The Dragons looked crisp when disposing of the premiers 17-6 at WIN Jubilee Oval in Round 4 this season.
A high-quality opening 40 minutes saw both teams complete 85 per cent of their sets of possession but it was the Dragons who seized the advantage, scoring two tries off the back of three unanswered line-breaks to take a 12-nil lead to halftime. Michael Weyman was the first to trouble the scoreboard attendant in the 4th minute, charging onto a Mitch Rein pass to gallop 30 metres and touch down. Jason Nightingale added to the Dragons’ tally when he cleaned up a Kyle Stanley grubber down the right edge in the 36th minute.
David Williams got the visitors back into the contest with a try in the 45th minute before Jason Nightingale crossed for his second try of the evening in the 76th minute. A Jamie Soward field-goal with 90 seconds remaining rounded out the scoring.
Defence and discipline were the standout features of the Dragons’ victory – they missed just 15 tackles and committed only six errors. Meanwhile the Sea Eagles missed 35 tackles on the night.
Michael Weyman, Mitch Rein (line-break, try assist) and Brett Morris (two line-breaks) were the standouts for the home side, while Manly were best served by second-rower Jamie Buhrer who made 19 hit-ups for 120 metres plus 42 tackles.