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Lomax scores 32 points as Dragons crush Tigers

Zac Lomax of the Dragons had a record-breaking game against the Tigers on Friday in Wollongong.

Zac Lomax of the Dragons had a record-breaking game against the Tigers on Friday in Wollongong. Photo: AAP

Zac Lomax’s record-breaking night has helped catapult St George Illawarra into the NRL’s top eight, as they handed Wests Tigers a ninth straight loss with a 56-14 humiliation in Wollongong.

Just two days after his NSW State of Origin debut, Lomax scored a hat-trick and kicked a perfect 10-from-10 with the boot to finish with a Dragons’ record 32 points.

Notably, the crushing defeat came after the Tigers led 10-0 inside 15 minutes, before succumbing to their biggest loss of the year as the Dragons ran in an unanswered 44 second-half points.

Lomax could still have some minor concerns out of the game, finishing on report for a mid-air collision with Solomon Alaimalo, who had to be taken from the field.

Only a grade-three dangerous contact charge would have any impact on Lomax’s NSW Origin availability. 

The Red V still need a number of results to go in their favour to end the weekend in the top eight, but if they do it would mark the first time they have been there this late in a season since 2021.

Among the favourites for the wooden spoon at the start of the season, St George Illawarra have seven wins for 2024 and have a realistic chance of playing finals for the first time since 2018.

Ben Hunt was also superb for the Dragons just two days after he starred for Queensland in Origin, scoring a try and laying on three others.

But things didn’t look so good early for the Dragons.

Former Saint Jayden Sullivan looked in for a big revenge game, kicking for the first try for debutant Alex Lobb and scoring the Tigers’ next to make it 10-0.

At that point he offered a this-is-my-house-style celebration, before also setting up a try for Alex Seyfarth on half-time.

But the former Dragons playmaker went from hero to zero in the second half, when sin-binned for taking Luciano Leilua out on a kick chase.

The Dragons scored 14 points while he was off the field, going from 18-14 up to certain winners with a 32-14 advantage when their ex-teammate returned.

While Hunt was the Dragons’ best with his kicking game and a try when he dummied, stepped back inside and scored in the second half, he wasn’t alone.

Moses Suli was also strong, putting Lomax over for a first-half try when he burst through two defenders from inside his own end, before sending Matt Feagai over for another.

Feagai also finished with a double, as did Luciano Leilua, with the second-rower crashing over for one and running onto a Hunt grubber kick for another.

The Tigers are at risk of finishing the weekend in last position, with the Benji Marshall honeymoon period well and truly over.

–AAP

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