The St George Illawarra Dragons were narrowly defeated 19-14 by the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park on Monday.
The Red-and-Whites were courageous in the loss after a tremendous amount of pressure on their line but it was not enough as they fell to their tricolour rivals.
Head Coach Paul McGregor made a single change to the side named mid-week with winger Eto Nabuli rested and replaced by utility Dylan Farrell.
The hosts felt the pressure in the first ten minutes, but managed to hold the opposition out until they were awarded with a penalty in front of the posts.
Roosters five-eighth James Maloney easily slotted the kick to put his side 2-0 up after eight minutes.
The Dragons responded minutes later when centre Peter Mata’utia picked up a loose ball and charged over the line.
Red V five-eighth Gareth Widdop converted the try to make it 6-2.
The visitors hit back five minutes later through winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall who got under a Maloney high ball and planted it in the corner.
Maloney converted the try to regain the lead.
The Roosters were in again, ten minutes out from the break, through prop Kane Evans who burrowed himself over the line right under the posts.
Maloney converted with ease to extend the lead to 14-6.
The hosts were awarded with a penalty right on half-time, with Widdop opting for a goal to reduce the gap to six points.
The Roosters struck first after the break as a leaping Kenny-Dowall scored in the right corner and bagged a double on the hour mark.
Eight minutes before the final siren, the home-side combined for a try as Farrell made a break, shifting the ball to Euan Aitken, who ran down the sideline and managed to stay inside the field of play, before throwing it to Benji Marshall as Widdop ran away to score.
Widdop converted his own try to put his side within four points.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend slotted a field goal in the final minute to ensure the hosts would not score again.
St George Illawarra Dragons 14. Tries: Mata’utia, Widdop. Goals: Widdop (2/2). Penalty Goals: Widdop (1/1).
Sydney Roosters 19. Tries: Kenny-Dowall (2), Evans. Goals: Maloney (2/3). Penalty Goals: Maloney (1/1). Field Goals: Friend (1/1).