Coach Anthony Griffin says St George Illawarra's No.1 jersey is Cody Ramsey's to lose after his stirring display in their 24-18 NRL win over the Warriors.
In front of 7147 fans at a rain-soaked Jubilee Oval on Saturday, Ramsey returned from a hamstring injury sustained in round three and took to the fullback berth with ease, scoring a try and setting up another.
Griffin has toyed with Tyrell Sloan and Moses Mbye in the fullback role since the start of this year, but Ramsey looked every bit an NRL No.1 in a Dragons side who moved up to 10th on the ladder.
"He is still very raw but he had that energy today to pick us up in attack, particularly in the second half with that line break coming out of our own end," Griffin said.
"I thought he did a really good job under the high ball, Cody had a great game and that's what we need him to do."
The home side began in the best possible fashion when Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson dropped the first kick-off, allowing Zac Lomax to touch down for the Red V on the next set.
But from there it was the Warriors who had the upper hand. A try by Johnson and a double from Viliami Vailea pushed the New Zealand side ahead 14-12 at the break.
Ramsey had provided the only response the Dragons could offer before then and the Warriors looked set to pull away after half-time when Watene-Zelezniak crossed in the 44th minute.
The Warriors then shut up shop and failed to offer much threat to the Dragons for the remaining 35 minutes and were undone by the fact Reece Walsh could only register one from four with the boot.
Watene-Zelezniak's try proved the spark the Dragons needed with debutant Michael Molo burrowing over from close range before Ramsey's solo play of the game.
The fullback took off from his own end on the 30 metre line, skipped past the Warriors defence with ease and while the play was eventually cut short deep in opposition territory, Lomax was able to cross on the following play.
Lomax missed the conversion but added a penalty to give the Dragons a six-point buffer with 10 minutes to go.
Despite a late onslaught from the Warriors the home side were able to hold on.
The loss extends a month of woe for the Warriors, who have just one win in their last five matches under coach Nathan Brown and face Newcastle next week.
:"It was four tries apiece and I'm not sure they were any better than us," Brown said.
"We still have those moments where we do a lot of good things.
"I reckon our ruck was the best it's been all year today but some players made some bad choices and gifted them too many easy tries."
Australian Associated Press
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