusi was placed on report in the 80th minute.
  • Dragons front rowers Francis Molo and Jack De Belin combined for 25 runs and 222 run metres.
  • Dragons coach Shane Flanagan celebrates his 200th game as an NRL coach.
  • Dolphins lock Max Plath came up with 54 tackles and 110 run metres in a 70-metre effort for his side.

Play of the Game 

One for the props! After a dominant performance from the Red V forwards, Francis Molo and Jack De Belin dug deep into their bag of tricks to combine for a try in the 65th minute. 

Jack De Belin Try

What They Said 

"It was a really important game for us to get two competition points, my 200th game had very little impact once the whistle is blown. The first half there was some really good footy played by both sides and it was a real arm wrestle and we that's the sort of side the Dolphins are. It was a really good second half, 26 points against the breeze and they scored none. Jaydn (Su'a) carried the ball strong and a change of position, he loves that sort of stuff because it's a challenge for him and he did a really good job." - Dragons coach Shane Flanagan

Dragons: Round 17

"We just lost our way. It was our mistakes, they had 26 sets in the second half to our 13 and nine penalties to our three, so you can't play in the NRL with that many mistakes. In the first half that wasn't happening and we were in the game and in the second half it all went against us." - Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett 

Dolphins: Round 17

What's Next 

The Dragons head to Allianz to face the Roosters in a Sunday afternoon showdown while the Dolphins have a bye before hosting the Rabbitohs in Round 19.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Dolphins respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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