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Dragons restore two-point lead, Sharks battle past Bulldogs

20 May 2018 11:01

St George Illawarra Dragons restored their two-point cushion at the NRL summit on Sunday, while Cronulla Sharks edged past Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Dragons stayed top on points difference after Penrith Panthers beat West Tigers on Thursday, but a 25-18 victory over Canberra Raiders ensured Paul McGregor's team kept their cushion.

Gareth Widdop and Matt Dufty were the key men for the Red V after a relatively slow start, Nick Cotric scoring for the Raiders and Joseph Leilua responding to Jack de Belin's leveller.

But the hosts found their feet in the second half and Dufty's kick sent Widdop through, before the provider turned scorer just over 10 minutes from time with a mazy run to cancel out Jordan Rapana's try.

Widdop's consistency with the boot - kicking all three conversions, a trio of penalties and a drop-goal - ensured the Dragons had enough to see out the victory.

The Sharks did not have it all their own way either as they defeated the Bulldogs 22-16, holding off a Brett Morris-inspired comeback.

Twin Josh Morris opened the scoring with his 100th Bulldogs try, before the Sharks moved in front through Edrick Lee and Valentine Holmes.

Brett Morris soon came to the fore, though. He crossed ahead of the interval and again following Jesse Ramien's effort for the Sharks – their third of the match.

But Matt Prior forced the ball over in the 68th minute and, as both sides had late appeals for tries dismissed in a frenetic finish, the home side manage to cling on for the points.

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