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The St George Illawarra Dragons have crushed a lacklustre Parramatta Eels outfit 40-14 at ANZ Stadium in front of 17,103 fans.
Wendell Sailor scored a hat-trick for the home side as he continued his twelve game unbeaten run in rugby league since returning to the code this year.
With their season in the balance most expected the Eels to come out firing as they fed off the confidence of a three game winning streak however it was the 'Red V' that opened the scoring through big frontrower Dan Hunt. Hunt barged through some weak defence on the Parramatta line which proved a sign of what was to come.
The Dragons kept the momentum for the rest of the half as they dominated proceedings and scored further tries through Ben Creagh, Mark Gasnier and Sailor who nabbed a 35m intercept just before half time.
The Eels came out in the second half with a 24 point deficit between them and their season but the Dragons didn't let up as Sailor started the second half like he finished the first to go over for a four-pointer.
The Dragons rounded of their superb performance with three more tries, singles to Cooper and Morris and Sailor's third.
Whilst in little consolation to disappointed Eels fans Parramatta scored three themselves through a double to Luke Burt and a single to Feleti Mateo.
The Dragons move into fifth place and will play for a home final next week as they face the fourth placed Sydney Roosters. The Eels however have fallen short in their bid to make the finals and their clash against the New Zealand Warriors will be their last for the year.
Match Details St George Illawarra Dragons 40 def Parramatta Eels 14 Round 25 - Saturday August 30th, 2008 7:30pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy, Russell Turner Video Referee: Russell Smith Half time: Dragons 24-0 Crowd: 17,103
St George Illawarra Dragons 40 Tries: Dan Hunt, Ben Creagh, Mark Gasnier, Wendell Sailor (3), Matt Cooper, Josh Morris Goals: Mark Gasnier (4/8) Parramatta Eels 14 Tries: Luke Burt (2), Feleti Mateo Goals: Luke Burt (1/3)
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