Hornby gives his for­wards a wrap

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL -

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.’’

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