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NRL Match Preview: St George Illawarra Dragons vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Date:Monday, July 21, 2014
Venue:WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Kick-off:7:10pm

Dragons:1.Adam Quinlan 2.Charly Runciman 3.Josh Dugan 4.Gerard Beale 5.Jason Nightingale 6.Gareth Widdop 7.Benji Marshall 8.Ben Creagh (c) 9.Mitch Rein 10.Mike Cooper 11.Leeson Ah Mau 12.Joel Thompson 13.Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14.Bronson Harrison 15.Shane Pumpipi 16.Will Matthews 17.Jack Stockwell

Sea Eagles:1.Brett Stewart 2.Jorge Taufua 3.Jamie Lyon 4.Steve Matai 5.Peta Hiku 6.Kieran Foran 7.Daly Cherry-Evans 8.Josh Starling 9.Matt Ballin 10.Brenton Lawrence 11.Anthony Watmough 12.Jamie Buhrer 13.Tom Symonds. Interchange: 14.Jesse Sene-Lefao 15.Dunamis Lui
16.James Hasson 17.Jason King

The Dragons play their first game in 16 days on Monday night when they host the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.

Both sides are in terrific form, winning 4 of their past 5 matches, but the top-of-the-table Sea Eagles will go into this clash as favourites.

They welcome back Anthony Watmough from a 4 game suspension, bur are without Justin Horo, due to a 3 game suspension. Powerful winger Jorge Tafua also returns and Tom Symonds starts the game at lock.

For the Dragons, Josh Dugan returns from Origin duty at centre, and Mike Cooper returns to the starting side and Jack Stockwell drops back to the bench.

Despite their good form, the Dragons still find themselves outside the eight, and even a win here will only push them up to ninth, but they are heading in the right direction and putting pressure on the teams above them.

The Sea Eagles usually find form at this time if the season and have experienced campaigners all over the park and will prove a tough test for the Dragons.

The two sides met last year, again on a Monday night at WIN Jubilee, with the Sea Eagles getting home 24-18. I see this one being just as close, with the Dragons chasing a finals spot and needing to win most of their remaining games. The Sea Eagles are on track to secure their first minor premiership in a unified competition since 1996 so they have plenty to play for.

This will be a cracking match between two in-form sides, but the Sea Eagles’ experience should get them home, but not by many.

Sea Eagles by 4.

University of Wollongong alumni and aspiring journalist.

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