Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs St George Illawarra Dragons, live updates, video, SuperCoach scores, Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Burton, Ben Hunt

The Dragons beat the Bulldogs 34-24 on the back of six tries to four in a seesawing and frantic clash at Belmore Sports Ground.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring with a penalty goal to Matt Burton after the Dragons were pinged for being off-side with the Dogs hot on attack.

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Dragons debutant Tautau Moga leapt high in the corner with an acrobatic finish to put the visitors in front with the first try of the afternoon.

The Dragons made it two in four minutes when their other winger Mathew Feagai strolled over from close range to make it 10-2.

Dragons skipper Ben Hunt strolled through some flimsy defense after a horror kick error from Burton to extend the lead.

The Bulldogs hit back with their first try of the afternoon to center Jake Averillo to cut the deficit to 10 points at halftime.

Averillo picked up where he left off in the first half to bag a double and get the Bulldogs right back in the contest at 16-12.

Matt Dufty produced some sizzling speed to set up Kyle Flanagan for a try to see the Bulldogs take the lead.

Zac Lomax dived over to see the Dragons retake the lead in a seesawing clash at Belmore.

Andrew McCullough came off the bench to score out of dummyhalf to extend the Dragons lead to 28-18.

Burton set up a try for Aaron Schoupp after a pinpoint grubber for Josh Addo-Carr to cut the deficit to four points with 13 minutes to play.

However, Blake Lawrie charged over for his maiden NRL try to put the icing on the cake of an important Dragons win.

Here are the key takeaways from the match.

HUNT SHINES TO LEAD DRAGONS TO VICTORY IN THRILLER

On the eve of Origin selection Dragons skipper Ben Hunt showed his class to lead his side to a crucial win over the Bulldogs.

Hunt finished with 35 run meters, two tackle busts, a linebreak and a try, but it was his calmness under pressure and kicking game that got the Dragons home.

Cooper Cronk believes Hunt was the difference between the two sides, especially in the first half with his kicking game.

“Ben Hunt just did his thing and controlled the momentum,” Cronk said.

“The Dragons had eight straight sets in the first half and that’s why the scoreboard was what it was.”

Michael Ennis believes Hunt’s fingerprints were all over the win, especially when they took the game away from the Bulldogs in the first half.

“Ben Hunt had a couple of really nice moments,” Ennis said.

“Three tries in seven minutes in that first half for the Dragons and it just blew the Dogs out of the water quickly.”

BURTON’S KICKING WOES BURNS BULLDOGS

He bounced back in the second half but Matt Burton’s kicking woes hurt the Bulldogs in a horror first half that saw them playing catch up at 16-2.

Michael Ennis and Cooper Cronk lamented Burton’s poor kicking game, which allowed the Dragons to score three tries in seven minutes at one stage.

“We spoke before the game about the Bulldogs not being able to give up cheap points and again here giving up 16 points straight away,” Ennis said.

“It is so hard for them without the attacking fluency to be able to run down the sides when they give away leads like that.

“And the kicking game from Matt Burton in the first half was disastrous.”

“It wasn’t good, they completed in terms of handling, but had four kick errors in the first half,” Cronk said.

“There was the kick out on the full and a couple of long ones that normally Matt Burton is very accurate with.

“When the Dragons scored their points in bunches it was off the back of the kick errors that gave them field position.

“For the Bulldogs to be any chance Matt Burton needs to improve his kicking game.”

To his credit, Burton kept the Bulldogs in it in the second half with 47 run meters, a linebreak, a linebreak assist and a try assist but it was too little too late.

RAMSEY AND DUFTY IN ENTHRALLING DUEL

Matt Dufty was always going to be up for a big game against the club that let him go and his battle with his replacement Cody Ramsey did not disappoint.

Dufty finished with 116 meters, four tackle busts, a linebreak, two linebreak assists and three try assists in an excellent outing against his old team.

However the man that replaced him Cody Ramsey was also strong with 138 meters, a linebreak assist and a try assist, although he did make three mistakes.

Dufty was clearly enjoying himself, especially after setting up a try for Kyle Flanagan, but unfortunately it was not enough to get the Bulldogs home.

Rasmey is still working in progress but his toughness and organization at the back helped get the Dragons a crucial victory and he looks to have cemented the No.1 jersey for the rest of the season.

MATCH PREVIEW

The Bulldogs return to their spiritual home, Belmore Sports Ground, to host the Dragons in a must-win clash.

Tevita Pangai Jr is out due to back spasms with Joe Stimson joining the bench for the Bulldogs.

Interim coach Mick Potter is searching for his first win at the helm and will be hoping a return to the iconic ground will breath life into his struggling side.

The Dogs showed encouraging signs in the second half against the Tigers last week but a solid 40 minutes won’t win them a game.

The Dragons also have plenty to play for with an opportunity to bag back-to-back wins heading into a bye round.

Canterbury-Bankstown receive a much-needed boost in Josh Addo-Carr’s return from an illness, while in-form forward Corey Waddell also returns to the 17th.

As for the Dragons, veteran hooker Andrew McCullough is back from a thumb injury but has been named on the bench with Moses Mbye starting.

Cody Ramsey retains the No.1 jersey after impressing last week, while Mikaele Ravalawa has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Tautau Moga takes his place on the wing in what will be his first NRL game in the Red V.

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