The St George Illawarra Dragons were 48-18 winners over the Newcastle Knights at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Sunday.
The Young Dragons scored eight tries in the comprehensive win which included winger Thomas Carr bagging a first-half hat-trick of tries.
Head Coach Ben Hornby made only the one change to the line-up announced midweek welcoming captain Adam Clune back into the fold after his stint for the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup.
The home side inflicted the opening blow on their opponents in what proved to be a high-tempo game when centre Izaac Thompson crossed the stripe in the fourth minute.
The local Kingsgrove Colt had been the beneficiary of some slick one-two passing involving second-rower Jacob Host and winger Thomas Carr to find space to slide over and score.
Dragons second-rower Ryan James converted to make it 6-0.
The hosts soon found themselves penetrating the visitors’ perimeters for second time when five-eighth Adam Clune’s cross-kicking efforts found Carr who collected and planted the ball.
James converted again to make it 12-0.
The Knights however responded positively with an attacking set of their own which ultimately saw lock Luke Yates score.
Knights five-eighth Brock Lamb converted to make it 12-6.
However, Dragons hooker Ryan Fletcher re-opened the points-buffer with his four-pointer in the 19th minute.
James converted to make it 18-6.
This was followed-up just shy of the half-hour mark by Host’s cut-out pass to the far right for Carr to collect and notch his second of the game.
James converted once more to make it 24-6.
Carr managed to secure his trifecta of tries just before the interval to make it 28-6.
James converted to make it 30-6.
The hosts continued where they left off when second-half play resumed with external HPU graduate Jay Gallgher charging his way across the stripes adjacent to the posts in the 56th minute.
James added the extras to make it 36-6.
Knights prop Josh King scored his team’s second four-pointer of the encounter with a dashing run in the 69th minute.
Lamb converted his attempt at the tee to make it 36-12.
The Dragons halves pairing of Clune and Jack Payne both got in on the scoring act with each etching their name on to the scoresheet in the closing minutes of the game.
James converted both his attempts to make it 48-12.
The visitors managed to score a final consolatory try through centre Jacob Gagai on the cusp of the final whistle.
Lamb converted to make it 48-18.
St George Illawarra Dragons 48. Tries: Carr (3), Thompson, Fletcher, Gallagher, Clune, Payne. Goals: James (8/8).
Newcastle Knights 18. Tries: Yates, King. Goals: Lamb (3/3).