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Dragons slide out of top eight

Rabbitohs 24 d Dragons 8
Nanjing Night Net

St George Illawarra is out of the NRL top eight for the first time since round four as the club’s losing streak continues.

The Dragons slipped from seventh to ninth thanks to a 24-8 loss to South Sydney in front of 18,217 people at the SCG on Saturday night.

It marked the sixth consecutive loss for a club which was being touted as a top-four contender barely a month ago.

The Red V now faces the prospect of missing finals altogether unless they can revive the mid-season form which saw them win nine of 12 games after round two.

They were always going to be up against it at the SCG, against a Rabbitohs outfit also desperate to clinch their spot in the top half of the competition.

The Dragons looked to have opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Gareth Widdop lofted a cut-out pass to winger Justin Hunt, only for the video referee to give the red light and deny the “home” team first points.

The Rabbitohs made them pay when Dylan Walker waltzed through the right-edge defence and scored just three minutes later.

Adam Reynolds slotted the conversion from the sideline to make it a 6-0 lead early in the piece.

South Sydney should have extended the buffer midway through the half when John Sutton again broke through a flimsy Dragons defence, only for Greg Inglis to drop a simple offload in space.

The Dragons were down 8-0 – with a Reynolds penalty conversion thrown in – when Benji Marshall produced some magic just before half time to put Hunt over in the corner.

Marshall took advantage of a keen Rabbitohs edge defence to loft a deft pass over the top to Hunt, and the score was 8-4 at the break.

The surface was already wreaking havoc and oly became more slippery in the second half thanks to a patch of rain.

It was a slog for both sides, until the Rabbitohs finally broke through to score their second try when Alex Johnston took advantage of an overlap and slid over in the corner and take the lead to 12-4.

The game looked to be over until Josh Dugan beat two defenders to score in the corner and give the Dragons one last hint of a comeback.

But tries to Rabbitohs halves Reynolds and then Luke Keary ensured a Rabbitohs victory.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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