St George Illawarra held off a spirited fightback by the Parramatta Eels on Sunday at Members Equity Bank Stadium, Perth. 34 – 20 was the final score with the Dragons hitting the ground running in the first 35 minutes with a 16 – 0 lead, it was all the Eels after that running in 4 of the next 5 tries reducing the gap to just 2 points with 13 minutes remaining on the clock, but they were unable to keep the momentum against a strong finishing Dragons, running in another two tries before the full time siren. Both teams squads were a mixture of youth and experience, with both having their respective ‘All Stars’ sidelined. Coaches Daniel Anderson and Steve Price (standing in for Wayne Bennett) took positives out of the match with Jason Nightingale ($94,300 CTW/FB) Nathan Fien ($211,500 HLV / HOK) and Luke Priddis ($149,500 HOK) standing out for the Saints, while Feleti Mateo ($252,600 2RF / HLV), Kris Keating ($190,300 HLV) and Etu Uaisele ($91,100 CTW / FLB) impressed for the Eels. “We had a few young players, I thought it was a like a furnace blast for them,” Eels coach Daniel Anderson said. “We got caught a little bit physically by the size of the Dragons but they got better as the game got on.”

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