Whilst the victory by the Broncos was rather unconvincing, they ultimately got the job done and sealed a top four spot in the process. The Dragons remain outside of the top eight despite putting in a good effort. Here’s five things we learned:
1. Only one stat matters
Having spent the majority of 2017 there, the Dragons are now outside of the top eight. They put a brave fight against a Broncos team that has only lost twice at home all year but it ultimately wasn’t enough.
St George dominated possession and had an 84% completion rate but it couldn’t translate to a positive final scoreline.
While it wasn’t Brisbane’s finest display, winning when you have arguably been second best is an important trait in a results business.
2. Broncos halves the difference
The factor which proved crucial to the Broncos’ victory is the performance of their halves pairing and specifically Anthony Milford. He has been criticised in the past for failing to step up, however he silenced the doubters with this win.
Milford had a major involvement in the first of second-rower Alex Glenn’s two tries as well as winger Corey Oates’ spectacular four-pointer. Milford earned a try for himself too and finished the match having made 180 metres and two line breaks.
3. Ben Hunt preview for the Dragons in 2018
Brisbane’s Dragons-bound half-back Ben Hunt had an opportunity to show the Red V what he is capable of. And he certainly did not disappoint, providing an assist for winger Jordan Kahu.
He has been filling in for injured regular hooker and workhorse Andrew McCullough. They were big boots to fill but Hunt has shown some of his best football in two years.
4. Suncorp hoodoo continues for the Dragons
Between 2003 and 2009 the Dragons were a bogey team for the Broncos, including when meeting at the Suncorp Stadium.
St George now haven’t won there in eight years however, when Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was in charge of the Dragons. Visiting supporters will have to wait until at least 2018 to see the Suncorp Stadium hoodoo ended.
5. Dragons must respond fast
The Dragons now need to win both of their remaining games, against Penrith and Canterbury, to have any chance of making the top eight.
They may have won convincingly against the Panthers in their meeting this season, however that was in the first round and it’s fair to say a lot has changed at both clubs since then.
Should they overcome that challenge then the struggling Bulldogs do still have enough talent in their team to cause teams problems. Subsequently, they should also not be taken lightly.
What were your highlights from the Broncos’ big win over the Dragons? Let us know in the comments below.
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