St George Illawarra have greeted Paul McGregor’s appointment as full-time coach with an emphatic 34-6 win over an injury-hit Gold Coast at Kogarah.
With halves Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop firing and the Titans unable to hold onto the ball, the visitors were blown away in a six-tries-to-one win on Sunday before 9,584 fans in perfect conditions.
The triumph kept the Dragons’ finals hopes alive – they now sit a win behind eighth-placed Parramatta.
McGregor was signed to a three-year deal on Friday and the Dragons responded in fine style, racing out to a 16-0 lead at halftime and continuing their dominance in the second half.
Marshall and Josh Dugan both left the field late with ankle injuries and are in doubt for the Dragons’ trip to Brisbane on Friday.
The former Wests Tigers skipper opened the scoring in the ninth minute from a Trent Merrin offload, before the home side added to that with a 95m intercept effort to Brett Morris in the 14th minute and another to Jason Nightingale after 20 minutes.
The Titans defence stiffened somewhat after but conceded three tries in 10 minutes midway through the second half to Josh Dugan, Gerard Beale and Troy Thompson as the Dragons took the chance to improve their for and against.
With Nate Myles (biceps) added to the Titans significant injury list on Saturday, the Titans were little match for the Dragons.
Hooker Mitch Rein enjoyed one of his best games of the year for the Dragons.
Daniel Mortimer tried hard for the visitors and put on the Titans’ sole try for for Anthony Don in the 67th minute.