Round 15 v Melbourne Storm
The St George Illawarra Dragons were 20-10 winners over the Melbourne Storm at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Saturday.
The Red-and Whites outscored their visitors three tries to one to reclaim the Emergency Services Cup.
Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor had made a number of late changes to his line-up announced midweek leading into the encounter headlined by new recruit Tariq Sims named on the interchange.
Furthermore, local Renown United junior Jacob Host replaced Tyson Frizell in the starting side following his selection in to the NSW Blues State of Origin squad.
Unfortunately though, it was the visitors who opened the scoring in the fourth minute, when the Storm opted to take the two points via the boot of Tohu Harris after back-to-back penalties.
Fortunately, after a period of end to end football, the Dragons broke the stalemate midway through the period minute, when a chip kick from five-eighth Gareth Widdop found the head of second-rower Kevin Proctor.
From there, the ball bounced back to the playmaker who scooted away to score next to the upright.
The England international then converted his own try giving the Dragons a 6-2 lead.
Dragons winger Kalifa Faifai Loa almost doubled the Dragons lead two minutes later, but it was ruled upon further review that the ball was placed on the touchline.
When the Storm were penalised for lying in the ruck, Widdop opted to take the easy two points, pushing the Dragons lead out to 8-2 with six minutes remaining in the opening stanza.
The home sdie opted to stretch their lead out to beyond a converted try five minutes into the second half after the Storm gave away an offside penalty.
Shortly after being denied a try, the Storm would not be denied again, when winger Suliasi Vunivalu soared through the air and came down to give the visitors their first four-pointer.
However, just when it looked like the Storm were starting to work their way back into the match, a spectacular putdown by winger Kurt Mann just after the hourmark pushed the hosts' lead out to 14-6.
With a little dart out of dummy half, hooker Mitch Rein burrowed his way through two defenders to score the winning try for his team ten minutes from time.
St George Illawarra Dragons 20. Tries: Widdop, Mann, Rein. Goals: Widdop (2/3). Penalty Goals: Widdop (2/2).
Melbourne Storm 10. Tries: Vunivalu (2). Goals: Harris (1/2).