Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
The round 11 of NRL finishes with a local derby in the southern reaches of Sydney, with the St George Illawarra Dragons coming up against the Cronulla Sharks in Wollongong. Join the Roar from 4:05pm (AEST) for live scores and a blog of the game.
It’s been tough times for the Dragons this season, who despite their best efforts just can’t get things firing the way many had anticipated at the beginning of the season.
Coming into this game on the back of 4 straight losses, it’s fairly safe to say a win today is crucial to the rest of their season.
From the Dragons’ perspective, the Knights loss aside, what has possibly been the most disappointing thing about their losses has been the manner in which the Dragons have been competitive in matches, but fallen away when it has mattered the most.
Matt Dufty has lost his spot as a result of the team’s form, seeing Jonus Pearson coming into the side, and Zac Lomax moving into the fullback role.
Whatever is happening with the Dragons, they need to find a way to score points.
At the moment they are scoring just 17 points per game, and given that their defence just isn’t up to scratch at the moment, Jai Field and Ben Hunt need to get a bit more creative.
For the Sharks, there is an opportunity to jump into equal fourth with a win here today, and they would be one of four teams on 12 points in that log jam growing behind the Rabbitohs, Roosters and Storm.
The Sharks looked a bit off-kilter against Manly last round, but otherwise, they are coming into this game having picked up 3 wins out of their last 5.
So, the Sharks are not exactly out of form.
They will like their chances against an out of sorts local rival, and the chance to jump up the table with those two competition points.
Despite the loss of Shaun Johnson to injury, the Sharks have managed to still get the job done through Chad Townsend (remember, a premiership-winning halfback) and Kyle Flanagan.
It is a pretty simple equation. The Sharks are in form, the Dragons are awfully out of form, and while the home field advantage should lift the Dragons considerably, it may not quite be enough.
Sharks by 10.
Join the Roar from 4:05pm (AEST) for live scores and updates, and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment section below.
When: Sunday, 26 May 2019, 4:05pm (AEST)
Where: WIN Stadium Wollongong
TV: Channel 9, Fox Sports
Betting: Dragons $1.85, Sharks $1.95, Line 1.5 $1.90
St George Illawarra
1. Zac Lomax, 2. Jordan Pereira, 3. Euan Aitken, 4. Timoteo Lafai, 5. Jonus Pearson, 6. Jai Field, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. James Graham, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Blake Lawrie.
Interchange: 14. Luciano Leilua, 15. Jacob Host, 16. Reece Robson, 17. Korbin Sims
1. Josh Dugan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Bronson Xerri, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Aaron Gray, 6. Kyle Flanagan, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Blayke Brailey, 15. Jayson Bukuya, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele.