Dragons go top with win over Manly

Scott Bailey
Timoteo Lafai was one of six try-scorers for the Dragons in their 32-8 win

St George Illawarra have gone two points clear at the top of the NRL ladder after accounting for Manly 32-8.

Six Dragons scored tries in the comprehensive WIN Stadium display.

Halfback Ben Hunt set up two and his troops were resolute in defence - particularly on his right edge.

Crucially, all six State of Origin stars taking part got through the game unscathed, with Sea Eagle Tom Trbojevic causing the only scare when he reached out to attempt to score during the second half.

He stayed down clutching at his shoulder but played on and looked pain free by full-time.

The win puts the Dragons two points beyond both South Sydney and Penrith headed into the representative round, after which all three teams will feel the pinch of Origin and Test football.

After Manly fought hard to keep themselves in the match at 10-8 down just before the break, Tariq Sims provided the crucial blow when he beat a number of defenders to cross and give the Dragons' an eight-point buffer.

The lead quickly extended to 14 just after the break when Hunt grubbered out of dummy-half for a chasing Gareth Widdop to score.

James Graham also got one to put the match beyond doubt following a 50-metre Jack de Belin break, meaning every Dragons' starting player has now crossed for a try this year.

Fullback Matt Dufty was also impressive as he and Euan Aitken pulled off a remarkable try-saving tackle on Joel Thompson early before he later provided the last pass for Kurt Mann to score the Dragons' first.

Left-edge pair Tim Lafai and Nene Macdonald also got across the stripe.

Meanwhile Manly's woes continued in the fourth straight loss, centre Moses Suli suffering a sternum injury.

Rookie back Tom Wright provided one of their few highlights with his first NRL try in just his second match when he scorched past both Gareth Widdop and Dufty.

The Sea Eagles also used three hookers after Manase Fainu's debut was denied by the NRL earlier in the week, with Matt Wright, Tom Wright and Trent Hodkinson all spending time at dummy-half.