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NRL Match Preview: St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos

Date:Friday, Mach 28th, 2014
Kick-off: 8pm

Dragons: 1.Adam Quinlan 2.Brett Morris 3.Dylan Farrell 4.Gerard Beale 5.Jason Nightingale 6.Gareth Widdop 7.Sam Williams 8.Tyson Frizell 9.Mitch Rein 10.Dan Hunt 11.Leeson Ah Mau 12.Ben Creagh (c) 13.Trent Merrin. Interchange:14.Jack De Belin 15.Kyle Stanley 16.Joel Thompson 17.Mike Cooper 20.Jack Stockwell 25.Bronson Harrison

Broncos:1.Ben Barba 2.Daniel Vidot 3.Jack Reed 4.Dale Copley 5.Lachlan Maranta 6.Josh Hoffman 7.Ben Hunt 8.Josh McGuire 9.Andrew McCullough 1o.Corey Parker (c) 11.Alex Glenn 12. Sam Thaiday 13.Matt Gillett. Interchange:14.Corey Oates 15.Martin Kennedy 16.Todd Lowrie 17.Jarrod Wallace 18.David Hala

The Dragons have made the perfect start to 2014, one of only two teams that enter round 4 undefeated, the other being the Melbourne Storm. They were made to work for the points last week against a gritty Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and will need a big improvement in front of their home fans on Friday night.

The Broncos have been involved in three close games, winning two of them and will pose the biggest threat the Dragons have faced so far. Ben Barba looks to be returning to his 2012 form and Josh Hoffman has found a new home at five eighth while half back Ben Hunt is getting better every week. Two world-class forwards in Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday will test the Dragons’ pack and it will be up to Trent Merrin, Ben Creagh and the in-form Leeson Ah Mau to set the standard early.

The Dragons have the better team on paper and their spine of Adam Quinlan, Gareth Widdop, Sam Williams and Mitch Rein have been playing well on the back of the form of Trent Merrin, Ben Creagh and Tyson Frizell.

On paper, the Dragons are in better form, and in front of a vocal home crowd in Wollongong, they will prove very hard to beat. But the Broncos are an experienced team and went down to Wollongong last year and came away with a comfortable 22-6 victory. It’s a tough one to call.

Dragons by 8.

University of Wollongong alumni and aspiring journalist.

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