Staggs brilliance not enough as Dragons win

Embattled Brisbane, fresh off a calamitous second-half collapse against Canberra, face an uphill battle to avoid another six-game losing streak as they faced a St George Illawarra Dragons side under new management.

Following Richard Kennar failed to gather a high-bomb, the Dragons attacked from a midfield scrum.

Just a few tackles later, Josh Kerr powered over through Tom Dearden and co. to open the scoring.

Two minutes later, Corey Norman picked up the ball at first receiver, stepped back inside and strolled through the weak goal-line defence from the Broncos for a second in six minutes.

After the disappointing start, the Broncos got themselves back in to the game just before the 20-minute mark and Anthony Milford and Boyd combined to put Kennar over in the corner and cut the deficit.

Five minutes later, following some ill-discipline from the Dragons, the Broncos were once again deep in the St George half.

Cory Paix picked the ball up from the ruck and attacked a small gap in the defensive line to pull Brisbane even further into the game.

Staggs converted to level up at 12-12.

In the 29th minute, Adam Clune kicked along the ground into the in-goal area for Jacob Host to chase, however, the forward pushed Boyd off the ball.

The Dragons still managed to pick up a penalty though after Jamil Hopoate was pinged for a late tackle of Cameron McInnes.

Zac Lomax added the extras to make it 12-14 after half an hour.

The two-point lead quickly changed to six as Matt Dufty come into the attacking line, and floated a pass over to Mikaele Ravalawa who bumped off Boyd and slid over in the corner.

With three minutes to go until the break, Norman seemed to pick up his second try as Clunes kick towards the posts was gathered by Kerr and pushed back in the air for the half-back to pick up off the bounce and touch down.

However, Kerr was deemed to have knocked the ball forward in Lomax before the ball cam backwards and the try was scrubbed off.

HALF-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 12-18 St George Illawarra Dragons

Just four minutes into the second half, Kotoni Staggs showed just how good he is.

He collected the ball on his 30-metre line, fended off Euan Aitken, shrugged off Adam Clune and accelerated into the backfield, with just Matt Dufty to beat, and four teammates in support, he dummied to get past the full-back and raced away to score.

He then converted his own try to level up.

St George took the lead again with 26 minutes to go, as Matt Dufty was taken out off the ball by Patrick Carrigan when chasing his own kick.

This allowed Lomax to make it 18-20 from the boot.

From the 20-metre line, Hunt pushed a pass to Clune, who passed to Norman, he then found Dufty out the back who combined with Lomax to release Ravalawa and go over for his second of the night.

With ten minutes to go, the Broncos seemed to score out of nowhere as Tom Dearden looked trapped in the tackle of McInnes but brushed off the loose-forward and then Ben Hunt to turn back into open space and slide over for his first NRL-try.

The back and forth between both sides continued as Adam Clune picked the ball up off his shoelaces, and then popped the ball to Jacob Host to crash over the top of Dearden.

However, on second viewing, Clune didn’t take the ball cleanly and the Dragons still only led by two points with four minutes remaining.

The Dragons had the ball in hand in the final seconds, and with the game on the line, Milford was penalised for a ball strip on the hooter, which gave Lomax the chance to make it 24-28 at full-time.

FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 24-28 St George Illawarra Dragons


Squads


Brisbane Broncos

Boyd, Kennar, Staggs, Kahu, Farnworth, Milford, Dearden, Ofahengaue, Luke, Kennedy, Fifita, Te’o, Carrigan

Interchanges: Paix, Riki, Bullemor, Hopoate

Tries: Kennar, Paix, Staggs, Dearden

Goals: Staggs (4/4)


St George Illawarra Dragons

Dufty, Pereira, Aitken, Lomax, Ravalawa, Norman, Clune, Lawrie, Hunt, Kerr, Frizell, Host, McInnes

Interchanges: Ellis, Sims, Vaughan, Merrin

Tries: Kerr, Norman, Ravalawa (2)

Goals: Lomax (5/6)


Referee: H. Perenara

Touch Judges: M. Noyen, J. Stone

Video Referee: B. Norrie


Image Source: @NRL (twitter)

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