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St George Illawarra Dragons vs Canterbury Bulldogs NRL Preview and Team News - Improved Bulldogs aim for the upset

Andrew Hendrie 12 Apr 2019
  • St George Illawarra Dragons meet Canterbury Bulldogs in Round 5 of the NRL on Sunday
  • Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight meetings
Dragons face Bulldogs on Sunday (PA Images)

Canterbury Bulldogs look to extend their recent dominance over St George Illawarra Dragons when the two sides clash in NRL Round 5 action on Sunday.

After pushing Melbourne all the way last week, can a gallant Canterbury side notch up their second win of the season when they face the Dragons on Sunday afternoon?

The Bulldogs were terrible to start the season as they conceded 30+ points in lacklustre defeats to the Warriors and Eels over the first two rounds, further solidifying themselves as wooden spoon favourites.

However, since then they’ve been very impressive, snapping the Tigers’ winning start to the season and then coming within a whisker of toppling the Storm at AAMI Park last week.

Canterbury raced out to a 12-0 lead, and although the Storm fought back, Dean Pay’s side had a chance to take the game to golden point, but Rhyse Martin - arguably the best goal kicker in the competition - unfortunately scuffed his sideline conversion as the Dogs fell 18-16.

The injury problems keep coming for the Bulldogs as well, with Dylan Napa joining Kieran Foran on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Sauaso Sue comes onto the bench as his replacement.

Meanwhile, the Dragons will be hoping to wrap up a victory in less dramatic fashion this week after their consecutive last-minute houdini acts over the last fortnight.

Corey Norman has been the hero for St George Illawarra, nailing pressure field goals against the Broncos and Knights to hand his side one-point victories - the club’s first two wins of the season.

Those triumphs should give the Dragons confidence, but in saying that, they haven’t been convincing yet, and they have a very poor record against the Dogs.

Indeed, Canterbury have won seven of their last eight meetings and demolished the joint-venture outfit 38-0 in Round 24 last season, when the Dogs had nothing to play for. On the back of their much-improved showings over the last two weeks, I think the Bulldogs can get over the line and post the upset in this one.

Stats


  • Bulldogs have won seven of their last eight encounters
  • Canterbury won 38-0 in their last clash in R24 last year
  • Dragons have been held to two points or less in two of their last three losses to the Bulldogs

Teams


Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Blake Lawrie. Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Zac Lomax 16. Jacob Host 17. Luciano Leilua. Reserves: 18. Mitchell Allgood 19. Jai Field 20. Josh Kerr 21. Jonus Pearson

Bulldogs: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jack Cogger 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Rhyse Martin. Interchange: 14. Michael Lichaa 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Adam Elliot 17. Chris Smith. Reserves: 19. Danny Fualalo 20. Marcelo Montoya 21. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 22. Fa’amanu Brown

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St George Illawarra Dragons vs Canterbury Bulldogs NRL Preview and Team News - Improved Bulldogs aim for the upset

Canterbury Bulldogs look to extend their recent dominance over St George Illawarra Dragons when the two sides clash in NRL Round 5 action on Sunday.

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