Eyebrows were raised when he was named at fullback during the week, but Cody Ramsey has silenced the doubters at Kogarah on Saturday.
The 22-year-old was selected for the Dragons in place of boom youngster Tyrell Sloan, who was handed just one game back in the No.1 jersey before being dropped to reserve grade.
That saw Ramsey receive an opportunity to bed down the position and he made the most of his shot on Saturday.
The fullback was everywhere in St George Illawarra's 24-18 win over the Warriors, scoring a try and setting up another.
Ramsey ran for 198 metres and had two line breaks, while he did not miss a tackle.
Crucially, he was also solid under the high ball, an area Sloan struggled last week.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin said Ramsey put his best foot forward in the long-term battle for the fullback role.
"He's still very raw too," Griffin said. "But he had that energy today to pick us up in attack, particularly in the second half with that line break coming out of his own end.
"I thought he did a great job under the high ball, him and our two wingers did a really good job all day.
"Cody had a great game and that's what we needed him to do."
The Dragons had their backs against the wall throughout the contest, however they will be thrilled to return to the winner's circle after back-to-back losses.
Errors at crucial times handed the Warriors prime attacking opportunities and the visitors made their opponents pay in the first half.
St George Illawarra eventually found their groove in the second half, a try on debut for Michael Molo helping swing the momentum.
The match finished four tries apiece, with Zac Lomax's goal-kicking proving the difference.
Given the hard-fought nature of the contest, Griffin was thrilled his side stuck it out after last week's devastating golden point loss to the Titans.
"The thing I was most impressed with was the second half," he said. "The game was going against us, we had to wrestle it back and we did. We showed some real fight, some courage, which we've always shown.
"It would've been easier for them to go to other way, particularly coming off last week. We took a lot of punishment last week and then emotionally lost the two points.
"It was a good sign for us the fact we kept coming for the game and got what we wanted today."
It took the Dragons just 98 seconds to open the scoring, Lomax making the most of a Euan Aitken error to hand his side a 6-0 lead.
From there, the first half developed into an arm wrestle, neither side producing much in the way of enterprising attack in wet and slippery conditions.
The Warriors slowly gained the upper hand and they were able to convert pressure into points, the visitors taking a 10-6 lead in the 24th minute.
The injection of boom youngster Jayden Sullivan off the bench helped swing the momentum back in St George Illawarra's favour, Ramsey crossing soon after.
Fellow rookie Mat Feagai had a torrid first half at left wing, the 21-year-old unable to defuse a pair of bombs.
Warriors centre Viliami Vailea was the prime beneficiary, crossing for two first-half tries. The second came in the 34th minute and ensured the visitors held a 14-12 lead at the break.
A Dallin Watene-Zelezniak try soon after half-time extended the margin to six, before the Dragons came roaring back into the contest.
Tries to Molo and Lomax in the space of four minutes handed the hosts the lead and they looked likely to run away with the contest.
Much like last week against the Titans, St George Illawarra struggled to close out the match.
That left for some nervous moments throughout the final 15 minutes, the Warriors handed a number of chances to level the scores.
The Dragons held firm to secure their fifth win of the season.
Sports reporter at the Canberra Times
Sports reporter at the Canberra Times
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