Sydney Roosters have earned a hard-fought victory over St George at Bankwest but will be without two pivotal names for the foreseeable.
Brett Morris opened the scoring as Sydney chimed together four quick passes to out-manoeuvre the Dragons defence.
Concerningly, Sydney were down two men after just a quarter with Victor Radley and Sam Verrills both suffering ACL ligament tears.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves extended this lead, but this score is largely down to Joseph Manu’s sublime skill. He lofted a kick and collected himself, before providing a no-look flick pass to the towering prop.
Matt Dufty assisted two scores for St George to ensure it was all square at the break. First, a 15m cut-out ball allowed Ravalawa to finish out-wide and a short ball sent Zac Lomax through a gap.
HT: Roosters 10-10 Dragons
The Dragons hit the lead for the first time with 47 minutes gone with Lomax converting a penalty.
Morris reciprocated this lead almost immediately, after capturing Luke Keary’s perfectly-weighted grubber in the in-goal.
Keary turned their two-point lead into two scores after he brilliantly accelerated through the line untouched.
Morris completed his hat-trick and ensured victory by leaping above all to take Keary’s high kick.
FT: Roosters 26-12 Dragons
Roosters: Manu, Tupou, Morris, Aubusson, Hall, Keary, Flanagan, Waerea-Hargreaves, Verrills, Taukeiaho, Cordner, Crichton, Radley. Subs; Friend, Liu, Collins, Tupouniua
Dragons: Dufty, Saab, Aitken, Lomax, Ravalawa, Norman, Clune, Lawrie, McInnes, Vaughan, Frizell, Fuimaono, Merrin. Subs; Hunt, Kerr, Ford, Sims
Full match reports from this weekend’s NRL games will be available in Monday’s League Express