By Nathan Davis
The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 30-22 by the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Saturday.
NSW State of Origin centre Josh Dugan furthered his claim for a permanent No. 3 jersey with another stellar display of skill and class.
Dugan made 168 metres with 15 touches of the Steeden, four tackle breaks, three offloads, two line breaks and two line break assists.
He also made three one-on-one tackles.
Since moving to the right edge, Dugan has scored five tries compared to once at fullback, made eight line breaks compared to three and 139 tackles to 36.
Second-rower Joel Thompson bagged his first Red V try in a strong performance.
The ex-Canberra Raider ran for 100 metres with 12 touches, made 21 tackles and broke free of two, and made one line break.
Thompson has played 17 games this season, and has the most tackle breaks of any of the St George Illawarra forwards, with 29.
Interchange prop Trent Merrin made the most metres of the game, sitting on 180 metres gained for 19 carries.
Next was Dugan on 168 metres and then Roosters prop Boyd Cordner on 154 metres.
Only twice this season has Merrin achieved less than 100 metres per game, against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in round nine (54m) and the Tigers in round 20 (84m).
Merrin took 16 hit ups, followed by fellow Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau with 12, then Cordner with 11.
Roosters’ players Jake Friend and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves made the most tackles with 40 each, followed by Dragons hooker Mitch Rein and Roosters prop Aiden Guerra both with 33.
Guerra also made three missed tackles alongside Dragons prop Jack de Belin.
Halfback Benji Marshall made five tackle breaks, Dugan made four, and Friend made three.
Completions: 32/41 (78%)
Runs: 162 (1600m)
Line Breaks: 7
Missed Tackles: 33
St George Illawarra Man of the Match: Josh Dugan