Jack Bird leaves on medi-cab as Bulldogs slay Dragons

Jasper Bruce
AAP
2 Min Read
Jack Bird is left on the playing surface in agony after his ankle injury against the Dragons.
Jack Bird is left on the playing surface in agony after his ankle injury against the Dragons. Credit: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

An agonising ankle injury has forced St George Illawarra centre Jack Bird off the field on a medi-cab and opened the door for Canterbury’s 44-12 thrashing of the Dragons.

Injury-plagued Bird had his left foot crushed under Bronson Xerri, who attempted a tackle just before halftime at Accor Stadium on Thursday night.

Bird dragged himself from the field of play and began slamming his fist into the turf in severe pain, prompting staffers to rush over.

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The former State of Origin representative was moved to a stretcher and hoisted onto a medi-cab, with early indications he had suffered a syndesmosis injury.

The Dragons had already lost prop Hame Sele to a right shoulder injury during the first half and capitulated once reduced to 15 men in their rotation.

In a 14-minute period just after halftime Saints leaked four tries, all of which came down the Dragons’ left side where forward Tom Eisenhuth was moonlighting in the centres.

The skirmish swallowed up the visitors’ 12-6 lead and began a 38-point second half that emphatically sealed the Bulldogs’ fifth win of the year.

Jaeman Salmon returned from a staph infection and bagged the first two of Canterbury’s seven second-half tries, with winger Jacob Kiraz also heavily involved as the Dogs toyed with their rivals from long range.

Matt Burton recovered from a middling night at Magic Round and resumed his State of Origin push with a try-scoring double.

Midway through the first half, the five-eighth had the Bulldogs’ first four-pointer by chasing a grubber kick from Toby Sexton, who replaced Drew Hutchison in the halves on game day.

Burton claimed another while Dragons winger Zac Lomax was in the sin bin for a professional foul, putting on a one-two with Xerri to blow the lead out further.

With 10 minutes remaining, fellow NSW hopeful Stephen Crichton added his own name to the scoresheet in the Bulldogs’ last game before Origin teams are named on Sunday.

New recruit Christian Tuipulotu appears the likeliest man to come into the Dragons’ 17 for the coming weeks as Bird faces a stint in the casualty ward.

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