The St. George Illawarra Dragons have easily accounted for an injury depleted Cronulla Sharks pack with a 30-0 drubbing at WIN Stadium (Wollongong) in front of as 12,079. It was to be a tough ask for the Sharks as they remained without the services of 13 regular NRL players, effectively fielding a NSW Cup side.
Benji Marshall has had his fair share of critics over the years and they have continued to find voice since his return from Rugby Union. However, tonight, albeit against a State Cup side, his skills shone which saw three try assists tallied.
Josh Dugan stepped up as he hunts for a return to the State of Origin arena as he, through the hands of Benji Marshall, posted a hat trick of tries (23rd, 32nd and 60th minute).
The Dragons had slumped over recent weeks but their structure has been rebuilt under the guidance of new head coach Paul McGregor. The structure has seen the confidence return to the game of Gareth Widdop who helped his side close out a victory as his skills provided Gerard Beale with two tries.
Dragons supporters and the team themselves will take confidence from the victory as it's a step in the right direction for a club who has struggled over the past month. Meanwhile the Sharks will continue to battle through this injury period, however as we turn the half way point of the season, ached at the bottom of the ladder their season could be well and truly over.
Cronulla will enjoy the bye, and the guaranteed two competition points in Round 14. While the Dragons head north to the foot of the mountains to battle the top of the table Penrith Panthers.