The Dragons halves picture may be a whole lot clearer for coach Steve Price with big-name recruits Gareth Widdop and Sam Williams instrumental in 15-try performance against a combined Illawarra Cutters/Mudgee Dragons side at WIN Jubilee Oval on Friday night.
Much of the hype surrounding the Dragons in 2014 has centred on Widdop and the former Melbourne Storm star was heavily involved, playing a hand in three first half tries in a dominating first performance in the Red V.
It was Widdop who laid on the Dragons first try with a deft inside ball for a rampaging Jack de Belin to score after eight minutes. He also combined with fullback Josh Dugan, one of the Dragons' best on the night, to produce two tries for the returning Gerard Beale late in the second quarter.
Not to be outdone Williams put his stamp on the number seven jumper scoring a try from close range early in the piece and laying one on for fullback Josh Dugan with a deft kick moments before quarter time. Williams had a hand in another late in the second quarter, dummying his way into space and finding Nathan Green for try before being replaced at halftime.
Other new recruits to shine included Dylan Farrell who finished with two tries and threw the final pass for two more in a polished display on the right edge for his new club.
The Culburra junior took his chances in the second quarter after being starved of football early, bursting through the Mudgee defence to find Nathan Green for a try. He notched his first try in Dragons colours soon after, running onto a deft pass from Dugan to score from close range.
Front-row recruits Josh Ailomai and Mike Cooper also celebrated their Dragons debuts with close range tries early in the second quarter.
The pace of the game slowed in the second stanza with Jack Twist and Rory O’Brien who was close to the Cutters best, scoring tries before the Dragons answered late in the quarter through Bronson Harrison.
Williams’ return in the final quarter paid immediate dividends with former Raider putting Leeson Ah Mau into space and backing up on the inside to score his second try moments after the resumption.
Farrell capped a solid debut with his second try soon after before Nathan Green completed his hat-trick to round out the scoring for the Dragons.
The Cutters produced two tries of their own through Shane Pumipi and Jake Leary to bring the try tally to a more respectable 15-4.
Edited by R L Winger, 07 February 2014 - 01:19 PM.