2018 NRL – New Zealand Warriors vs St George-Illawarra Dragons Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 20th April, 09:00 (UK)

Where? Mt Smart Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - New Zealand Warriors vs St George-Illawarra Dragons will not be televised live in the UK

Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Maumalo, Green, Johnson, Lisone, Luke, Paasi, Mannering, Harris, Blair – Interchanges: Afoa, Tevaga, Vete, Gelling – Reserves: Satae, Lino, Papali’I, Nicoll-Klokstad

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Gerard Beale, James Gavet, Solomone Kata, Leivaha Pulu

  • New Zealand Warriors suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Brisbane Broncos last week. In a high quality game, it was the Broncos who were the better side as they downed the Warriors 18-27.
  • Solomone Kata was named at centre but won’t feature after it was confirmed he will miss up to a month with an ankle injury. Albert Vete comes onto the bench in place of Leivaha Pulu who drops out with an injured foot.
  • For the first time this season, the Warriors were outplayed in a game and they couldn’t get on top. One reason for the loss came in the form of how many metres the Broncos racked up. They made 9.94m a carry compared to 8.19m a carry for the Warriors.

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, Sele – Reserves: Host, Lomax, Allgood, Lawrie

Unavailable:

  • After a shaky performance against South Sydney, St George responded with a much improved effort last week as they put 40 points on Cronulla. The Dragons looked back to their attacking best as they comfortable defeated the Sharks 40-20.
  • Paul McGregor has had the luxury of making very few changes to his 17 this season and that continues here as he once again names the same team as last week.
  • Last week’s big win for the Dragons opened up some daylight at the top of the try-scoring chart. The Dragons have now scored 30 tries so far this season, seven more than their nearest competitors. One of those teams on 23 tries is the Warriors.

THE PREDICTION

New Zealand Warriors host the undefeated league leaders St George this week in a tasty match-up at the top of the NRL ladder. The Warriors lost their first game of the season last week as the Broncos toppled them at Mt Smart. The Dragons on the other hand looked imperious as they racked up another big scoreline with them now averaging 32.3 points per game through Round 6. Both of these teams play attractive football but that hasn’t come at a cost either with both managing to complete at 79% over the course of the season so far. The Warriors will be looking for a quick response this week but will find it tough against the Dragons who continue to set the pace and it will take a special performance to beat them on current form.