The Bulldogs will host the Dragons on the Queen’s Birthday, Monday 12th of June at ANZ Stadium with kick off at 4pm.
Five-eighth Josh Reynolds will make his return from a hamstring injury and captain James Graham has been named to take the field. Hasler has dropped Brenko Lee but named Chase Stanley as his replacement.
LAST TIME OUT
The Bulldogs had a very tough gig last Sunday afternoon after failing to apply much pressure and score any points after going down to the Penrith Panthers 38- nil. The absence of Josh Reynolds and captain James Graham proved crucial as the Bulldogs were unable to complete sets or set up positive attacking plays. Coach Des Hasler will be under a lot of scrutiny for the game against third place on the ladder Dragons after the fans were very unimpressed after their performance last week.
Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop returned last week to the side after suffering an injury and scored two tries against the Wests Tigers successfully defeating them by four points. Second rower Tyson Frizell has been cleared of suffering an injury from last week’s game and has been named to take the field. Cameron McInnes put on a solid performance contributing with the most tackles of the game a total of 62 tackles.
The big key match-up will be between both five- eighths, Josh Reynolds (Bulldogs) and Gareth Widdop (Dragons).
Josh Reynolds will be returning after being absent from the Bulldogs side after six weeks. His return will be essential for the Bulldogs as they haven’t won without him on the field. The confidence he endures throughout the 80 minutes will be exactly what the fans and his teammates will need in their quest for victory and to avoid losing their fifth consecutive game.
Gareth Widdop returned to the Dragons last week and had a successful return, scoring all 12 points in the first half for the Dragons. His game will be crucial to setting up his team, making sure to kick on the fifth and completing sets for his side.
A good kicking game from these two five-eighths will be essential if they wish to lead their side to victory. Reynolds will be hungry to perform well in his first game back from injury.
The Bulldogs will need to put on a solid performance to defeat the Dragons, I think they’ll come close but won’t be able to out play the quality side of the Dragons. With Dragons Tyson Frizell, Joel Thompson, Cameron McInnes and Gareth Widdop they will be too strong for the Bulldogs. Dragons by 12.
Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Chase Stanley 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Adam Elliot 13. David Klemmer 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Greg Eastwood 17. Matt Frawley 19. Francis Tualau 20. Kerrod Holland 21. Asipeli Fine 23. Brenko Lee
Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Kurt Mann 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Josh McCrone 8. Russell Packer 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin 14. Tariq Sims 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Hame Sele 17. Taane Milne 18. Jacob Host 19. Kalifa Faifai Loa 20. Blake Lawrie 21. Jai Field