The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 30-22 by the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Saturday.
The Dragons, wearing their ISC Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man jersey, scored four tries in the loss courtesy of Brett Morris, Joel Thompson, Benji Marshall and Josh Dugan but it was not enough for the win.
Head Coach Paul McGregor made only the one change to the team line-up announced midweek with hooker Shane Pumipi named on the interchange in lieu of second-rower Bronson Harrison.
The hosts were the quickest to score when play commenced with centre Michael Jennings crossing the stripe in the ninth minute.
Roosters halfback James Maloney converted to make it 6-0.
Yet the visitors soon found themselves pegging the deficit back to within two-points following winger Brett Morris’s try in the 13th minute.
The Kiama Knights junior had been the fastest to react to five-eighth Gareth Widdop’s cut-out grubber kick and planted the ball in the points area.
The Dragons followed this up with a try to second-rower Joel Thompson via halfback Benji Marshall’s orchestrations with the ball nine minutes later.
Widdop converted to make it 10-6.
Momentum continued to to-and-fro between both outfits as first-half play continued but it was the hosts who eventually prevailed, managing to equalise through winger Nene MacDonald in the 33rd minute
Maloney converted again to make it 12-10.
The Roosters continued where they left off after the break and inflicted a further four-point blow to the visitors through second-rower Aidan Guerra in the 46th minute.
Maloney converted once more to make it 18-10.
The Dragons had their opportunities to peg-back the eight-point deficit with their best opportunity falling to Morris who was denied just inches from the stripe prior to the hour mark.
This was to prove costly, as the home side extended their advantage through Jennings’s pounce on Maloney’s neat grubber adjacent to the posts in the 63rd minute.
Maloney converted to make it 24-10.
The visitors replied through the fancy footwork of Marshall who managed to duck-and-weave past his marker to score nine minutes from time.
Widdop converted to make it 24-16.
But this was to prove in vain as Roosters hooker Jake Friend got his name on the score sheet shortly thereafter, having overcome the trifecta of Jack de Belin, Leeson Ah Mau and Adam Quinlan.
Maloney converted to make it 30-16.
The Dragons notched a final try to condense the extent of the defeat through centre Josh Dugan two minutes from time.
Widdop converted to make it 30-22.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22. Tries: Morris, Thompson, Marshall, Dugan. Goals: Widdop (3/4).
Sydney Roosters 30. Tries: Jennings (2), MacDonald, Guerra, Friend. Goals: Maloney (5/5).