x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Dragons stunned by Canberra and lose Hunt for rest of season

Canberra produced some second-half brilliance to shock St George Illawarra Dragons 22-14 in the Australian National Rugby League in Wollongong.

Canberra produced some second-half brilliance to shock St George Illawarra Dragons 22-14 in the Australian National Rugby League in Wollongong yesterday. The Dragons, the league leaders, were missing six players due to State of Origin duties but were leading 8-6 after half-time and looked to be firmly in control of proceedings. But Canberra's Joel Thompson, Jarrod Croker and Josh Dugan scored within six minutes to rock the home side and turn the game around.

Dan Hunt, the St George prop, ruptured his Achilles tendon in the warm-up, ruling him out for the rest of the season, while Beau Scott, the centre, was also missing with a knee injury. Hunt, who had been in good form leading into the match, was downcast after finding out the extent of his injury. "I was just warming up doing a defence drill. I took off and heard something snap and I was in a lot of pain," Hunt said.

"I'm just really disappointed, I don't really have much to say." Wayne Bennett, the Dragons coach, was also stunned by the severity of the injury. "He went to push off the line, he thought someone had kicked him," Bennett said. "He looked around to see who had kicked him in the Achilles and realised no one had kicked him, it'd just collapsed." Despite the loss the Dragons stay on top of the ladder, but they have been joined by Gold Coast, who were awarded two points for having the bye this weekend.

They will both be joined by Penrith if the Panthers beat the Sydney Bulldogs today. In yesterday's other NRL match the New Zealand Warriors claimed a thrilling 26-24 win over South Sydney in Auckland. Jerome Ropati scored two of the Warriors' fives tries as they just edged out Sydney in a close encounter. * AFP