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14 Jul 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 NRL – St George-Illawarra Dragons vs Wests Tigers Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 15th July, 07:10 (UK)

Where? Jubilee Oval

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Nine Network, 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=DRAG1818

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

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

Unavailable: Zac Lomax, Jacob Host

  • St George ended their last game poorly as they allowed Melbourne to score a flurry of late points to seal a win in a high scoring game. 14 tries were scored in total but the Storm scored four of those in the last 14 minutes to condemn the Dragons to a 52-30 defeat.

  • The Dragons are able to field all of their Origin representatives with Ben Hunt, Tariq Sims, Tyson Frizell, Jack De Belin and Paul Vaughan all coming straight back into the side. Darren Nicholls, Reece Robson, Blake Lawrie, Jacob Host and Hame Sele all make way. Jason Nightingale also comes into the run-on side with Kurt Mann reverting to the bench.

  • St George’s defeat last week was their first in four games but a return to home soil will be welcome for the Dragons with them yet to taste defeat in any of their nine home games this season.

TIGERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Mbye, Nofoaluma, Marsters, Naiqama, Thompson, Marshall, Brooks, Packer, Farah, Matulino, Lawrence, Aloiai, Taylor – Interchanges: Twal, Sue, Chee Kam, Eisenhuth – Reserves: Liddle, Garner, Grant, Watene-Zelezniak

Unavailable: Mahe Fonua, Josh Reynolds

  • Wests Tigers went into their bye week having lost their fourth consecutive game. The Tigers were poor and were comfortably beaten by Gold Coast 12-30 with this current run leaving Wests with plenty to do to keep their season alive.

  • Benji Marshall returns to the side with Josh Reynolds missing out with a shoulder injury. David Nofoaluma is also back and replaces Malakai Watene-Zelezniak on the wing. In another boost for the Tigers, Ben Matulino comes in to the side with Chris McQueen the man to make way.

  • Wests have lost their last five games when playing away from home and have not won as the visiting side since April.

THE PREDICTION

St George have been impenetrable at home this season, winning all nine of their contests so far and they now host a Wests Tigers team that are out of form, especially on the road. With four losses in a row as well as five consecutive away defeats, the Dragons will fancy themselves to bounce back from last week’s defeat. That came against the Storm as the top 4 became even more congested but the Dragons are boosted by the return of their five Origin players including their entire back row. The Tigers might have benefitted from their bye week but their troubles on the road are likely to continue against the Dragons who will maintain their 100% home record.

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