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Comeback cut short - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 07 Jun 2008 11:03:00 GMT
Former duel Rugby international Wendell Sailor made a fractured comeback to the NRL on Friday night in his side’s 28-10 victory over the Brisbane Broncos at Win Stadium.
On a night when 11,432 fans turned up to see what all the hype was about, the 33-year old winger picked up a painful fractured cheekbone right before half-time care of a stray elbow from Broncos pivot David Stagg.
He ended up in hospital getting scans by full-time and now faces up to six weeks on the sideline.
“He’ll have scans tonight to assess whether he need an operation, it looks like he will,” Dragons doctor Paul Annett said.
“It will probably be 4-6 weeks.”
Dragons coach Nathan Brown was also sympathetic with his new winger’s predicament.
“You feel sorry for Dell because that first half they obviously targeted him.. I thought he read it really well his first game back,” Brown said.
“It’s very unfortunate, not only for Wendell but for the club and I think the game.”
The Dragons however were not sympathetic to the Broncos plight. With the Queensland based side missing up to 6 players due to State of Origin commitments, the Sydney-based outfit were ruthless in their 5 tries to 2 victory to notch up their fourth consecutive win.
At home, the red and white foot soldiers took an early lead with star half back Jamie Soward’s cleverly waited grubber kick finding fullback Ben Hornby for an early 6-0 lead.
Just barely 20 minutes in and the Dragons were up by 14 points to nil, with forward Dean Young barging his way over from close range for a four pointer of his own.
It took 25 minutes for the Broncos to steady the ship and get back into the game. A clever little inside ball from Corey Parker to a flying Greg Eastwood found a gap in the home side’s defence and put points on the scoreboard.
But the Sydney-siders regained the ascendency just before the half time interval.
Brett Morris found some space on Brisbane’s left wing and ran half the length of the field to give his side a commanding 20-6 lead at the break.
Despite Wendell’s night coming short, the Dragons looked to continue their good form in the second half. However it was their opponents who came out with the wind in their sails.
The Broncos reduced the deficit to 10 points within a few minutes of the resumption of play.
Second rower Tony Carroll was given the benefit of the doubt by the video referee after he was adjudged to have correctly grounded the ball in the in-goal area.
But the Dragons quickly recaptured their confidence.
A Jamie Soward high bomb caused all sorts of problems for the Broncos defence, with Hornby able to get to the ball first and bat it back into the waiting arms of Josh Morris who found a flying Jason Nightingale to re-establish a 14-point lead just past the hour mark.
With the away side never looking likely to get back into the game, the Dragons did all the running.
The home side put together a lovely passing display close to the Broncos line, opening space on the left hand side allowing Nightingale to post his second try of the night.
The Dragons fourth consecutive win creeps them temporarily inside the top eight with a full round of matches still to be played.
It was a night for Wayne Bennett to be both proud and disappointed in what he saw.
St George Illawarra Dragons 28 (B. Hornby, 8m, D. Young, 20m, B. Morris, 30m, J. Nightingale, 62m, 74m. Conversions – J. Soward 9m, 21m, 32m) def Brisbane Broncos 10 (G.Eastwood, 27m, T. Carroll, 48m. Conversions – M. Ennis, 28m) - Read More, Here