The Sydney Roosters have grinded out a tough five-point win over the St George Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium.
In a low-scoring game between the two best defences in the NRL, the Roosters did enough to secure victory.
Neither team was at its best but the match came alive in the final quarter as the Dragons pulled to within four points.
The Roosters held on to claim the win.
The Tricolours dominated the early proceedings and had all the field position.
They took a 2-0 lead thanks to a penalty.
But then the Dragons scored in fortunate circumstances.
Mitchell Pearce passed the ball to Blake Ferguson who was smashed in good hit by Jason Nightengale.
The ball spilled loose and Peter Mata’utia scored.
The Dragons had an unlikely lead.
It didn’t take long for the Roosters to respond.
Ahead 5-1 in the penalty county, they kept pressure on the Dragons’ try-line.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall stepped up to score a magnificent try.
He leapt high, claimed the ball and got it down in a wonderful effort.
The Dragons were just holding on and then Kane Evans forced his way over.
The big Roosters prop had three defenders on him but somehow managed to the ball down.
The video referee had to confirm it, but the forward was given the green light.
The Dragons looked out on their feet with the score 14-6.
But a penalty just before half-time cut the deficit to eight points.
The Dragons started to get some ball back and mount some pressure of their own.
The second half continued much like the first, both teams struggling to execute their plays.
The Roosters were caught in possession several times on the last tackle.
The Dragons kicking out of hand was very poor, especially the kicks from Kiwi half Benji Marshall.
When Kenny-Dowall got his second try of the night, on 57 minutes, the match looked over.
The Roosters spun the ball to the right and Tuivasa-Sheck held it up, stepping left and right and to make the space for Kenny-Dowall to touch down.
James Maloney couldn’t add the extras but the Roosters had a commanding 18-8 lead.
The Dragons looked finished.
But they breathed some life into the contest with a fantastic 80 metre team try.
Marshall swung the ball to the left wing and Dylan Farrell put Euan Aitken into space.
Aitken’s great offload got the ball back to Marshall.
He found Gareth Widdop racing through on his inside and the Englishman scored.
The Red V still had some hope with seven minutes left and the score now sitting at 18-14.
Will Matthews should have scored with three minutes left.
The forward put down an attacking bomb right on the Roosters try-line.
The Tricolours closed out the game in the final minute, going through the motions.
Jake Friend knocked off a field goal right on full-time to take the winning margin to five points.
The Dragons weren’t at their best throughout and will be frustrated they didn’t trouble the Roosters more.