DRAGONS recruits Mike Cooper and Gareth Widdop showed there may be hope for the red and whites in 2014, after the two played leading roles in their side's 44-24 win over the Tigers at ANZ Stadium yesterday.
Cooper offered the Dragons must-needed starch with his hard-running up front, with the Englishman producing 23 tackles.
Fellow English buy Widdop continually threatened at five-eighth with the former Storm premiership winner also kicking eight goals from eight attempts.
The Dragons trailed 18-6 early, but got back into the contest with a brilliant try to Ben Creagh set up by halfback recruit Michael Witt who was impressive before suffering a dislocated shoulder.
Tigers utility Liam Fulton suffered a nasty concussion in that movement, catching teammate James Tedesco's leg. Fulton had to be stretchered off the field.
Blues representative Trent Merrin was another Dragons standout, setting up a Tyson Frizell try in the 61st minute courtesy of a brilliant offload inches from the ground.
In yesterday's other game, Parramatta had a first-up 36-16 win over the Warriors at Pirtek Stadium.
Last year's wooden-spooners scored seven tries with both wingers - Vai Toutai and Semi Radradra - scoring hat-tricks.
Jarryd Hayne scored the other try. The Warriors pulled the score back to 14-12 at half-time with tries to Glen Fisiiahi and Carlos Tuimavave, the second an eight-point try. Manu Vatuvei scored a try after the break but the visitors could not match the Eels.
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