Dragons spoil Hindmarsh farewell
Sun, 02 Sep 2012 11:43p.m.
By Steve Jancetic
St George Illawarra spoiled the Parramatta farewell of Nathan Hindmarsh and Luke Burt as the Dragons emerged 29-8 winners before a huge crowd in the NRL's regular season finale at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.
Despite both teams being out of finals contention, 45,863 fans flocked to the retirement party - the largest crowd for a non-double header in Sydney since Balmain played South Sydney at the SCG in 1969.
Dragons duo Ben Hornby and Dean Young farewelled the NRL with a win, Hindmarsh giving the fans one last thrill when he knocked over a penalty goal after the siren - the likeable larrikin going old fashioned with sand instead of a kicking tee before slotting it over 10 metres in from touch for the only goal of his 330-game career.
Hornby managed to cap his last game with the match-clinching try in which he beat four players in a 10-metre run to the line, but the result took a back seat as fans farewelled four of the game's one-club greats.
The Dragons were never really headed after taking just four minutes to score their first points of the match - their effort all the more meritorious considering they were left with just two fit players on the bench for almost 70 minutes.
Josh Miller was the victim of a high tackle from Reni Maitua in the opening minute which landed the Eels lock on report, and he was joined in the dressing room by Mitch Rein soon after as he limped off with an ankle injury.
Bronx Goodwin's fourth minute try off a brilliant Jamie Soward pass was backed up by a Brett Morris four-pointer, before a Chris Sandow chip-and-chase from inside his own half sparked a brilliant movement which resulted in Ryan Morgan securing Parramatta's only try of the game.
Burt was denied a try when he knocked on an attempted strip on Goodwin, before the Dragons struck twice just after the restart to put the game away.
Soward pounced on an errant Burt flick to outspring Sandow in a 95 metre run to the line before Matt Cooper made it 18-6 before the hour mark.
Hornby then had his moment to shine, Soward adding a 35m field goal and Dan Hunt the finishing touch with a powerful try in the dominant win.
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