Photo: Paul Barkley / Melba Studios

The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 29-16 by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Monday.

The Red-and-Whites, wearing their alternative strip, scored three tries in the loss including a double to five-eighth Gareth Widdop.

Head Coach Paul McGregor opted to standby his line-up announced midweek which meant utility Jake Marketo was omitted from the encounter.

The Dragons ran-out comprehensive 31-6 victors over their hosts when the two teams last met at the same venue in round 6.

However, they found themselves trailing early-on when Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona crossed for the opening try of the match in the seventh minute.

The home side continued to defy the visiting defence and doubled their advantage through centre Josh Morris who collected a chip-kick from Rona to score in the 21st minute.

Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson converted to make it 10-0.

The Dragons though remained resilient and finally notched their first four-pointer of the game when five-eighth Gareth Widdop found space to cross the stripe seven minutes out from the interval.

The England international converted his own try to make it 10-6.

The Dragons continued pressing forward following the interval and found themselves level six minutes in following the fancy footwork of Widdop once again.

The Halifax junior soon converted to grab a two-point lead for his team.

It seemed momentum was now clearly in the visitors’ favour and it showed when Widdop turned provider for centre Peter Mata’utia to casually cross in the 57th minute.

The Bulldogs replied just after the hourmark through centre Tim Lafai’s efforts down the right flank to narrow his team’s deficit to just two-points

Bulldogs centre Moses Mbye converted to equalise 16-all moments later.

The home side’s newfound fortune saw them seize a four-point through interchange utility Tim Browne in the 67th minute.

Mbye converted once again to make it 22-16.

The Bulldogs put the game beyond reach for the visitors when Mbye successfully kicked a field goal with five minutes remaining.

However, they sealed it through prop Frank Pritchard’s charge-and-barge over the stripe moments later.

Hodkinson converted to make it 29-16.

St George Illawarra Dragons 16. Tries: Widdop (2), Mata’utia. Goals: Widdop (2/3).

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 29. Tries: Rona, J Morris, Lafai, Browne, Pritchard. Goals: Hodkinson (2/3), Mbye (2/2). Field Goal: Mbye (1/1).