It was perhaps their strongest performance in a number of weeks, yet it still was not enough – as a late Kyle Stanley try resulted in the Eels losing 14-12, despite a spirited performance, in a game where they dominated in patches.
It was a gallant performance from the last placed Eels, who performed considerably better than they had in past weeks – with the heavily criticised Chris Sandow putting in a solid performance for the Eels.
The game was not without controversy however, with Eels coach Stephen Kearney of the belief that his side’s centre, Ryan Morgan, was taken out by a Dragons player, as he was going for Jarryd Hayne’s bomb.
Replays showed that he may have a case.
“He was definitely taken out but it’s pretty tough for the ref to give a penalty away in that situation,” Kearney said.
“I’m sure if it was in the 32nd minute … I’m picking there was going to be a penalty.”
Despite the loss however, Kearney was proud of his players for the way they played and conducted themselves.
“It was very disappointing for the lads not to be rewarded for what I thought was a tremendous effort,” Kearney said of his last-placed Eels.
“It’s probably the first time in a while where I’ve been proud of their performance.”
The one sour note on an otherwise positive performance for the Eels, is utility Casey McGuire – who potentially faces missing the rest of the season with a pectoral injury, though scans will confirm more.
For the Dragons, captain Ben Hornby described it as a frustrating game for the club, but was glad to come away with the two points.
“It was one of those games where you just have to find a way to win. We were good enough to do that this week. We probably played better last week and got nothing for it … we’ll take the two points and look to get better.”