Canterbury-Bankstown got off the mark for 2020, a 22-2 win leaving St George Illawarra winless after four rounds following tonight's match at Bankwest Stadium.
The loss for the Dragons leaves the once-proud club alone at the foot of the NRL ladder and lowers the proverbial guillotine above the head of coach Paul McGregor as cries grow for the former Steelers and Dragons centre to be let go by the club.
For Canterbury, it was a well-earned win on the back of the return of half Kieran Foran, who missed the first three games through injury this season.
"Both teams were desperate, we were pretty happy with that performance", Foran told Fox League post-game.
"I think completion stands out - we got through our game plan and I thought it was a pretty good team effort."
Both sides started with a spring in their step, although execution was clearly lacking. St George Illawarra hit the scoreboard first with a Zac Lomax penalty goal after 6 minutes.
Sadly for Dragons fans, that was the sum total of their pointscoring for the evening, with Canterbury overtaking them through an Adam Elliott try up the middle just after the 20 minute mark. Nick Meaney's conversion saw the Bulldogs lead 6-2, which pushed out to 8-2 when the winger converted a penalty goal attempt six minutes later.
The 'Dogs dominated possession through most of the first half, gaining another two points from a penalty in the 32nd minute. The 10-point lead was maintained into halftime and beyond.
Things got dark for the Saints at the 50-minute mark when the Bulldogs scored their second, Nick Meaney taking advantage of the numbers down the left and converting his own effort from the touchline.
A Dragons comeback looked possible after 69 minutes when Jordan Pereira set sail for the corner but his grounding contacted the touch-ingoal line, the Bunker denying the Dragons winger and deflating their hopes of staging a late fightback. Two minutes later Canterbury struck at the other end when a high ball came down in the arms of centre Reimis Smith and the home side's lead stretched to twenty points, where it would stay until the fulltime siren.
With McGregor's future up in the air, the Saints will head to Campbelltown where they'll "host" the Sharks next Sunday night. Canterbury are at home to the Roosters at Bankwest on Sunday afternoon.