NRL Match Preview: St George Illawarra Dragons vs Penrith Panthers

Date:Sunday, August 10, 2014
Venue:WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Kick-off: 3pm

Dragons:1.Adam Quinlan 2.Brett Morris 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.Trent Merrin 16.Will Matthews 17.Jack Stockwell 18.Shane Pumipi 19.Dan Hunt

Panthers: 1.Matt Moylan 2.Josh Mansour 3.Dean Whare 4.Jamal Idris 5.David Simmons 6.Will Smith 7.Jamie Soward 8.Nigel Plum 9.James Segeyaro 10.Sam McKendry 11.Sika Manu 12.Isaah Yeo
13.Adam Docker Interchange: 14.Lewis Brown 15.Jeremy Latimore 16.Matt Robinson 17.Tim Grant 18.Kevin Kingston 20.Sam Anderson 21.Ryan Simpkins

The St George Illawarra Dragons host the Penrith Panthers on Sunday, hoping to keep their slim finals hopes alive. A recent run of two losses from their past three matches has severely dented their finals aspirations, and with a points differential of -55, they would probably have to win all 5 of their remaining matches.

The Panthers returned to form with a 22-16 win over the Bulldogs in round 21 and despite a few injuries, they still boast a formidable outfit, led by former Dragons favourite Jamie Soward, who returns to Wollongong for the first time since being shown the door by the Dragons midway through 2013.

The Dragons have added Dan Hunt to an extended bench, and if selected, Hunt will notch up game 150 for the Dragons, having been stranded on 149 for a couple of months. The Panthers have plenty of changes in their team, the most notable being the return to first grade of Kevin Kingston and Tim Grant.

The Dragons were good in the first half against the Roosters, but a poor start to the second half saw them concede three tries in 20 minutes. with their season on the line, they simply must aim up for the full 80 minutes, and in front of what they would hope is a healthy crowd, I think they have more to play for than the Panthers, who have already sewn up a finals spot.

Dragons by 6.

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