1st-place Dragons easy winners vs NRL defending champs Storm

SYDNEY (AP) The St. George Illawarra Dragons left no doubt about their premiership credentials when they played the defending champion Melbourne Storm on Sunday in the National Rugby League.

The Dragons easily beat the Storm 34-14 to move two points ahead of the New Zealand Warriors after nine rounds. The reigning premiers are in fourth place, six points behind the Dragons.

Center Euan Aitken scored a pair of tries to lead the Dragons to their eighth win in nine matches.

Melbourne winger Josh Addo-Carr, who shared the lead in tries with 23 last season, scored three on Sunday in a losing cause, leaving him level with David Fusitua of the Warriors with 11 each to lead all players in 2018.

In the other match Sunday, the Sydney Roosters beat Manly 22-20.

The Warriors moved into second place after their seventh win in nine matches, beating the West Tigers 26-18, and Canberra defeated Gold Coast 32-18.

Cronulla beat Parramatta 22-20 despite the Eels scoring three tries in the final five minutes. Mitchell Moses, who scored the last Parramatta try in the corner, had a conversion attempt after the siren to even the scores, but it sailed left of the uprights.

The North Queensland Cowboys, last year’s grand finalists and losers of six of their last seven matches this season, rebounded for a 26-20 win over third-place Penrith, and South Sydney beat Newcastle 36-18.

Jamayne Isaako kicked the winning penalty goal in the final minute to give the Brisbane Broncos a 22-20 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.