The Dragons have played simple, tidy footy to run away with an easy win over a sloppy Manly side 32-8 at WIN Stadium tonight.
Both sides were well disciplined, expansive and meticulous early on, with a Widdop penalty goal in the seventh minute and a Hodkinson reply in the 20th the only scoring.
It was in the 26th minute that the first try was scored after the Dragons swung the ball quickly from the left wing to the right. Dufty stepped inside the defence and passed to Mann who scored in the corner. Widdop failed to convert.
Just a few minutes later, the Dragons were in again, this time after Lafai from dummy half, shaped to pass right, ran left, stepped the second marker and then reached out to score a great solo try. Widdop failed to convert again.
Manly hit back a few minutes from half time when rookie Tom Wright received the ball, dummied behind him, then exploded through the line past Widdop, stepped inside Dufty to score a beautiful solo try. Hodkinson converted.
Just before the break, the Dragons crossed again when Tariq Sims shrugged off several tackles to score a good try, which Widdop converted, to give his side an 8 point lead.
Manly had a woeful start to the first half, failing to complete their opening two sets, while also giving away a penalty. The Dragons capitalised when Hunt put in a grubber from dummy half and Widdop cleaned it up to score a good try near the posts, which he then converted.
Ten minutes later and it was the big Brit James Graham crashed over for a strong try. Widdop again added the extras.
Manly had several scoring opportunities, but resulted in Brian Kelly being pushed into touch twice, while a few other chances ended with handling errors.
In the last 7 minutes of the game, the Dragons added another four pointer when Hunt kicked to the left side, Tariq Sims tapped it back for Macdonald, who cleaned up the loose ball and scored in the corner. Widdop failed to convert.
After the representative round, the Dragons remain at WIN Stadium to host the Eels while the Sea Eagles are away to Penrith.