Moses Mbye announced himself as an NRL star in Canterbury’s 29-16 NRL win over St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium on Monday.
In an action-packed game, inspirational Dogs skipper James Graham suffered a worrying hamstring injury and Brett Morris staked his claim for a NSW jumper in his return from his own hamstring problem.
However it was Mbye who stole the show, icing the match with a field goal after being handed the starting five-eighth spot ahead of Josh Reynolds.
Mbye slotted the 75th minute effort after Bulldogs coach Des Hasler started him ahead of the former NSW pivot.
The Bulldogs were dealt a massive early blow when inspirational skipper James Graham left the field in his return game.
Graham lasted just 17 minutes in his comeback from a knee injury and did not return after going immediately up the tunnel.
He will have scans on Tuesday to determine the extent of the injury.
Brett Morris showed no ill-effects of his hamstring injury when he stopped what appeared to be a certain Eto Nabuli try early in the first half and looks set to take his place in Laurie Daley’s side for State of Origin II.
For the fifth time this year, Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona crossed for the first try of the game, his 13th four-pointer in 12 games.
Mbye repaid the faith shown in him by Hasler with the young Queenslander putting in a starring performance, almost scoring when he showed great pace to chase down a Trent Hodkinson kick.
He put his side further in front when he produced a beautiful cut-out pass to Rona, who grubbered ahead for Josh Morris for a 10-0 lead.
While it was all Bulldogs in the first 30 minutes, the Dragons took the lead when Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop combined for two tries either side of halftime.
On both occasions Marshall went out the back for Widdop to score as the Dragons took a 12-10 lead at the 46 minute mark.
The Dragons went further in front when Widdop produced a wonderful chip kick which bounced up perfectly for Peter Mata’utia.
When Reynolds finally came onto the field in the 69th minute, he produced several big plays to help the Bulldogs over the line.
The Bulldogs set up a grandstand finish when Brett Morris threw a wild inside pass for Tim Lafai, who picked it up from the ground, rolled over the line and barely touched the stripe with the football.
Mbye showed his calmness under pressure when he slotted a sideline conversion to even things up before the Bulldogs went ahead when Sam Kasiano sent over Tim Browne.
Browne’s try came off the back of Reynolds chasing his own kick and trapping Josh Dugan in goal.
Mbye showed great poise to slot the all-important field goal under pressure before a Sam Kasiano try sealed the win.