The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 34-22 by the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday.
The Young Dragons scored four tries in the fast-paced loss with winger Tom Carr notching an individual double.
Head Coach Ben Hornby had made only the one change to the line-up announced midweek with five-eighth Adam Clune replacing Drew Hutchison as the preferred halves partner for halfback Jack Payne.
Unfortunately, it was the home side that inflicted the early blows when play commenced, managing to score three unanswered tries by the midway point of the opening stanza.
The Broncos struck first through halfback Ash Taylor in the sixth minute after the playmaker was set-up by hooker Jayden Berrell who had managed to break through the line.
Broncos centre Jarryd Dodd was next to get his name on the scoresheet after cleanly controlling a well-directed kick by Taylor in to the in-goal area five minutes later.
The latter banked his second try of the match and his team’s third overall in the 16th minute.
Taylor managed to successfully convert two of his three attempts at the tee to make it 16-0.
However, the Dragons rallied and soon managed to break their points-scoring drought through winger Tom Carr’s effort down the right-hand corner in the 31st minute.
Dragons second-rower Ryan James converted to make it 16-6.
Yet, the hosts replied shortly thereafter through second-rower Alex Barr just prior to the halftime siren.
Taylor converted to make it 22-6.
The home side continued where they left off when second-half play resumed and extended their lead through second-rower Lachlan Lanskey.
Taylor converted once more to make it 28-6.
The visitors had squandered several scoring opportunities of their own leading up to this point but managed to sway momentum their way with two successive tries just after the hour mark.
James was the first to cross the stripe in the 65th minute before Carr utilised his speed to etch his name on the score sheet once again ten minutes later.
James successfully converted both his attempts at goal to make it 28-18.
Regrettably, Broncos centre Jordan Drew extinguished any hopes of a fightback by the visitors with four minutes remaining with a succinct four-pointer.
Taylor converted to make it 34-18.
Dragons winger Dee Jay Harris scored a consolatory try just shy of the siren to make it 34-22.
St George Illawarra Dragons 22. Tries: Carr (2), James, Harris. Goals: James (3/4).
Brisbane Broncos 34. Tries: Taylor (2), Dodd, Barr, Lanskey, Drew. Goals: Taylor (5/6).