The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 21-12 by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Monday.
The Red-and-Whites scored twice in the encounter through Benji Marshall and Jason Nightingale but it was not enought to mark skipper Ben Creagh’s 50th appearance at the home ground a successful one.
Head Coach Paul McGregor made several changes to the starting line-up with winger Brett Morris named on the wing in lieu of Charly Runciman while second-rower Nathan Green was selected on the interchange.
The Red V came out firing in the opening minutes of the game with three repeat sets in the Sea Eagles’ half.
Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop scored from a penalty kick in the eighth minute.
Sea Eagles centre Steve Matai slipped through the home-side’s defence and score the first try of the match in the 20th minute.
Sea Eagles winger Jamie Lyon converted to make it 6-2.
The visitors scored quickly from the new set when five-eighth Kieran Foran crossed the chalk two minutes later.
Fortunately, Dragons halfback Benji Marshall crossed the line just after the halfhour mark for his first try wearing the famous red V jersey.
Widdop took the conversion from the Eastern sideline taking the score to 10-8.
The visitors added another four points to the scoreboard having tested the hosts' defence on several prior occassions when lock Tom Symonds in the 53rd minute.
Lyon successfully converted to take their score to 16-8.
Four minutes later Sea Eagles winger Jorge Taufua flew over the line giving the visitors a comfortable lead.
With five minutes to go Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans took a field goal to take their score to 21.
The Dragons hit back swiftly when centre Jason Nightingale cartwheeled over the line in the 77th minute.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12 were defeated against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 21.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12. Tries: Marshall, Nightingale. Goals: Widdop (1/2). Penalty Goals: Widdop (1/1).
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 20. Tries: Matai, Foran, Symonds, Taufua. Goals: Lyon (2/4). Field Goals: Cherry-Evans (1/1).