Refereeing blunder set to fuel fired-up Dragons

Dan Hunt
Dan Hunt


It's not written on the whiteboard and it won't feature on the tip sheet, but Dan Hunt admits the Dragons will be fuelled by the early-season debacle in Melbourne after being robbed of "our two points".

Monday's return clash with the Storm will be the first time the clubs have met since the Dragons were left ruing a refereeing blunder after doing enough to win two of the toughest points on offer in the NRL at AAMI Park.

The Dragons led 24-22 after 80 minutes only for a try after the siren to Storm winger Young Tonumaipea to send them home with a 28-24 loss.

A post-match admission from referees' boss Tony Archer that on-field referees Matt Checchin and Gavin Atkins should have blown full-time before Tonumaipea scored the miraculous match-winner has proven little comfort for the Dragons, who 10 rounds later, find themselves walking a mid-season finals tight-rope in 13th place.

Hunt is hoping to overcome the niggling groin injury that's kept him out of the Dragons past three matches in time for Monday's clash at WIN Stadium and admits he will be motivated by a desire to to even the score.

"I think we need to get one back on them. That was our game, that was our two points," Hunt said.

"I'm sure it'll be a bit of extra motivation on Monday night, but we'll just be focused on ourselves and what we need to do as individuals and as a team to make sure we get those two points."

While talk of the sound six result hasn't dominated the build-up for the Dragons, Jack de Belin agreed the lost two points will inevitably enter their minds as they look keep their finals hopes alive.

"It hasn't been mentioned yet but I'm sure it will be brought up at some stage that we need to get our revenge on them," de Belin said.

"It was a decision that didn't necessarily go our way and it really hurt to lose a game the way we did after the siren.

"But we've moved on from that, it's just another week now.

"You never get an easy game against Melbourne so we need to show up ready to go."

With the Dragons trying to keep sight of the top eight, de Belin said Monday's match is shaping as a must-win for his side as they look to keep their finals fate in their own hands.

"We're in a position now where we're in control of our own fate so we've got to start putting more W's on the board than L's," he said.

"At the moment we're doing a pretty good job, we've won two of our last three. There's a really positive vibe around the club at the moment so we've got to keep that positive attitude."