The young Dragons suffered a 18-12 loss to the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Friday night.
The Dragons were well in control in the first half having produced a try through skipper Stuart Mason in the 16th minute and a further penalty goal to halfback Jackson Willis.
However the lead was pegged back just before half-time when Raider Fabien Paletua-Kiri crashed over the white stripe, the Dragons headed into the break up 8-6 as a result.
The Raiders hit the lead for the first time in the 47th minute through Wesley Tameifuna to help set up an intriguing 30 minutes.
Despite the Dragons' best efforts at the Raiders' try-line, the home team scored two tries in quick succession through Sebastian Kris in the 65th minute and Tameifuna again three minutes later.
Dragons centre Reuben Garrick's try in the final four minutes offered the Red V a glimmer of hope but it was too no avail by game's end.
Canberra Raiders 18 (Wesley Tameifuna 2, Fabien Paletua-Kiri, Sebastian Kris tries; Andre Niko goal) defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 12 (Stuart Mason, Reuben Garrick tries; Jackson Willis 2 goals) at GIO Stadium. Half-time: Dragons 8-6.