Widdop inspires Dragons rout

St George Illawarra cemented their position at the top of the NRL after a Gareth Widdop-inspired 54-8 rout over Gold Coast Titans.

The game couldn’t have started worse for the Titans when Kane Elgey dropped the ball from kick-off. From the position, Matt Dufty ran straight through the Gold Coast defence.

With an eight-point deficit, the Titans got back level through a Michael Gordon try after a great Ash Taylor pass plus two Gordon kicks. But it was all St George from there.

Widdop found Tim Lafai who managed to plant the ball down despite attention from Titans defenders.

Dufty got his second after the Dragons spread the ball left after a break up the middle.

Dufty turned provider for Lafai when he broke down the middle from fullback.

With Jack de Belin in the sin bin for a professional foul, the Dragons extended their lead after the break through Nene MacDonald who, for the second week in a row, finished acrobatically in the corner.

Ben Hunt was next to make a break and he kicked away for his halfback partner Gareth Widdop who hacked on to himself to score.

Another Widdop kick set up the Dragons’ second when it hit the upright and sat up for Paul Vaughan who had the easy job of applying downward pressure.

After a scrappy James Graham offload, Widdop kicked ahead again for Dufty to complete his hat-trick.

Widdop’s kicking also allowed Lafai to complete his hat-trick to finish the rout.

Titans: Gordon, Don, Copley, Hurrell, Sami, Elgey, Taylor, Arrow, Peats, Wallace, Proctor, James, Cartwright; Interchanges: Latu, Rein, Boyle, Hipgrave
Tries: Gordon
Goals: Gordon 2

Dragons: Dufty, MacDonald, Aitken, Lafai, Nightingale, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Vaughan, Frizell, Sims, de Belin; Interchanges: Leilua, Mann, Ah Mau, Sele
Tries: Dufty 3, Lafai 3, MacDonald, Widdop, Vaughan
Goals: Widdop 9

Full reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express