Sydney Roosters humiliate St George Illawarra Dragons 34-12 at Kogarah

St George Illawarra's season has gone from bad to worse with the Dragons slumping to an embarrassing 34-12 defeat to the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.

The humiliation was hardly the way the club would have wanted to send off departing captain Gareth Widdop, playing his final game at Kogarah before leaving the Dragons at the end of the season.

St George Illawarra trailed 28-0 at half-time as the reigning premiers ran riot at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium with five unanswered tries.

The Dragons are now on their own in 15th place on the NRL table. They are second last, above only Gold Coast, having lost seven of their last eight games. St George Illawarra have only won three games since round six. They are now on track to finish with the worst season in the history of the joint venture club.

Ben Hunt was left out of the Dragons side after the halfback suffered concussion in last week's defeat to Cronulla. Coach Paul McGregor opted to shift Corey Norman into the halves alongside Widdop, handing an NRL debut to 21-year-old Tristan Sailor at fullback.

Sailor, the son of former Dragons, Queensland and Australia winger Wendell, was arguably St George Illawarra's brightest light as he showed great speed to score a consolation try after 53 minutes.

But it was just about the only thing Dragons fans had to smile about all evening. At one stage in the first half, the Roosters led 24-0 and had completed all 15 of their sets in possession. It was at that moment that the host broadcaster cut to a shot of Roosters stars Latrell Mitchell and Boyd Cordner in the grand stand, with the premiers not requiring two of their best players to destroy the young, under strength Dragons.

First half tries to Joseph Manu, Isaac Liu, Billy Smith, Victor Radley and Daniel Tupou had the visitors in command. Dragons fans of a previous era will have been used to cheering Billy Smith tries at Kogarah. But the Roosters debutant of the same name as the St George Dragons legend gave the Tri Colours a glimpse of a bright future as he finished off an excellent left side raid through Luke Keary and Tedesco.

Tedesco got in on the act early in the second half, strolling over after Cooper Cronk had punctured the line before Sailor finally got the Dragons on the board.

Luciano Leilua then added another consolation for the hosts with 20 minutes to play as the Roosters simply did what they had to do. Cronk and Keary controlled the game masterfully as the Roosters looked to close out the game with as little effort and risk as possible.

The Dragons will host the Wests Tigers at the Sydney Cricket Ground next Sunday afternoon in the penultimate round, with the Tigers still chasing a place in the top eight after their demolition of Newcastle earlier on Saturday evening.

St George Illawarra will then finish their dismal season on the Gold Coast against the Titans.

But it's fair to say after this performance, the end of the 2019 season simply can't come quickly enough for the Dragons.

Leader Scoreboard

Sydney Roosters 34 (Joseph Manu, Isaac Liu, Billy Smith, Victor Radley, Daniel Tupou, James Tedesco tries. Cooper Cronk four, Siosiua Taukeiaho goals)

defeated

St George Illawarra Dragons 12 (Tristan Sailor, Luciano Leilua tries. Gareth Widdop two goals)

at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah

Leader man of the match: James Tedesco (Roosters)

Dragons' next two: Tigers (home - SCG), Titans (away)

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