1 Jun 2015

Dragons thump Sharks to grab top spot

12:36 pm on 1 June 2015

St George Illawarra have jumped to the top of the National Rugby League ladder with a 42-6 dismantling of Cronulla at Jubilee Oval.

The Dragons' playmaker Benji Marshall.

The Dragons' playmaker Benji Marshall. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Dragons racked up their biggest win of the season after running in six tries to one against a listless Sharks side which shot itself in the foot repeatedly.

Paul McGregor's side went into the game having scored the fewest tries in the NRL, despite being entrenched in the top four.

However in front of 18,011 fans they showed they possessed plenty of spark in attack.

The Sharks were terrible in patches, committing fundamental errors including kicking dead from the kick-off twice, Ben Barba throwing a wild pass on his own goal line and Michael Ennis giving away a penalty after failing to make 10 metres from the drop out.

Cronulla managed one try, however even it should not have been awarded.

After a Gareth Widdop penalty got the Dragons off to a 2-0 lead, the Sharks hit back through Valentine Holmes but replays showed he failed to ground the ball after chasing down a Jack Bird grubber.

On-field referee Adam Devcich had no hesitation in pointing to the spot however he should have referred it to the video referees after Holmes failed to apply downward pressure.

The Dragons went into half-time with a 14-6 lead after Josh Dugan and Mitch Rein crossed.

Rein darted out of dummy half to score, showing why he was being considered for a NSW jumper should Blues hooker Robbie Farah not recover in time for State of Origin II.

It was all one-way traffic in the second half as the Dragons' halves of Widdop and Benji Marshall grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with the home side running in tries to Will Matthews, Jack de Belin, Peter Mata'utia and Eto Nabuli.