Sunday was meant to be the day the Dragons farewelled a premiership hero with a victory over one of the club's arch rivals.
The stage was set, an afternoon clash with the Wests Tigers in front of a heaving WIN Stadium crowd.
The early proceedings ran as scheduled. The fans said goodbye to Trent Merrin during a lap of honour.
St George Illawarra even kicked out to a 6-0 lead after just eight minutes.
And then it all went pear-shaped.
The Dragons errors piled up. As the frustration grew, the Tigers gained more confidence.
Eventually the final siren sounded and the visitors had successfully spoiled a perfect afternoon in Wollongong, prevailing 16-8.
For Wests, the win was much-needed. Having started the season with just one victory from seven matches, coach Michael Maguire was in the hot seat. That pressure has eased slightly.
For St George Illawarra, the slide continued. After winning four in a row, the Dragons have now lost three on the trot. The path back to the finals looks increasingly treacherous.
Coach Anthony Griffin was pleased with the effort from his players, conceding the Tigers' weight of possession took its toll on the team.
"It (the performance) wasn't good enough," Griffin said. "We worked terribly hard defensively, they had 60% of the ball. In the second half, we just couldn't get out of our own end.
"A lot of that was credit to their set ends, they put a lot of pressure on us, we ended up with 35-36% of ball in the second half.
"They grabbed us early through a couple of errors and we spent the whole half trying to get out of our own end. It was a disappointing night out."
The game was one in which both sides struggled, the standard well below the top teams in the competition.
The Dragons repeatedly put themselves under pressure, errors, penalties and missed tackles handing the Tigers various opportunities.
St George Illawarra benefitted from Wests' wastefulness, the visitors unable to make the most of a number of chances.
The Dragons first error came soon after Cody Ramsey's opening try, Max Feagai spilling the kickoff to hand the Tigers multiple opportunities to score.
The Tigers threatened to break through, however a host of errors and some desperate St George Illawarra defence saw the visitors denied.
Wests' only first-half try came when Ramsey spilled a Luke Brooks bomb, Tommy Talau pouncing on a loose ball before crossing.
St George Illawarra held firm throughout the final 17 minutes of the half, a penalty goal handing the side an 8-6 lead at the break.
St George Illawarra were dealt a major blow just 18 minutes into the match, Zac Lomax leaving the field with a dislocated thumb.
Speaking to Channel Nine during the second half, the 21-year-old said he suffered the injury when his thumb made contact with teammate Josh Kerr's head.
The centre will have scans on Monday to confirm the extent of the damage and determine if he needs surgery. The injury could see Lomax sidelined for four to eight weeks, severely hampering his State of Origin ambitions.
The injury could see the centre sidelined for four to eight weeks and put an end to his State of Origin ambitions.
Lomax's comments came during a lacklustre half from his teammates, Tigers debutant, and new cult hero Zac Cini crossing in the 46th minute to put his side in front.
From there, Wests largely controlled the match, rolling through the middle of the field.
The few times the Dragons did have chances, the side made an error and the Tigers were off the hook.
Joey Leilua then made St George Illawarra pay with 16 to play, a converted try seeing the Tigers lead 16-8.
That was where the scoring finished, the Dragons unable to mount a late comeback.
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