The St George Illawarra Dragons were 12-4 winners over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.
The Red-and-Whites notched only the one try in the encounter through winger Jason Nightingale with five-eighth Gareth massing a further eight-points with his on-point kicking game.
Head Coach Paul McGregor had opted to standby the line-up originally named midweek with only prop Rory O’Brien dropping-off the extended interchange bench come kick-off.
The Dragons entered the encounter on the back of their first win of the season against the Canberra Raiders in the nation’s capital last round and saw themselves continue this momentum in the first ten minutes of play.
The hosts seized an early eight-point lead which started with a fourth minute penalty goal successfully converted by five-eighth Gareth Widdop.
The home side followed this up with a four-pointer to winger Jason Nightingale five minutes later to reflect their early attacking dominance.
The New Zealand international had been the beneficiary of a neat flick-pass out to the right flank by fullback Josh Dugan, who had drawn in two markers prior to his creative offload.
Widdop was on strike with his conversion,
The Dragons managed to absorb several attempted attacking raids created by the visitors in the minutes that followed before being awarded a second penalty in the 24th minute.
Widdop converted with ease to make it 10-0.
The home side’s defence had managed time-and-time again throughout the contest to dispel the visitors’ advances in search of points.
Unfortunately, they were unable to negate Sea Eagles winger Brayden Wiliame’s four-pointer just shy of the hour mark.
However, the visitors’ ill-discipline gifted the hosts their third penalty of the match ten minutes from time.
Widdop made short-work of his attempt from the tee to ultimately make it 12-4.
The Sea Eagles managed to apply some late pressure but were unable to prevent the hosts from commemorating their hundredth outing at the venue with a win.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12. Tries: Nightingale. Goals: Widdop (1/1). Penalty Goals: Widdop (3/3).
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4. Tries: Wiliame. Goals: Cherry-Evans (0/1).