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Sloan hat-trick helps Dragons kick-off season in style

A Tyrell Sloan hat-trick led the Dragons to a statement 28-4 win over the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday night. 

In Shane Flanagan's first game at the helm, St George Illawarra launched a new era in style, running in four tries in the second stanza to seal the first-up win over a Gold Coast side down on troops and confidence.

With new halves pairing Ben Hunt and Kyle Flanagan steering the ship, Sloan had a day out in the No. 1 jersey while Zac Lomax's shift to the wing looked to pay dividends with the athletic back finishing the match with 266 metres off 26 runs. 

Less than three minutes into the contest the Dragons opened the scoreboard with Sloan touching down under the uprights thanks to some nice second phase play from new recruit Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

Tyrell Sloan Try

But both sides would trade errors and sets over the next 30 minutes before Kieran Foran's fill-in Tom Weaver put a grubber in for Alofiana Khan-Pereira in the corner, reducing the deficit 6-4 at the break. 

An error by Brian Kelly early in the second half invited the Dragons into the red zone and Flanagan showed some sharp footwork to dart his way over from close range.

Kyle Flanagan Try

Come the 54th minute and Jacob Liddle handed the Dragons another opportunity to extend the lead, jumping out of dummy half before finding Sloan who crossed for a double. Lomax kicked to make it 18-4. 

The visitors all but put the game to bed in the 63rd minute when Lomax finished a Hunt grubber in the corner before Sloan then capped a sensational season opener with a hat-trick.

Match Snapshot

  • Titans playmaker Kieran Foran was ruled out of Saturday night's match against St George Illawarra with a lower limb injury.
  • The Dragons had six line breaks compared to the Titans 1.
  • Titans forward Isaac Liu celebrated his 250th NRL game with a stint off the bench. 
  • Titans forward Klese Haas topped the tackle count for his side with 45 in a big day out in the No. 11 jersey.
  • Dragons fullback Tyrell Sloan finished the match with three tries, two line breaks and 107 run metres.
  • Titans winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira has now scored 21 tries in 24 NRL games.

Play of the Game 

There were three tries to choose from after young gun Tyrell Sloan ran in a hat-trick against the Titans, but this effort which started from a Jacob Liddle burst through the middle was hard to beat. 

Tyrell Sloan Try

What They Said 

"I thought we had opportunities but they came up with some really big defensive plays on their try line in the first half. In the second half I think we made too many errors and played a lot of footy out of our own end. We were in the game at half-time but we came up with a few errors and we couldn't defend those errors. We need to make those adjustments." - Titans coach Des Hasler

Titans: Round 1

"We were definitely gritty in the first half, saved a few tries and were our own worst enemy at times with too many errors and putting ourselves under pressure but the grit kept us in the game. We didn't start the second half that well either once again with errors with the football but grit, determination and a bit of class got us the points. Overall, a bit to work on but also pretty happy. That was a really big step in believing what type of team we've got. " - Dragons coach Shane Flanagan

Dragons: Round 1

What's Next 

The Titans have the bye in Round 2 before a Saturday afternoon showdown with the Bulldogs at Belmore in Round 3. The Dragons head back up to Queensland to meet the Dolphins at Kayo Stadium next Sunday. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.