Still hurting from a 40-18 loss to the Broncos at home in round nine, Andrew Webster's Holden Cup team ran out at WIN Stadium missing one of its big men, Junior Paulo, and with a slightly tweaked backline. With centre John Folau a late exclusion from the side, Erick Aukafolau joined the back line at left centre.
But the early stages of the game were dominated by the big men, with the Dragons' prop Kem Seru stepping in to end one of the Red V's sets with an unexpected bomb, and his fellow front-rower Taylor Brown opening the scoring in the seventh minute.
Eels second-rower Sean Jackson added the first four points for the Eels just five minutes later, followed by halfback Zach Dockar-Clay to the left of the posts, and Fred Junior Mauala with a strong run from 5 metres out.
Dragons fullback Jackson Hastings was damaging in attack, but Eels fullback Mitchell Brasington was equally dangerous, kicking a smooth cross-field bomb for Eels captain Takai Moeakiloa to leap, catch and ground the football in the left corner.
Both sides tightened up in defence in the second half, with neither side able to cross the strip more than once in twenty minutes. While Brent Anderson added a four-pointer for the Dragons, debutant Erick Aukafolau dove over in the corner to take the Eels' lead to 28-14.
Fullback Mitchell Brasington's accuracy with the boot wavered only slightly to miss the conversion of Aukafolau's try, while Dragons prop Kem Seru smashed through the left-hand side defence to narrow the scoreline to just 28-20 with 15 minutes to play.
But the young Eels side locked up the match in the final minutes thanks to a second try from Zach Dockar-Clay and a pinpoint kick from Brasington.