The St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team were 30-20 winners over the North Queensland Cowboys at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday.
The Young Dragons bagged six tries in the win with fullback Matt Dufty securing a hat trick for his stand-out effort on the field.
Co-Head Coaches Ben Hornby and Dean Young had made several changes to the line-up announced midweek with hooker Logan Harris starting in lieu of Hayden McCrae who reverted to the bench.
Furthermore, prop Harry Steward was additionally added to the starting forward-pack while Jay Gallagher was a late call-up to the interchange.
The home side had been comprehensively beaten 26-6 by the Melbourne Storm last round and were intent to rectify their fifth loss of the season.
The Dragons proved they were more than up for the task ahead notching 14-points as they returned to sheds at halftime.
Dragons fullback Matt Dufty was the quickest off the mark when play commenced and a dashing run three minutes in saw him slide over for the initial four-pointer of the match.
Dragons five-eighth Shannon Crook converted to make it 6-nil.
Dragons winger Rowland Kotobalavu followed suit down the right-flank eight minutes later to secure his name on the score sheet too.
The Cowboys replied through winger Samsen O’Neill with 15-minutes remaining until the interval to make it 10-4.
However, Dragons second-rower Wes Lolo barged through the pack in reply with ten minutes remaining to make it 14-4.
In one final twist before the break the visitors snuck-in a second try courtesy of prop Michael Barclay six minutes from the whistle.
Cowboys second-rower Corey Jensen converted to make it 14-10.
The Cowboys seized the lead when second-half play commenced and equalised through prop Kieran Quabba in the 44th minute.
O’Neill converted to make it 16-14.
Yet the lead was short-lived with Dufty darting 60-metres to reacquaint the hosts with a two-point lead five minutes later.
Dragons hooker Hayden McCrae converted to make it 20-16.
However, the visitors levelled proceedings for the second-time in the game through winger Scott Schulte in the 65th minute.
Fortunately, the home side replied positively with two final tries within the last ten minutes of play to solidify the two-competition points.
Dragons centre Sitiveni Moceidreke was the first across the stripe with eight minutes remaining before Dufty bagged his hat trick on the cusp of fulltime.
McCrae converted one of his two attempts to make it 30-20.
St George Illawarra Dragons 26 defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 20.
St George Illawarra Dragons 30. Tries: Dufty (3), Kotobalavu, W Lolo, Moceidreke. Goals: Crook (1/3) McCrae (2/3).
North Queensland Cowboys 20. Tries: O’Neill, Barclay, Quabba, Schulte. Goals: Jensen (2/4).