It was a game effort, but St George Illawarra fell well short of an upset win over Brisbane on Saturday, conceding a staggering four tries in the final 10 minutes to go down 40-18.
The final scoreline was ugly, and certainly did no justice to the Dragons' effort that saw them lead 16-8 at halftime and in the thick of an 18-all dead lock with 10 minutes to play.
It put the game in the balance late before Reece Walsh orchestrated a four-try blitz down the stretch, grabbing a double and laying on another try for Selwyn Cobbo to seal the deal.
It was a dramatic reversal after looking all at sea in the opening stanza, out-enthused and out-gunned by the visitors who looked as good in the opening 40 as they have at any point of coach Anthony Griffin's tenure.
In the end, it was the boot of Adam Reynolds that kept the hosts in the contest and set-up the late surge and third victory in a row for the hosts.
The Broncos skipper produced two tries to Kotoni Staggs with neat grubbers, the second one of two tries in the seven minutes after halftime that seized back momentum.
He also nabbed the the third two-point field goal of his career on the halftime hooter to have the final say on what was a forgettable first 40 for his side.
In stark contrast to recent seasons, counterpart Ben Hunt didn't figure to any great degree throughout the contest, with youngsters Tyrell Sloan and Jayden Sullivan bringing the spark.
Both had a try each in the first half, while Sloan also produced a try-saver in each half to keep his side in the match.
The were enough signs to suggest the Dragons first-up win over the Titans last week was no fluke, but Griffin's side simply could not go with the Broncos in the final straight.
"We had control of the game in the first half, we just didn't come out with enough intensity defensively in the second half," Griffin said.
"They sat us on our try-line, we had to do seven [defensive] sets and that obviously gassed us a bit in the conditions.
"I thought we hung on really well and we levelled back up [at 18-all]. There was nothing the game for 70 minutes. It was a bizarre last 10 obviously.
"They were really tough conditions out there. One team was going to crack and I think we'd only had 10 sets to their 20 by that stage, and five inside-20s to their 25. That just told in the end."
While Walsh was superb, Payne Haas' second injection proved telling, with Kevin Walters unleashing his marquee forward with 10 minutes left and seeing him lay on a pair of tries.
It sets up a mouth-watering derby between the Broncos and unbeaten neighbours the Dolphins next week, while the Dragons will return to Kogarah for their own derby with Cronulla Sunday week.
They'll take some confidence into that match despite a scoreline that gave very little indication of the battle that occurred in the sweltering Queensland heat.
The hosts had four straight sets to start the game, but the closest they came to posting points was Walsh getting bundled into touch by Sloan.
Having stood up to the early barrage, the visitors posted first points with Feagai crossing untouched off a neat pass from Lomax.
His conversion was waved away, keeping the margin at four after eight minutes. It looked short lived when Fegai fudged reception of a Reynolds bomb, letting Cobbo grab the scraps to put Mam over in support.
A bunker review took the four-pointer back, with replays showing Cobbo deliberately batted the ball forward before regaining it in the lead-up.
There was no reprieve the second time the Broncos crossed after Moses Suli inexplicably launched himself at a Broncos dropout yet to travel 10 metres.
The Broncos marched up the paddock, with a kick from Reynolds bouncing into the arms of Staggs for the his side's first try.
Reynolds converted for 6-4, with the Dragons remarkably found offside at the ensuing restart and gifting the Broncos field position.
It didn't cost the Dragons a point, the Broncos never looking like grabbing another try before the visitors hit back at the other end through Sloan courtesy of an offload from Su'A.
Lomax converted from the sideline for a six-point cushion 10 minutes before the break.
Sullivan did it all himself to extend the margin six minutes later, shrugging off Kurt Capewell and Ezra Mam en route to the try-line and a 10-point lead with Lomax's conversion.
It looked certain to hold until halftime only for Reynolds to nail an opportunistic two-point field goal on the stroke of halftime to cut things back to eight.
Back to back penalties on their own line from the visitors gifted the Broncos a chance at an early hit-back in the second stanza, Corey Paix taking advantage from dummy-half three minutes after the resumption.
Reynlds continued to have it on a string, threading through a deft grubber for Staggs' second try next time up the park.
Cobbo looked certain to extend the margin after a break from Walsh, only for a desperate try-saver from Sloan to deny him.
It allowed Lomax to level up with a penalty goal at the other end after he was taken out by Pat Carrigan in pursuit of a Hunt bomb.
It steadied things for the visitors, with a 50-metres dash from Mikaele Ravalawa on kick reception almost laying the platform for a spectacular try to Lomax off a pinpoint kick from Sullivan.
It was as close as the Dragons got to re-taking the lead, with Reynolds and Walsh combining to put Cobbo over for the go-ahead try with 10 minutes to play.
Walsh followed up with the match-winner moments later following neat offloads from both Haas and Carrigan with seven minutes left.
Mam twisted the knife in the following set following another offload from Haas to seal the deal.
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