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August 17, 2014 11:55:15 UK
St George Illawarra broke their 14-year hoodoo in Canberra when they beat the Raiders 34-16 thanks to Brett Morris’ hat-trick of tries.
The Dragons, who are 1.44 to beat Gold Coast, had not tasted victory in the capital in their previous 11 visits, but turned on the style in the second half to keep alive their hopes of a top-eight finish.
Home fans gave a rough reception to their former star Josh Dugan, but he had the last laugh when he crossed for one of the Dragons’ seven tries.
Morris sealed his treble with a remarkable leap to plant the ball down in the corner four minutes from the end, and Jason Nightingale added insult to injury by running in another try.
The Raiders went in front through Josh Papalii’s soft try inside three minutes, but it did not last long as Morris scored twice in the space of 11 minutes to put the visitors in command.
Canberra came back strongly, Jordan Rapana and Jarrod Croker going over either side of half-time to make it 16-10.
But that was the last time they made the scoreboard, and the Dragons made light of their previous troubles in Canberra by running in five second-half tries. St George Illawarra are 1.91 conceding a 6.5-points start against the Titans.
Dugan, Peter Mata’utia and Nightingale all went over in the space of 13 minutes to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Meanwhile, veteran prop Willie Mason has been linked with a move to the Dragons next year after being told he is not wanted by Newcastle Knights.
The Dragons are looking to beef up their forward pack and have identified the 34-year-old as a target.
They have also been linked with Sam Kasiano of the Bulldogs and Gold Coast’s Ryan James.
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