The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 36-20 by the Brisbane Broncos at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Friday.
The Young Dragons put up a strong fight against the ladder leaders, running in four tries, but it was not enough to clinch the two competition points.
Head Coach Ben Hornby made no changes to the line-up named mid-week but found his team on the back end from the get go.
The visitors were first to score just three minutes in when centre Jarryd Dodd burrowed himself over the line.
Broncos halfback Ash Taylor successfully converted to make it 6-0.
The Broncos were in again at the mark of the first quarter through winger Jonus Pearson, who raced down the left side to score in the corner.
Taylor converted from the sideline to extend the Broncos’ lead to 12.
Dragons second-rower Jacob Host opened their account with 15 minutes remaining before the half-time siren, with a defence-crushing run through the middle.
Seven minutes later, the hosts were in again through halfback Adam Clune, with winger Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga converting the try to close the gap to two points.
Broncos fullback Paul Byrnes hit back three minutes out from half time, scoring down the right-hand side of the field.
Taylor converted and ensured the visitors stayed in the lead at the half-time break.
The Red-and-Whites were first to strike in the second forty through centre Lachlan Stein when he broke the Broncos’ defensive line and planted the ball just to the right of the posts.
The homeside kept the momentum going as lock Hame Sele dove over the white-line close to the posts, allowing Aufaga-Toomaga to easily convert the try and put his side in the lead for the first time.
The Broncos responded less than 10 minutes later when prop Lindsay Collins planted the ball under the posts, granting his side the lead again, as Taylor slotted the conversion and extended the score to 24-20.
Broncos five-eighth Jayden Nikorima found a gap in the Dragons’ defence and capitalised on the opportunity, scoring under the black dot and putting the Broncos 30-20 up with 15 minutes remaining.
The hosts were dealt another blow two minutes out from the full-time siren, when halfback Ash Taylor made a break and ran 50 metres, subsequently converting his own try and furthering their lead to 36.
St George Illawarra Dragons 20. Tries: Host, Clune, Stein, Sele. Goals: Aufaga-Toomaga (2/4).
Brisbane Broncos 36. Tries: Dodd, Pearson, Byrnes, Collins, Nikorima, Taylor. Goals: Taylor (6/6).