Dragons decimate Warriors to shake up the NRL premiership race, NRL scores

Dragons stars Zac Lomax and Ben Hunt were outstanding as the Red V produced one of the upsets of the season with a dominant 30-12 win over the Warriors.

Lomax, who’s move to Parramatta next season was confirmed earlier in the week, did his Blues Origin hopes no harm with a personal haul of 14 points, which included a try and a rare two-point field goal.

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In game 100, Lomax nailed the field goal from 45m on the stroke of half time, and then set WIN Stadium alight early in the second half when he chased down a Hunt bomb and leapt over Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya to reel it in and score.

“Zac Lomax and the Dragons are putting on a clinic,” Cooper Cronk said on Fox League.

Earlier, Hunt set up a try and scored one as the Dragons put on five straight tries to answer the Warriors’ opening four-pointer.

Hunt finished the game with two try assists, a try and two line break assists.

The Dragons were coasting at 30-6, before a late try to Warriors winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak made the scoreline a little more respectable for the visitors.

Andrew Webster’s men crossed for the first points of the night in the 12th minute through Shaun Johnson.

Johnson scored untouched as the Warriors targeted the Dragons’ right side and early, it looked ominous for St. George.

The Warriors had numerous other chances on the Dragons line in the first half but the Dragons held tough and it changed the game, with the Red V building momentum in attack from their stout defence.

The Dragons scored three quick tries in the first half before Lomax’s two-point field goal gave the home side a 18-6 lead at the break.

Lomax’s try made it 22-6, but it was speedy fullback Tyrell Sloan, who was called out by his coach Shane Flanagan two weeks ago after a loss to the Knights, who scored the game-sealer.

Sloan ran 90 metres for his four-pointer after Hunt scooped up a loose ball near the Dragons’ own end and passed it off to his fullback.

DRAGONS’ DEFENCE STANDS UP

It was a well-rounded performance from the Dragons, but their defensive efforts were particularly impressive.

The Warriors seemingly had all the possession and was clearly winning the territory battle early in the first half, but weren’t capitalising other than Johnson’s four-pointer.

On their day, the Warriors are one of the better attacking sides in the league, but the Dragons were able to keep them well held.

In fact, the Warriors were tackled 60 times in the Dragons’ half, but could only manage two tries.

Captain Ben Hunt had his best game of the season with ball in hand, but he was singing the praises of the team’s defence in his post-match interview with Fox League.

“The most pleasing aspect was our defence for me,” Hunt said.

“They had a few shots at our line in the first half and they’re a very good attacking side with Shaun Johnson and Wayde Egan.

“We just kept turning them away which is the most pleasing thing.

“To keep the Warriors to 12 is a pretty good effort.”

LOMAX’S BLUES BID

Ben Hunt bombed, his chasers chased, and Marcelo Montoya planted his feet on the ground – perhaps he wasn’t watching television last Sunday.

Because when noted leaper Zac Lomax flew, caught the ball and ran over to score the game-breaking try on Friday night at WIN Stadium, Dragons fans roared again and their team upset New Zealand Warriors.

After terrorising Wests Tigers with four bomb takes last Sunday, Lomax did the same to the Warriors at WIN Stadium on Friday night in a storming game 100.

Back at right centre, Lomax ran for 176 metres and set off on 57 post-contact metres that would have impressed NSW Blues coach Michael Maguire with 46 days until Origin game one.

He also landed a well-struck two-point field goal that saw his team lead 16-6 at the break.

– Matt Cleary (NCA Newswire)

WAH WAHS

Outside of the first 20 minutes’ dominance, the Warriors looked like the erratic squad of previous seasons.

Their issues were in stark relief when Johnson’s mis-timed chip kick lobbed straight into Hunt’s arms, who fed Sloan who bolted 90 metres in his elegant style for try number seven of 2024, the eastern hill crowd roaring him home.

Watene-Zelezniak ripped off a trademark leaping one-handed put-down in the right-hand corner but it was too little too late for the heavily-favoured visitors.

Warriors hooker Wayde Egan has been talked about as an Origin player by his coach and New Zealand media but had a quiet game out of dummy-half.

Warriors backrower Jackson Ford was put on report in the 54th minute for an alleged crusher tackle on Ravalawa.

– Matt Cleary (NCA Newswire)

Originally published as Dragons decimate Warriors to shake up the NRL premiership race

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