Lomax scores 32 points as Dragons scorch Tigers

Scott Bailey |

Just two days after playing Origin, Zac Lomax’s 32 points helped the Dragons thrash the Tigers.
Just two days after playing Origin, Zac Lomax’s 32 points helped the Dragons thrash the Tigers.

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 on Friday 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.

Speaking afterwards, the winger said he was not expecting to face any ban.

“I was going for the ball,” he said.

“I copped a bit of a knock and I don’t really know what happened. I was watching the ball. 

“I had eyes for the ball and went to go up for the ball and just copped a hit.”

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 a realistic chance of playing finals for the first time since 2018.

Zac Lomax.
Zac Lomax celebrates with his fellow Dragons after one of this three tries. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

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.

Lomax’s haul also took him 10 clear of the Dragons’ previous points-scoring record for a game, which sat at 22.

“It’s a cool little accolade,” Lomax said. 

“But the two points is the main thing and that’s a good building block for us.”

Things didn’t start so well 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 to make it 14-12.

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 before the Tigers conceded 14 points with him off.

Blake Lawrie.
Blake Lawrie was among the Dragons’ forward forces as the Tigers tried desperately to stem the tide. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

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 Mat 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, after a second half where they got to an end-of-set kick just twice.

“Very disappointing. We seem to say the same thing every week, which is unfortunate,” Marshall said. 

“To have as many errors as what we did, Schoolboy errors to be honest, is unacceptable. 

“I feel sorry for fans to have to watch that capitulation in the second half.”