NRL Match preview: St George Illawarra Dragons vs North Queensland Cowboys

Date:Saturday, July 5 2014
Venue:WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah

Dragons:1.Adam Quinlan 2.Charly Runciman 14.Peter Mata’utia 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: 15.Bronson Harrison 16.Shane Pumipi 17.Will Matthews 19.Dylan Farrell 20.Jack Stockwell 25.Dan Hunt

Cowboys: 1.Matthew Wright 2.Curtis Rona 3.Tautau Moga 4.Kane Linnett 5.Antonio Winterstein 6.Robert Lui 7.Michael Morgan (vc) 8.Scott Bolton 9.Rory Kostjasyn 10.Ashton Sims (c) 11.Tariq Sims 12.Jason Taumalolo 13.Glenn Hall Interchange: 14.Anthony Mitchell 15.Ethan Lowe 16.John Asiata 17.Sam Hoare
18.Ben Spina

An in-form Dragons host a travel-shy Cowboys at WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Saturday afternoon where rugby league immortal and Dragons great Reg Gasnier will be honoured. His famous number 3 jersey will be retired for the match, with Dragons centre Peter Mata’utia wearing number 14.

State of Origin has cruelled this match of a host of stars but this still promises to be a great match with both sides just two points outside the top 8.

Under Paul McGregor the Dragons have won 3 from 5, and are playing a simple, yet effective style that not only generates plenty of points in attack, but concedes very few in defence.The Cowboys are one place above the Dragons in 11th and can blame a woeful away record (0 wins from 7) for their current predicament.

Both sides have made several changes, with Mata’utia replacing Josh Dugan at centre for the Dragons and both Dylan Farrell and Dan Hunt have been named to return from inury on an extended bench. Hunt is due to play his 150th game for the club after spending several weeks stranded on 149.

The Cowboys have named new recruit Tautau Moga to make his club debut after a mid season switch from the Sydney Roosters and Michael Morgan moves from fullback to half back. Former Dragon Ashton Sims will start the game in the front row.

Up against a weakened Cowboys side and with a bye coming up in round 18, the Dragons have a great chance to stake a claim for a finals spot and should prove too strong for the Cowboys.

Dragons by 18.

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