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Dragons fail to breathe fire against Dogs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/06/2017 Steve Zemek

They've been breathing fire up until this point but St George Illawarra's attacking frailties have been exposed by a resolute Canterbury.

For the first time in over a year, the Dragons were held try-less in their 16-2 NRL defeat to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

It was the first time cracks have appeared in the Dragons' armour in 2017 after having been the most potent attacking team in the first 13 weeks of the competition.

Going into the round, Paul McGregor's side led the competition for points scored, completions, run metres, linebreaks, tackle busts and offloads.

But they looked listless against the Dogs and despite having 28 possessions in the opposition's 20m zone failed to score a try.

It was the first time since rounds five and six last year - when the Dragons were kept to nil by Brisbane and North Queensland in back-to-back weeks - that they failed to cross the stripe.

"It's not good but we're leading the competition in all forms of attack before today. It's just one game," McGregor said.

"Today (the Bulldogs) defended really well. You've got to give credit where it's due. We didn't give oursleves enough of an opportunity when we were down there, we didn't reward ourselves.

"We made 100 more tackles than the opposition so it takes it out of you."

Meanwhile, Mitchell Pearce tuned up for next week's State of Origin II with a two-try starring effort in the Sydney Roosters' 40-18 demolition of the Wests Tigers.

The man who will stand opposite him on Wednesday week, Johnathan Thurston, fired a shot across the bow of NSW with a masterclass in North Queensland's 32-6 flogging of Parramatta.

Matt Moylan orchestrated one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent memory when he set up two tries in the final three minutes of Penrith's 24-20 win over Canberra in Bathurst.

Ryan Hoffman celebrated his 300-game milestone in style with the Warriors putting the Gold Coast to the sword 34-12.

Brisbane ran out 24-18 winners over South Sydney however it came at a cost with playmaker Anthony Milford suffering a shoulder injury which is set to rule him out for six weeks.

Manly snuck home 18-14 against Newcastle however the result was tinged with controversy with replays showing Akuila Uate dropped the ball over the line during his game-sealing try.

Melbourne held onto top spot on the ladder with a spiteful 18-13 win over grand final rivals Cronulla.

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