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20 Jul 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 NRL – North Queensland Cowboys vs St George-Illawarra Dragons Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 21st July, 10:35 (UK)

Where? 1300SMILES Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=COW1918

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

COWBOYS

Head Coach: Paul Green

Starting 13: Coote, Feldt, Tuala, Linnett, O’Neill, Martin, Thurston, Asiata, Granville, Bolton, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Hampton, Fensom, Molo, Jensen – Reserves: Clifford, Winterstein

Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Jordan McLean, Michael Morgan, Sam Hoare, Matt Scott

  • North Queensland were on the end of a heavy scoreline against a hungry Canberra outfit. With plenty on the line for the Raiders, they ran in seven tries with the Cowboys only managing two for themselves in the 38-12 defeat.
  • Antonio Winterstein is dropped to the reserves in favour of Justin O’Neill on the wing. Coen Hess will also start with Francis Molo on the bench and Shane Wright out.
  • The Cowboys lost their fourth consecutive game last week and after Parramatta’s win on Thursday, they are now level on points with the bottom side.

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Mann, Aitken, Lafai, Nightingale, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Vaughan, Leilua, Sims, De Belin – Interchanges: Latimore, Ah Mau, Lawrie, Field – Reserves: Herbert, Pereira

Unavailable: Zac Lomax, Jacob Host, Nene Macdonald

  • St George’s perfect home record was surprisingly ended by Wests Tigers last week. The Dragons had won all nine games on home soil before the Tigers rolled into town last week and despite a late comeback, St George just fell short as they lost 16-20.

  • Nene Macdonald and Tyson Frizell are both out with injuries so Kurt Mann comes off the bench to start on the wing with Luciano Leilua starting in the second row. Jai Field and Blake Lawrie earn places on the bench as a result.

  • Two defeats in a row has seen the Dragons drop to third place on the NRL ladder with their top 4 spot massively under threat if they make it three losses on the bounce here.

THE PREDICTION

Two defeats in a row has placed a bit of pressure on St George here with them needing to win to get back on track and keep some breathing space between themselves and those sides chasing the top 4. They travel to North Queensland to face a Cowboys team that are battling to avoid the wooden spoon. The Cowboys can’t buy a win at the minute and were outclassed against the Raiders this week. Their last three defeats at home have only been by a combined nine points so they are at least competitive but they face a side who will be desperate for a response after losing at home for the first time this season last week. The Dragons have been under-par recently but they can edge this one.

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