The St George Illawarra Dragons host the Brisbane Broncos tonight with both teams keen to fire in attack after producing disappointing performances with the football last week. Join us for live scores and commentary from 8.00pm AEDT.
St George Illawarra and Brisbane were both comprehensively outplayed by Melbourne and Manly respectively and need to improve considerably if they are to be a force in the NRL this season.
The Dragons tried hard last week but severely lacked the attacking class to trouble a Storm outfit that cantered to a 20-point win.
Brisbane themselves were also outplayed by Manly, and fell away badly from the moment they went behind in the second half.
In short, the offensive play of the Dragons and Broncos left a lot to be desired last week so it would not surprise to see both teams play out a low scoring encounter tonight.
The Dragons at home will have an obligation to play more attacking football in front of their fans, especially after last week’s passive performance against Melbourne.
Nathan Fien in particular needs to improve his kicking game tenfold after producing more rocks than diamonds with his effort last week.
Fien had a match to forget against Melbourne, with the majority of his attacking grubber kicks either going dead in-goal or resulting in a try to the opposition.
Halves partner Jamie Soward wasn’t as bad, but the former NSW Origin player still failed to get himself involved on a more regular basis in attack despite scoring an intercept try.
For the Dragons to score points this season, Soward is going to have to play well and take risks in attack. He certainly has the speed and talent to do so, especially when he pulls off those chip kicks in the middle of park.
Fien and Soward also need to get Brett Morris more involved in attack. The Origin and Test winger is one of the NRL’s best attacking talents and needs to get his hands in possession on a regular basis if the Dragons hope to open Brisbane up tonight.
The Broncos meanwhile will need Justin Hodges firing on all fronts. The Queensland centre was the only player that looked like opening Manly up last week and did so with two try assists.
If the Dragons can shut Hodges down, the Broncos attack will effectively go blunt, and it remains to be seen if halves Peter Wallace and Scott Prince possess the attacking class necessary to score against a Dragons unit that invariably play well at home.
Dragons by six.