Brett Morris scored his 100th and then possibly the try of the season as the Dragons held off Cronulla 14-12. Copyright: Grant Trouville/NRL Photos Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
Dragons. Mythical creatures. The stuff of folklore and bedtime stories… right?
Well the Dragons are a step closer to proving they're the real deal in 2014, and Brett Morris now has one hell of a story for the kids after a display of aerial acrobatics more suited to Cirque de Soleil than a grudge match with local rivals Cronulla.
Having scored his 100th career try in just the fourth minute of the game, Morris did away with formalities early and ensured he would dominate Monday's water cooler pow-wows with a try that left a crowd of more than 14,000 questioning whether seeing really is believing.
Soaring high above his helpless opposite number Jonathon Wright, Morris plucked the ball from the air and swung his body vertically before slamming the ball down inches inside the dead-in-goal line with 90 per cent of his body outside the field of play and four feet above the ground.
The spectacular play left Cronulla coach Peter Sharp shaking his head while skipper Wade Graham stated the obvious when asked if the incumbent NSW and Australian flyer was the best winger in the world.
"He's definitely in the conversation," said Graham.
"He's hard to handle, he's fast, he gets them on a real roll on, and you saw a couple of times there our kicks were probably just a metre too deep and he caught in the in-goal and the next minute he's up the field.
"He's definitely in the conversation."
Morris's 39th minute touchdown proved all too real for the Sharks as the visitors didn't register another point afterward yet managed to hold on for a gritty 14-12 win, and coach Steve Price was confident the play was an early contender for try of the season.
"It's going to be hard to beat," said Price, whose side is top of the table for a second consecutive week.
"The athleticism, the height and just the awareness to be able to put it down on the inside of that white stripe. Special people do that and he's a special player."
Morris, who now sits one try behind father Steve's tally of 102 tries for the Dragons during the '70s and '80s, was unsurprisingly modest in the wake of his two-try performance.
"I don't know how I did it. I just caught it and hoped for the best," Morris said.
"I bombed one a little bit earlier so I was a bit filthy on myself so as soon as that happened I was pretty happy."
When quizzed further on how exactly one defies gravity and all sense of footballing reality Morris replied he was merely doing his job.
"You just practice. We do a fair bit of training and it's part of your job as a winger," said the 27-year-old.
"You've got to get up there and try and catch them in attack and you've got to try and defend them as well.
"Wingers these days, they can adapt. You see some of the freakish tries that wingers have scored these days; they bend themselves outside the field and still score a try inside the field.
"Us old dogs are just trying to keep up with the younger brigade and I was lucky enough to score a try tonight."