Hornby gives his forwards a wrap
ST George Illawarra skipper Ben Hornby s al uted his side’s forwards after the reigning premiers got their NRL season back on track f o l l o wi n g l a s t Monday’ s shock loss to Cronulla.
The Dragons p r e v a i l e d 25-12 against an error-strewn W a r r i o r s a t M t S m a r t Stadium in Auckland, and Hornby put the victory down to the good work from their undermanned pack which w a s w i t h o u t M i c h a e l Weyman, Beau Scott and Dean Young.
‘‘ We were obviously very disappointed with what happened last week, it was another tough game to come over here and try to win, but the way we started was the biggest difference,’’ Hornby said.
‘‘ Our forwards were outstanding and that’s where the off-loads come – when you run hard, when you’re not – they’re not coming.
‘‘ Our forwards deserve a big rap for what they did in the first half.’’
Even without the injured Weyman and Young and the s u s p e n d e d S c o t t , t h e Dragons had too much class for the Warriors.
F o r mer Warr i o r s r a k e N a t h a n F i e n s a i d t h e Dragons’ victory was a case of returning to basics.
‘‘ We needed to get back to our bl ueprint which we know has worked, we were able to do that for the first half,’’ Fien said.
‘‘ It was a little bit disappointing in the second half which was disappointing, but hats off to ourselves, we defended really well.’’
It was a game Kiwi winger Jason Nightingale won’t forget in a hurry after bagging two early tries to set the tone for a one-sided encounter.
Matt Cooper scored the next try for the Dragons to give the reigning premiers an 18-0 lead at the break, thanks to Jamie Soward nailing every conversion.
Ben Matulino pulled a try back for the Warriors early in the second half to give the majority of the 11,651 in the crowd something to cheer about.
W a r r i o r s c o a c h I v a n Cleary, whose side have yet to taste victory this season, hinted at changes for next Sunday’s game against the in-form Cronulla.
‘‘ We’ve got to keep working hard and come up with a side and a bunch of guys that are going to work their way out of it,’’ Cleary said. ‘‘ It is early days but it’s obvious that we’ve got to improve.’’