Dragons v Broncos: 3 key points
We’re one game into the 2018 NRL season and there’s already plenty that needs said.
The St George Illawarra Dragons opened their season with a convincing victory over the Brisbane Broncos, trouncing the away side 34 points to 12 at Jubilee Oval on Thursday evening.
Here are three key points from the round one fixture.
St George halves look the goods
The Dragons reeled in Brisbane boy Bent Hunt on an incredibly lucrative contract. Whilst the number seven was by no means exceptional, he showed great promise bagging a try and kicking reasonably well throughout the evening. The best news for Hunt was his combination with Gareth Widdop, with the two halves linking on several occasions to light up the Dragons offensive phases.
When you’re often touted as the most successful NRL team of the past three decades, fans naturally expect great performances. Unfortunately for Brisbane, last night was no such performance. The Broncos were well below par right from the word go and St George were able to capitalise on an error riddled effort from the Brisbane outfit. They need to figure out who their dominant playmaker is (and fast), because no member of their spine seemed to take any sort of charge at any point during the 80 minutes. It may only be round one, but if the Broncos don’t find cohesion quickly they’ll struggle to be the same threat they have been for so many years.
Thaiday experiment backfires
Veteran forward Sam Thaiday took the field last night in what will be his final round one game as a Bronco (according to Wayne Bennet). After what he dished up its hard to disagree. Thaiday started the game at hooker in a move designed to shield regular rake Andrew McCullough who was returning from injury and spent the first 20 minutes of the match watching from the sidelines. Thaiday looked like a deer in headlights any and every time he found himself at dummy-half and his service was nothing short of dreadful. In other words, the tactic proved as unsuccessful as it was irrational. If McCullough was so injured that he couldn’t start the game then surely he was too injured to take part 20 minutes later. There is simply no explanation that supports the logic that a player can be too injured and lacking in preparation at 8:05 pm and suddenly fit and healthy at 8:25 pm. Overthinking: backfired.