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St. George Illawarra Dragons
St. George Illawarra Dragons
The St George Illawarra Dragons will look to get their season back on track when they host the Brisbane Broncos tonight at Netrstrata Jubilee Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:50pm (AEST).
The Dragons started 2021 on fire, winning four of their first five games under new coach Anthony Griffin. But since a humbling Anzac Day loss to the Roosters they have lost their way, a win against the lowly Bulldogs their only win in the last six weeks.
The Broncos showed some spirit in a meaningful away win against the Roosters, but that has been somewhat diluted by a poor showing against the Storm last week, conceding 40 points at home.
A host of changes to both sides with injury, suspension and Origin will all play a factor. The Dragons welcome back Josh Kerr and Matt Dufty but lose Tariq Sims to Origin duty. The big news, though, is the return of Jack de Belin on the bench, having spent two years out of the game. He had limited minutes in the NSW Cup last week, and it is uncertain how much game time he will get this week.
The Broncos lose Xavier Coates and Payne Haas to Origin duty. Tyson Gamble returns in the halves, with Anthony Milford again dropped. Alex Glenn and Matthew Lodge also return to bolster the pack.
The Dragons have won four straight games against the Broncos. They have won all three games between the two at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
The Dragons cling to the top eight by a thread with half of the season gone. They might have started the season well, but that seems like a long time ago now, and they’re struggling to find form. Team changes haven’t helped, but they need to get back to the tough defence that started the season and play off the back of that. They were poor against the Tigers last week and will be eager to get off to a better start.
Matt Dufty could well be the difference in this one. While the Dragons may not want him, good things just seem to happen around him. There is plenty of experience in the spine, but he is the X factor and the source of points when they need it.
The Broncos got their win over the Roosters a fortnight ago through aggression and by building pressure. They agitated their opponents and threw them off their game, and they will be looking to do the same to the Dragons. They need a big output from Tevita Pangai Jr and Matt Lodge in the middle to win this one.
I expect this to be a dour and scrappy affair with some desperation from both sides for different reasons. With the Dragons playing at home and welcoming back Matt Dufty, I expect them to have enough points in them to get a close win and keep their season alive.
Dragons by 4
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEST)
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
TV: Fox League, Channel Nine (NSW/QLD/ACT/NT), 9Gem (VIC/WA/SA/TAS)
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go, 9Now
Odds: Dragons $1.39, Broncos $3.10 (odds via PlayUp)
1. Matthew Dufty, 2. Cody Ramsey, 3. Brayden Wiliame, 4. Gerard Beale, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Blake Lawrie, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Josh Kerr, 12. Jack Bird, 13. Jackson Ford
Interchange: 14. Talatau Amone, 15. Poasa Faamausili, 16. Daniel Alvaro, 17. Jack De Belin
1. Jamayne Isaako, 2. Selwyn Cobbo, 3. Herbie Farnworth, 4. Jesse Arthars, 5. David Mead, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Tyson Gamble, 8. Matthew Lodge, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Thomas Flegler, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Tevita Pangai Junior
Interchange: 13. John Asiata, 14. Kobe Hetherington, 15. Keenan Palasia, 16. Ethan Bullemor, 17. TC Robati