Lomax stars on wing again as Dragons ease past Tigers

Scott Bailey |

Zac Lomax has enjoyed another weekend on the wing for the Dragons in a victory over Wests Tigers.
Zac Lomax has enjoyed another weekend on the wing for the Dragons in a victory over Wests Tigers.

Zac Lomax has again vindicated Shane Flanagan’s costly decision to move him to the wing, starring out wide as St George Illawarra beat Wests Tigers 24-12.

Unhappy at being moved out of the centres this year and bound for Parramatta next season as a result, Lomax scored a try and set up another on Sunday.

It came as the hot-and-cold Dragons again breathed fire at Campbelltown, in one of their most impressive performances of the year.

But surely nothing could be more frustrating for Flanagan than the curious case of Lomax.

His decision to move him from centre to wing continues to come up trumps on the field for the Dragons. 

But it’s also cost one of his best attacking threats from next year, after the Dragons agreed to release the disgruntled star from the last two years of his deal.

Zac Lomax with the ball ahead of two Tigers players.
Lomax constantly had Tigers defenders guessing. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

“That’s life. Players, leave clubs, players come to clubs,” Flanagan said. 

“We’ve got him this year and we’ll make the most of it. 

“I never doubted Zac’s ability. That’s for sure. It’s his decision to want to leave the club, not ours.

“He’s doing an outstanding job on the wing, isn’t he?”

Lomax’s first try came easily as the Dragons spread the ball right in the second minute, but it was two others plays that summed up his form.

Twice he leapt high to take towering bombs, his first coming when he outjumped Tigers fullback Jahream Bula and found Kyle Flanagan inside him to score.

That gave the Dragons a 16-6 halftime lead and served as a reminder of why Lomax is a genuine wing option for NSW this year despite not liking the position.

“As a Queenslander I wouldn’t want him in there. He competes hard on everything,” said his captain Ben Hunt.

“It’s a pretty rare talent the way he can do it. A lot of the guys in the air come from cross kicks or little shots into the corner. 

“But he has a real knack of getting it wherever it comes up.”

Flanagan also indicated it was unlikely Lomax would fill in at centre on Friday night against the Warriors, despite Jack Bird suffering a concussion.

The Dragons have quickly emerged as the most inconsistent team in the NRL this year, but their attack was on song on Sunday.

Two offloads were thrown in the lead-up to a Bird try in the first half, and another two thrown before a Jaydn Su’A four-pointer in the second half that put the game beyond doubt.

For the Tigers, coach Benji Marshall conceded this was their worst performance of the year as they made too many early-set errors and made life easy for the Dragons by conceding nine penalties.

They included two high shots from David Klemmer on Lomax and Flanagan that have the potential to earn the prop the ire of the match review committee.

And while the Tigers scored late through Asu Kepaoa to offer brief hope, a poor Aidan Sezer kick let the pressure off and the game was gone.

“That was probably our worst performance this season,” Marshall said.

“I talk about standards … and today was probably the furthest we were away from the things we’ve talked about doing.”