Sunday’s (02/08/2015) first NRL 2015 Round 21 match is between St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights. The opening bounce is set to commence at 14:05 local time with the game to be played at Jubilee Oval. The home team St George Illawarra Dragons are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights.
When: 14:05 | Sunday 02/08/2015
Where: Jubilee Oval
Tip: St George Illawarra Dragons at $1.36
Value Tip: First Tryscorer: Josh Dugan at $10.00
1 Josh Dugan 2 Justin Hunt 3 Euan Aitken 4 Peter Mata’utia 5 Jason Nightingale 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Benji Marshall 8 Leeson Ah Mau 9 Mitch Rein 10 Ben Creagh (c) 11 Tyson Frizell 12 Joel Thompson 13 Mike Cooper. Interchange: 14 Jack de Belin 15 Jake Marketo 16 Craig Garvey 17 Will Matthews 18 Mark Ioane.
1 Kurt Gidley (c) 2 Jake Mamo 3 Sione Mata’utia 4 Dane Gagai 5 Chanel Mata’utia 6 Carlos Tuimavave 7 Tyrone Roberts 8 Kade Snowden 9 Adam Clydsdale 10 Korbin Sims 11 Beau Scott 12 Tariq Sims 13 Jeremy Smith. Interchange: 14 Tyler Randell 15 David Fa’alogo 16 Chris Houston 17 Clint Newton.
St George-Illawarra coach Paul McGregor is hinting at changes with his side slipping to seven straight defeats to leave their NRL play-off ambitions in serious doubt.
The Dragons slumped to a 22-4 loss to the Melbourne Storm in the New Zealand city of Napier on Saturday with only a late Peter Mata’utia try getting them on the scoreboard.
McGregor lamented his side’s inability to string successive sets together on a night when the Storm capitalised on their repeat sets.
“We’re not building any pressure with the ball – far too many passes hit the deck.
“We built a really good intent behind our defence – it’s holding up – but our attack is not at the moment so we’ve got to fix it,” he said.
McGregor didn’t mention any names but his halves pairing of Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop are likely to come under scrutiny.
Playmaker Marshall had a subdued game and supplied the pass that was intercepted just before the break to give the Storm momentum while Widdop was also quiet.
“There’s got to be better purpose behind every play instead of just running the ball because you need to,” McGregor said.
Marshall had put Jason Nightingale away for what would have been the game’s opening try only for it to be called back for a questionable forward pass.
“It looked alright to me,” McGregor said. “You can’t do much about it but we seem to be on the wrong end of it at the moment.”
He said his troops were struggling to find the same potency in attack that they had earlier in the year when they led the NRL ladder.
A failure to get anything from Sunday’s match against the struggling Newcastle Knights may not spell the end of their finals hopes but McGregor is desperate to return to the winner’s circle.
“There’s pressure to win every game and next week will be no different.
“Every one you lose you’re closer to not making the semi-final.
“We need to really work hard to get a result – it’s at the critical stage and we need to win games of footy,” he said.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change