In a loss which now leaves them needing to string some wins together if they hope to push their way into the top eight the NYC Sharks have gone down by 26-18 to the Dragons.
In a game where the lead changed hands on a number of occasions, the Sharks battled hard throughout but in the end it was the St George Illawarra side who prevailed.
The first half was somewhat of a defensive struggle in the breezy conditions, with the Dragons posting first points midway through the half with a try wide out to winger Thomas Carr.
The Sharks however continued to grind away and would be rewarded for their persistence just six minutes from the break when Jayden Brailey scooped up his own kick and planted it down to open the account for his team.
Kicking into a strong westerly breeze Ryan Cummins wasn’t able to add the extras and it was 4-all with half time approaching.
The Sharks weren’t quite finished though and when Josh Addo-Carr crossed with the half-time siren sounding the home team would grab a narrow 8-4 lead after the first 40-minutes.
With neither side advantaged by a westerly wind blowing straight across the ground the two teams were again evenly matched, but it would be the Dragons to wrestle back the lead when winger Dee Jay Harris touched down on the end of a well-worked backline move.
Ryan James slotted the conversion with the wind at his back and the Dragons led 10-8.
Again the Sharks responded, winger Semisi Vea going over in the south-weatern corner and despite the conversion attempt bouncing off the upright the home team were in front 12-10 with still more than 25 minutes of the match remaining.
With a fifth lead change the Dragons went back to the lead when big centre Izaac Thomson crashed over, converted by James and the Sharks had some work to do at 16-12 behind with 15 to go.
They made it hard work for themselves when the Dragons turned a spilt Sharks pass into an 80-metre runaway try to extend their lead 20-12 but when Jayden McDonagh stretched out and planted the ball down with just four minutes remaining, converted by Cummins to make it 20-18 they had given themselves hope.
All that hope disappeared however following an error from the set of six following the kick off and the Dragons wound down the clock before scoring in the 80th minute to wrap up the result.
The loss was a disappointing one for the Sharks against the bottom-placed Dragons and now leaves them with plenty of work to do if they hope to play finals football in September.
The next match for the Sharks is an away game against the Canberra Raiders next Saturday.
Josh Addo-Carr, Jayden Brailey, Semisi Vea, Jayden McDonogh tries, Ryan Cummins goal
Thomas Carr 2, Dee Jay Harris, Blake Lawrie, Izaac Thompson tries, Ryan James 3 goals