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Wests Tigers vs St George Illawarra Dragons Preview

ANZ Stadium, Sunday 3:00pm AEDT

Dragons: Adam Quinlan, Brett Morris, Dylan Farrell, Gerard Beale, Jason Nightingale, Gareth Widdop, Michael Witt, Jack de Belin, Mitch Rein, Dan Hunt, Leeson Ah Mau, Ben Creagh (c), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Bronson Harrison, Kyle Stanley, Joel Thompson, Tyson Frizell, Mike Cooper

Tigers: James Tedesco, Marika Koroibete, Keith Lulia, Chris Lawrence, Pat Richards, Braith Anasta, Luke Brooks, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Martin Taupau, Liam Fulton, Bodene Thompson, Adam Blair. Interchange: Cory Paterson, Ava Seumanufagai, Sauaso Sue, James Gavet

Two teams desperate to rediscover that winning formula meet at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, March 9 to kick off their 2014 NRL season. The Wests Tigers, minus Benji Marshall for the first time since 2002, have invested heavily in youth, led by Luke Brooks who stunned everyone in THAT debut in 2013, co incidentally against the Dragons. Their opposition on Sunday have added established stars Gareth Widdop, Joel Thompson and Dylan Farrell to their roster, with all three named for the match which kicks off at 3pm.

Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has named an experienced line up featuring veterans Keith Lulia, Chris Lawrence and the returning Pat Richards out wide, with Braith Anasta partnering Luke Brooks in the halves. Their pack is honest, if unspectacular and may struggle against a mobile Dragons pack that needs to aim up after a lacklustre display against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield.

Dragons coach Steve Price is a man under pressure and needs results fast. It’s not easy with no Josh Dugan for the first month and no one really standing out at halfback in the pre season. He has gone with Adam Quinlan at fullback and Michael Witt at half with Kyle Stanley coming off the bench. Another off-season purchase, Sam Williams, will start the year for the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup. Leeson Ah Mau was easily the Dragons’ best in the Charity Shield and picked himself in the second row. Skipper Ben Creagh is alongside him after spending time at prop in 2013, with a front row pairing of Dan Hunt and Jack De Belin.

Two desperate teams, two points on the line; it will be one of the games of the round. Traditionally these two clubs put on an entertaining show and this one will be no different, but the Dragons have a little much strike power and they should win this one.

University of Wollongong alumni and aspiring journalist.

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