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St. George Illawarra Dragons
St. George Illawarra Dragons
The St George Illawarra Dragons host the West Tigers in Wollongong to close out Round 8 of the NRL with both sides looking to assert themselves after a resurgent fortnight. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 4pm AEST.
What a difference a couple of weeks can make in Rugby League. Both these sides looked dead and buried a couple of weeks ago, as they put together some football that was hard to watch. The Tigers were winless after Round 6, with the Dragons not much better at just the one win from as many attempts. The Dragons got home in a tight encounter at home against Newcastle, then backed it up with a tough win on ANZAC to breathe new life into their campaign. The Tigers have treated their fans to back to back one point wins at Bankwest stadium and against two teams who are no slouches in the Eels and Rabbitohs, a third in a row hear can do plenty to silence their detractors even further.
The Dragons and Tigers have split their 40 encounters 50/50. But the Tigers have won the last three clashes between the two sides, and five of the last six including two matches played in Wollongong. The Tigers also boast a 80% win rate playing in Wollongong, winning four of the five games played between the two.
In team news, the Dragons have lost Jayden Su’A to an ankle injury with Josh MaGuire the man to replace him. Tyrell Fuimaono is the man to come onto the bench in the only change for the Dragons side. The Tigers are unlucky to lose Daine Laurie for this one, a standout at the back for the Tigers. Starford To’a takes his place. Oliver Gildart is back in at centre. Kelma Tuilagi is back into the starting pack, knocking Alex Seyfarth back to the bench.
A few weeks ago this way a bit of a miss in terms of must watch TV. But now we have a little bit to play for. The winner keeps their momentum going with a third win in a row. The loser is right back under the hammer, with the Tigers taking on the Sea Eagles at Brookvale and the Dragons off to Melbourne next week.
Realistically the Dragons have beaten the struggling Knights at home, and couldn’t put them away until the final play of the game. They won on ANZAC day, but the two tries they scored weren’t off well worked plays, and the Roosters were far from their best. They played tough, but it is hard to see too many points in them.
The Tigers have managed to score some points the last couple of weeks, and the inclusion of Jackson Hastings at halfback has seemingly brought some real balance and confidence to the Tigers. They have held their nerve in some real pressure situations and are seemingly unfazed by travelling to Wollongong based on their recent record. Daine Laurie is a massive loss. He is a really wholehearted player who has performed consistently well for the Tigers since arriving at the club.
I can’t not back the Tigers at this point. They should be brimming with confidence and I think they have more points in them than the Dragons.
Tigers by 8
1. Moses Mbye 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Jack Bird 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Andrew McCullough 10. George Burgess 11. Tariq Sims 12. Josh Mcguire 13. Jack de Belin 14. Talatau Amone 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Aaron Woods 17. Tyrell Fuimaono 18. Tautau Moga 19. Jackson Ford 20. Josh Kerr 21. Tyrell Sloan 22. Cody Ramsey 23. Jack Gosiewski 24. Jayden Sullivan
1. Starford To’a 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Luke Garner 4. Oliver Gildart 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Jock Madden 15. Alex Twal 16. Thomas Mikaele 17. Alex Seyfarth 18. Jake Simpkin 19. Tyrone Peachey 20. Junior Tupou 21. Tukimihia Simpkins 22. Austin Dias 23. Fonua Pole 24. Junior Pauga