Captain Ben Creagh says the Dragons have rediscovered their belief after securing a hat-trick of wins to start the NRL season.

St George Illawarra captain Ben Creagh has praised his side’s new-found belief after they secured a hat-trick of wins to start the NRL season.

The Dragons’ gritty 14-12 win over Cronulla at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night has them sitting atop the NRL ladder as surprise frontrunners after the 44-24 round-one win over Wests Tigers was followed by a 31-12 victory over the Warriors.

Along with Penrith, the Dragons were the most active side in the off-season transfer market and it has paid big dividends.

With new buys such as Gareth Widdop and Dylan Farrell starring alongside club veterans such as Brett Morris and Trent Merrin, St George Illawarra have emerged as the NRL’s form side.

Creagh said it was down to their belief in each other.

“There is a lot of confidence in the side, which is great,” Creagh said.

“The biggest thing I noticed was when they scored that try with 10 to go and it was 14-12, we went back behind the goal line and blokes were keen to get back out there and defend again, to defend our lead and keep working hard for each other.

“I think that is something we were missing last year and it is great to see the guys are switched on and really working hard.”

The Dragons led 14-6 at halftime on the back of a double to Morris and another to Jason Nightingale.

Morris’s first was his 100th for the joint venture and his gravity-defying second, as he latched onto a Widdop kick, is an early contender for try of the year.

The Sharks fought back in the second half as hooker John Morris added a 69th-minute four-pointer to a 13th-minute touchdown, but couldn’t do enough.

Cronulla sit at the bottom of the ladder.

Interim coach Peter Sharp is hopeful Beau Ryan (neck) and Eric Grothe (ribs) will be fit for next Sunday’s trip to Newcastle, with Andrew Fifita to return from suspension for a high tackle.

Dragons fullback Josh Dugan (knee) is unlikely to be fit for Friday’s clash with Brisbane in Wollongong.