The second NRL Round 6 match today is between Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons. The opening kick is set to commence at 3pm with the game to be played at Sydney Cricket Ground. The away team the St George Illawarra Dragons are the current favourites for the match in the odds. View our preview and teams for the game between Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons.
Sydney Cricket Ground
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Watch Out Wests Tigers: Dragons hooker Mitch Rein has an impressive head-to-head record with Robbie Farah’s boys and his form last week suggests he’ll look to inflict more pain on the gold and black. Rein scored tries from dummy-half in each of the sides’ two meetings in 2012 and also set up a try with a dash from the ruck. He crossed from dummy-half against the Knights last Sunday so clearly he’ll fancy having another dig here.
The Tigers need to control their discipline or else they will continue to rack up massive penalty counts. The Tigers are the ‘bad boys’ of 2013, with a whopping 47 penalties conceded in just five matches (9.4 per game!). Meanwhile the Dragons’ 27 penalties conceded are the equal third-fewest in the comp.
Watch Out Dragons: Tim Moltzen, who reneged on a deal to join the Dragons at the end of 2011, will play with confidence after a stunning three-try haul against the Red V the last time they met. And with specialist fullback Beale sidelined Moltzen (three line-breaks and two tries to date) will look to cash in on any indecision from makeshift custodian Jason Nightingale. – regardless of whether he plays at five-eighth or fullback.
Robbie Farah will also exploit any weaknesses at the back with an array of attacking options. In particular he’ll fancy targeting the in-goal with a grubber kick – he had success this way the last time the sides met with Moltzen scoring and it also paid dividends last week for James Tedesco against the Storm.
Plays To Watch: Chris Lawrence (two line-breaks) looking to regain top form squeezing through down the left edge; Brett Morris continuing to dish it out to the Tigers after making two try assists and 195 metres in their first clash last season before backing up with a try double in Round 23; Aaron Woods (eight offloads) and Robbie Farah (six offloads) keeping the Tigers’ plays going from sideline to sideline; Jamie Soward slotting his fourth field-goal in as many games (don’t think he won’t try).
Key Match-Up: Aaron Woods v Dan Hunt and Jack Buchanan v Jack Stockwell.
Woods and Hunt are two of the top four NSW Origin-eligible metre-eating props (James Tamou and Aiden Tolman are the others), with Woods cranking out 137 metres a match and Hunt close behind with 128 metres – but Hunt has accumulated his in only two-thirds of Woods’ average 62 minutes of game time.
Rookie Buchanan joined the Tigers from the Dragons’ Under-20s at the end of last season, so you can bet he’ll be focussed on making a statement against his former club. He’s made an immediate impact at Concord, nudging triple figures in metres with just five games under his belt – not a bad feat considering Woods and Keith Galloway were the only Tigers forwards to average more than 100 metres last season.
Buchanan’s running battle with former under-20s team-mate Jack Stockwell (average 105 metres in 2013) will be a belter: two raw-boned tyros ripping into each other.
Where It Will Be Won: For the Tigers it’s about making inroads, while for the Dragons it’s about stopping the opposition team in their tracks.
The Tigers are struggling for field position throughout their 80 minutes, gaining the fewest metres by any team each week (1168). Meanwhile the Dragons are backpedalling big-time each game, yielding the most metres (1456).
Clearly whichever team is able to make significant improvement in their respective areas will be in the box seat.
Tim Moltzen, Joel Reddy, Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence, James Tedesco, Benji Marshall, Braith Anasta, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah (c), Jack Buchanan, Bodene Thompson, Liam Fulton, Adam Blair
Interchange: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Ava Seumanufagai, Matt Bell, Eddy Pettybourne.
St George Illawarra Dragons:
Jason Nightingale, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Matt Cooper, Daniel Vidot, Jamie Soward, Nathan Fien, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Jack Stockwell, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin
Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Matt Prior, Jack de Belin, Michael Henderson, Damien Cook (one to be omitted).