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The St George Illawarra Dragons have suffered a 34-22 loss to the Melbourne Storm on Sunday afternoon at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.

Melbourne scored first in the ninth minute through winger Suliasi Vunivalu when he caught handle of a Billy Slater bomb out wide.

Fellow Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr scored next three minutes later in the opposite corner when he proved too fast for Dragons centre Euan Aitken.

Vunivalu had a double in the 17th minute when he scored with an aerobatic effort in the corner.

Addo-Carr quickly followed with his double when he produced a dive over in the corner of his own in the 25th minute.

The Dragons had some reprieve when veteran winger Jason Nightingale scored following some nice lead-up work from Josh McCrone and Josh Dugan.

Up 22-4 at the half-time break, Storm fullback Billy Slater scored the second half's first two tries in the 45th and 53rd minutes.

On a day for doubles, Nightingale earned his second when he again dove over in the corner in the 59th minute.

Storm halfback Cooper Cronk's sin-binning for a professional foul ended an exciting play that almost saw Nene Macdonald produce a half-field intercept scoring play in the final 15 minutes.

Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes made no mistake 60 seconds later when he crashed over from dummy-half next to the uprights.

Nightingale made it a hat-trick of tries in the final 10 minutes when he again touched down in the corner to help complement the Dragons' mini comeback.

Dragons forward Tariq Sims's try in the final two minutes pulled the deficit back to 10 but by then it was too little too late.

Melbourne Storm 34 (Suliasi Vunivalu 2, Josh Addo-Carr 2, Billy Slater 2 tries; Cameron Smith 5 goals) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 22 (Jason Nightingale 3, Cameron McInnes, Tariq Sims tries; Josh Dugan goal) at WIN Stadium, Wollongong. Half-time: 22-4.  Crowd: 12, 377.

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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