Lomax stars as Dragons stun Warriors

George Clarke |

The Dragons celebrate after a Zac Lomax try in their 30-12 win over the Warriors.
The Dragons celebrate after a Zac Lomax try in their 30-12 win over the Warriors.

Zac Lomax has begun his St George Illawarra farewell tour in style, starring for the Dragons in an upset 30-12 NRL win over the Warriors.

Days after finalising a four-year contract with Parramatta for 2025 and beyond, Lomax was in fine touch for the Dragons on Friday after being shifted back to the centres for the first time this season.

Lomax, mainly used as a winger by Shane Flanagan until this week, scored a try, a 42-metre two-point field goal and added four goals. 

The victory was hailed by Flanagan as the most measured of his tenure thus far, with the Dragons weathering an early Warriors onslaught at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium before responding in style.

“Without a doubt (it was our) most complete performance – we just went for 80 minutes,” Flanagan said.

“I was pleased with how we stuck to our guns.

“It was just about confidence, we kept turning them away and Zac kicking the two-point field goal … overall it was our best 80-minute performance.”

Flanagan was reluctant to discuss whether Lomax would shift back to the wing when Jack Bird makes his expected return from concussion against the Sydney Roosters next Thursday. 

“We’ll worry about that on Monday and enjoy tonight,” Flanagan said. 

The Dragons’ win was all the more remarkable given how dominant the Warriors were for the opening quarter of an hour. 

Wayde Egan slipped a nice pass away to Shaun Johnson for the Warriors’ first try of the night after 11 minutes and the Kiwi outfit continued knocking on the Dragons’ door.

Egan flung a flat pass at the Dragons’ line which was picked off by opposite number Jacob Liddle, who charged 30 metres downfield and won a penalty.

From there the Red V held their own and they came out swinging as the uncharacteristically ill-disciplined Warriors continued to piggyback them out of trouble. 

Ben Hunt sparked into action, sending Moses Suli on the left edge before Mikaele Ravalawa finished on the right.

Lomax was unable to add his first two attempts but he made amends when he converted after Hunt slipped his way through three Warriors defenders to ground the ball.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scores.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak’s try was spectacular, but it came too late for the Warriors. (David Neilson/AAP PHOTOS)

With the Dragons leading 14-4 with just less than 30 seconds left in the first half, Lomax showed great awareness by snapping a two-point field goal into the wind to strengthen Saints’ advantage.

It was a lead that would only extend after the break when Hunt sent a spiralling bomb up into the breezy Wollongong air, and Lomax climbed above Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to gather the ball and dot down. 

Lomax added a penalty before converting a runaway effort from fullback Tyrell Sloan, who picked the ball up on his own tryline and raced the length of the field.

Sloan’s try put the result beyond doubt, although, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak did cross for a consolation try on what was a disappointing night for Andrew Webster’s men.

“We completely lost the ruck and they blew us away,” Webster said. 

“You can’t have a poor attitude around errors when things don’t go your way and the boys are really disappointed in the way the game went tonight.”