Canterbury have crushed the St George Illawarra Dragons in a Queen's Birthday boilover at Stadium Australia this afternoon, scoring a 28-6 victory in front of 17,382 fans.
Jake Averillo led from the halves today - scoring two tries, with two line breaks and five tackle breaks - against what was a pretty shocking Dragons defensive line, and dominated all day.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring after ten minutes with a penalty goal kicked by Averillo, but it would be the Red V who first crossed the stripe. Corey Norman (who it's been reported during the contest won't be at the club in 2022) found the Bulldogs defenders all up in the line so poked it in behind for Brayden Wiliame to get the first try of the day.
Shortly after, 'Dogs captain Josh Jackson was bizarrely sin-binned for what referee Gerard Sutton called "repeated infringements", despite both sides having the same number of set restarts at the time (and the Dragons not having someone binned for three in the same set six minutes later). It mattered little though - the Saints couldn't take advantage and somehow Averillo got his side's first try at the 29th minute when he stepped through a yawning gap.
Leading 8-6 at the break, Canterbury second half started in electric fashion. Averillo picked up his second after slicing through some poor defensive reads from the Dragons defence.
That extended to 20-6 after the 50 minute mark when Jeremy Marshall-King through a dummy and dived over.
A penalty goal from Averillo at 61 minutes pushed the lead to 22-6, and around 68 minutes Adam Elliott danced over the line, right through some spectacular jumper-grabbing from the Red V, scoring a try that pushed the lead to 26-6. A third penalty goal two minutes from time pushed it to 28-6 and the Bulldogs to equal with Brisbane both on points and differential.
Canterbury's next challenge is the Eels at Bankwest next Sunday, while the Dragons host the Raiders in Wollongong on Saturday.