The Dragons have bounced back from consecutive thrashings to outclass the Dolphins 38-12 at WIN Stadium on Saturday.
After conceding 80 points in their losses to the Broncos and Sharks, the Red V discovered their defensive resolve to restrict the Dolphins to just two tries.
As is so often the case, skipper Ben Hunt was the driving force behind the victory with a try, seven tackle breaks and a try assist as the Dragons spoiled the party for rival captain Jesse Bromwich’s 300th NRL game.
Dolphins winger Jamayne Isaako had a chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute after Jacob Liddle was penalised for a strip but the attempt sailed wide.
Just a minute later Isaako made amends when he dived into the corner after some nice hands by halves Anthony Milford and Isaiya Katoa. The winger converted his own try for a 6-0 lead for the visitors.
The Dolphins then suffered a blow in the 18th minute when Milford left the field with a hamstring injury and shortly after the Red V had their opening try when Jacob Liddle darted over from dummy half.
Liddle then turned provider in the 27th minute when he delivered a short ball to Blake Lawrie to power over for his second try of the season. Zac Lomax converted for a 12-6 Dragons lead.
A penalty against Jack de Belin for a dangerous tackle late in the half handed Isaako a chance to add two more points and he duly landed the shot to make it 12-8 at the break.
Two minutes into the second half the Dragons extended their lead when Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow failed to clean up a Talatau Amone grubber and Lomax pounced to make it 16-8.
Hunt found his way to the line in the 54th minute as the Dragons opened up a 14-point lead with the breeze at their backs.
In the 62nd minute Hunt delivered a superb long ball for Mikaele Ravalawa to steamroll defenders and score out wide as the home side put the result beyond doubt.
Dolphins prop Mark Nicholls was sin binned with 13 minutes to play for a professional foul and the Dragons capitalised on their one-man advantage with Jack Bird feeding Ravalawa for the winger’s second of the night to make it 32-8.
With eight minutes to play the Dolphins hit back with a spectacular long-range try featuring great work by Isaako and finished off by Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who now has six tries for the season.
Tyrell Sloan then exploded into a hole from 40 metres out and got the ball down for the Dragons’ seventh try despite Tabuai-Fidow’s best efforts to deny him.