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Dragons hooker Ben Hunt.

Paul McGregor cleaned out his office in the morning, sat on the sidelines in the evening, and savoured one last win to finish seven seasons of trials and tribulations in charge of his beloved Dragons.

With guts and grit that has been missing for most all of 2020, St George Illawarra boiled over on high-flying Parramatta, knocking the Eels off on their own turf with a 14-12 upset.

Fumbles, thrills and spills in the wet made sure the result was in the balance until the final moments.

And with immediate and interim successor Dean Young watching from up on high in the coach's box, McGregor rode the entire ride in the Dragons dug-out alongside his bench and coaching staff.

Given the Eels' penchant for pinching tight games this season, an 80-minute microcosm of McGregor's 151-game tenure loomed.

St George Illawarra promised plenty early as they stuck with the premiership fancies, so much so they held a 10-6 half-time lead.

But when Kane Evans wrestled back the lead with the simplest of barge over tries straight after the break, an all-too familiar Dragons fade-out – typically seen post-Origin most years – loomed.

Instead, the Dragons hung tough. Zac Lomax nudged over one penalty goal to level the scores, and then another to take the lead.

McGregor reflects on emotional farewell

They deserved it. And somehow hung onto it despite Josh Kerr being denied a critical 65th minute try under the posts as he chased through a grubber.

Eels hooker Reed Mahoney was pinged for being offside in the same play, allowing Lomax to knock over two points at least when six had been on offer.

A single blade of grass, perhaps two, was then sighted by the NRL Bunker to call back Mahoney's own spectacular put-down soon after.

Flying Fijians Mikaela Ravalawa and Maika Sivo provided a particularly attractive pre-game match-up, and right throughout they produced pyrotechnics to warrant it.

Ravalawa barges his way over for a double

Ravalawa claimed the points with two tries, the first thanks to Lomax.

A Corey Norman grubber drilled straight into touch for no apparent reason had perplexed plenty, and summed up the struggling half's plight after Parramatta helped themselves to an early lead through Waqa Blake.

Lomax made sure Norman's next nudge had jaws on the floor for all the right reasons.

As is increasingly the budding star's wont, Lomax took flight and took the pill right out of Clint Gutherson's grasp, before shovelling it over his shoulder for Ravalawa to peg the Eels’ advantage back to 6-4.

Minutes later on the opposite flank Jordan Pereira almost army crawled the Dragons to the front, only to army crawl a few inches too much in his attempt to ground the ball just inside the cornerpost.

Ravalawa didn't muck about when the next chance came.

Gutherson is dancing once again

A second try, and that half-time lead, was his and the Dragons reward when he barged through two defenders from another Norman long ball.

From there only Evans' try and Lomax's penalties troubled the scorers.

But Ravalawa still had hearts aflutter, and no doubt McGregor out of his seat, right to the end.

With Parramatta still pressing in the final minute, Ravalawa fielded a kick in his in-goal, fumbled and regathered, then took flight.

Beating one defender, then two, then three, he threw a speculator off to Pereira for St George Illawarra to find their way out of danger, only just.

Just like McGregor's seven years in charge, this was Dragons drama right to the end

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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