Sunday’s second NRL Round 20 match is between St George Illawarra Dragons and Wests Tigers. The opening bounce is set to commence at 16:05 local time with the game to be played at ANZ Stadium. 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 Wests Tigers.
When: 16:05 | Sunday 24/07/2016
Where: ANZ Stadium
Tip: St George Illawarra Dragons at $2.55
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Taane Milne at $20.00
Dragons: 1. Adam Quinlan 2. Kurt Mann 3. Euan Aitken 4. Taane Milne 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Russell Packer 9. Mitch Rein 10. Tariq Sims 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14. Michael Cooper 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Jacob Host 17. Jake Marketo.
Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Tim Simona 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Jordan Rankin 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Dene Halatau 10. Sauaso Sue 11. Josh Aloiai 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Elijah Taylor. Interchange: 14. Tim Grant 15. Ava Seumanufagai 16. Robbie Farah 17. Kyle Lovett 18. Joel Edwards.
St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor admits second tier salary cap pressure is preventing him from swinging the axe on his underperforming side.
For the second time in as many outings, the Dragons had 30-plus points put on them in their 32-12 defeat to the Gold Coast at Jubilee Oval on Friday night.
Not only did it send them tumbling out of the top eight, it sent alarm bells ringing as they copped yet another resounding loss.
They have now lost four of their last seven, letting in 30 points or more on each of those occasions which sees them hold the second worst differential (-145 points) in the competition.
And of those three wins in that period, two have come against sides severely weakened by Origin – North Queensland and Melbourne – while the other was against last-placed Newcastle.
McGregor labelled the performance as unacceptable however admitted his ability to axe underperforming troops was limited because they had already stretched the second tier salary cap.
“We always talk about that but it’s very hard when you’ve got a salary cap and second tier cap as well,” McGregor said.
“We’ve already used 27 players so it’s very hard to change it around too much.
“A lot of things come into play there so we’ll just have to sit back and have a look.
“But to ask if I’m happy with tonight – no, I’m not.”
McGregor said the rest of his side needed to take a leaf out of Tyson Frizell’s book, who was the lone shining light despite backing up just two days after State of Origin III.
“He’s certainly a player who can sit in that shed and be proud,” McGregor said.
“The challenge for them is to put in some effort like he is.
“It’s good for a young man to go out on a big arena on Wednesday night, with all the emotion behind it, and back it up a couple of days later.”
The Dragons were severely weakened by the loss of Benji Marshall (hamstring) and Josh Dugan (broken jaw) during the week but McGregor said that was no excuse.
He said he expected Marshall to be fit to face his former side Wests Tigers next Sunday.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change