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St. George Illawarra Dragons
St. George Illawarra Dragons
The St George Illawarra Dragons host the Canberra Raiders in Wollongong this afternoon, with the race for the top eight starting to heat up. Join the Roar for live scores and commentary from 4pm AEST.
The Dragons put together their best half of the season a fortnight ago, running rampant against the Rabbitohs to all but win the game in the first half an hour. The Raiders would wait until the last minute of the game to topple a brave Newcastle side, and keep their top 8 aspirations alive after a much improved month or so of footy.
The Dragons have named the same 17 that got the job done a fortnight ago. They have had a long break over the rep round, 17 days since they defeated the Rabbitohs at the same venue. With minimal international and Origin representation, they should be fresh for this one. The Raiders welcome the return of Jack Wighton, who missed the last start with Covid. He will be eager to push his claims for a Blues jersey in the decider. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad returns via the bench, bumping James Schiller out of the side.
This match-up used to be one of the all time “hoodoo’s” in Rugby League. The Dragons couldn’t buy a win over the Raiders in a ten year stretch that saw the Dragons win just 1 from 16 games, that is long behind us though. The Raiders have won 4 of the last 5 between the two. The Dragons did win in Wollongong last year, a narrow 22-20 victory in blustery conditions. The Raiders have won 5 games in Wollongong from 10 attempts, managing to jag a draw there too. Their last win in Wollongong came in 2020, a resounding 37-8 effort
This is an important one for both clubs. Neither has looked certain of a top eight berth at any point so far, but do look close enough if good enough. It is going to be a late flurry by a few clubs to try and get into the top 8.
The Dragons win over the Rabbitohs was a good one, but South Sydney were terrible. After a slow start to the season, the Raiders haven’t had an off day in a fair while. They haven’t won every game of late, but they have had much more of a competitive spirit than we saw to start the year. They have Jack Wighton back and he will be desperate for a good performance to force his way back into the Blues side for the decider.
It is a toss of a coin this one. But the Raiders have a fairly good record in Wollongong, and I think at their best they have the football to topple the Dragons.
Raiders by 6
St George Illawarra
1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Josh Kerr 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Billy Burns
1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papalii 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Matt Frawley 19. Corey Harawira-Naera 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Adrian Trevilyan