Though the Reds were coming off two straight defeats, they had outscored the Avatiu/Nikao Eels in the second half, and lost to the unbeaten Tupapa Panthers only on a last-minute penalty.
Putting up a half century is a strong way to get their campaign back on track, and their performances over the past three weeks have shown they will be a dangerous side come playoff time.
It was another disappointing loss for the embattled Dragons, who have struggled in all their games since returning from the one-week break.
After conceding 48 points to Tupapa two weeks ago, they finally surrendered the milestone to the Reds.
Their defence was not helped by poor discipline, with three players sent to the sin bin for high tackle offences.
The Dragons must avoid these types of self-inflicted wounds if they are going to have a chance at claiming a win in the remaining two rounds.
One thing they can be proud of is that they still managed to cross the try line three times.
Mark Tuaati, the Ngatangiia midfield standout, put in another strong performance, showing he is one of the competition’s premier players, and was rewarded with a try.
Fale Sooailo and utility back Joe Hoeflich were other players that stood out in the losing effort.
Star of the show was Viiga Ruepena, the Reds’ dynamic utility back who scored 20 points through two tries and very accurate kicking, nailing six of the eight conversion attempts.
In addition to his prolific scoring, he was also a constant threat in the home side’s defence, punishing them whenever they gave him the chance.
Praise should also go to the commanding Takuvaine scrum, as they pushed the Dragons off their own feed as well as scoring two pushover tries.
While credit should go to the entire eight for the dominating performance, front rowers Travel Tou Jnr and Kena Vamatou were the game breakers, their strong carries whittling away the Dragons’ appetite for tackling.
Takuvaine Reds: 52 - Tries: Viiga Ruepena (2), Tave Tereapii, Travel Tou Jnr, Jason Potoru, Eddie Marama, Tevita Niusama, Kena Vamatou. Conversion: Ruepena (6)
Ngatangiia Dragons: 23 - Tries: Mark Tuaati, Fale Sooailo, Bim Tou. Conversion: Daniel Toa. Penalty: Daniel Toa (2).