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St. George Illawarra Dragons
St. George Illawarra Dragons
The St George Illawarra Dragons will be looking to bounce back from a Monday afternoon horror show when they host the Canberra Raiders on Saturday evening. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 5:30pm (AEST).
The Dragons were awful on Monday. As good as the Bulldogs played, if the Dragons believe they are genuine top eight prospects, they can’t be dropping their bundle against a team that has run last for the best part of two seasons. They lacked spark and intent, with the rumours around a number of their stars potentially starting to impact their performance.
The Raiders, fresh off a bye and desperate for a win, did what they needed to do and comprehensively beat the Broncos in the nation’s capital. It wasn’t always clinical, it wasn’t perfect, but the attitude was right and they were never truly challenged. It is just one step back in the right direction, though; the next is a tougher road trip to Wollongong to get their finals campaign truly on the right track again.
The Dragons have named the same 17 that ran out on Monday afternoon, but that may simply be because they had to name a side just 24 hours later. Zac Lomax has been named in jersey 21 and is a chance of lining up in the centres. It is an unchanged 17 for the Raiders, too. They have named Ryan James on an extended bench but he is unlikely to come into the side.
The Raiders have a great record against the Dragons, having won 20 of 32 clashes between the pair, including four of the last five. They have an equally impressive record at WIN Stadium, winning five of eight games played at the venue.
The Dragons might have started the season well, but that is a long time ago now. They have won just two of their last nine, against the two teams running last and second last. They look like a team with distractions around key personnel starting to take a toll. Matt Dufty and Corey Norman are unwanted, and that has been made very public; and as key members of their squad it can’t be good for their mentality or that of the team.
The Raiders in contrast have had a break, will be confident after a win, and are looking to put some of the distractions of early in the season behind them. All their key players put in last week and they reek of a team that can ride a wave of momentum into September.
They’ve had an extra couple of days to prepare for this one, and it is impossible not to tip them based on last week’s matches alone.
Raiders by 16
1. Matt Dufty, 2. Cody Ramsey, 3. Brayden Wiliame, 4. Gerard Beale, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Corey Norman, 7. Ben Hunt (c), 8. Blake Lawrie, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tariq Sims, 12. Jack Bird, 13. Jackson Ford
Bench/Reserves: 15. Josh Kerr, 16. Daniel Alvaro, 17. Jack De Belin, 18. Adam Clune | 19. Poasa Faamausili, 20. Tariq Sims
1. Bailey Simonsson, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Matthew Timoko, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Dunammis Lui, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliott Whitehead (c), 13. Ryan Sutton
Bench/Reserves: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Iosia Soliola, 17. Joe Tapine | 18. Xavier Savage, 19. Hudson Young