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2015 NRL Match Preview: Sydney Roosters vs St George-Illawarra

Date: ANZAC Day, Saturday 25th April 2015

Venue: Allianz Stadium

Kick-Off: 4pm

Roosters: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2 Daniel Tupou 3 Michael Jennings 4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5 Nene Macdonald 6 James Maloney 7 Mitchell Pearce 8 Dylan Napa 9 Jake Friend 10 Sam Moa 11 Boyd Cordner 12 Mitchell Aubusson 13 Sio Siua Taukeiaho. Interchange: 14 Willie Manu 15 Isaac Liu 16 Kane Evans 18 Lagi Setu 19 Matt McIlwrick.

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Eto Nabuli 3. Euan Aitken 4. Dylan Farrell 5. Peter Mata’Utia 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Mitch Rein 10. Mike Cooper 11. Will Matthews 12. Joel Thompson 13. Trent Merrin. Interchange: 14. Ben Creagh 15. Jack de Belin 16. Jake Marketo 17. Heath L’Estrange 18. George Rose 19. Drew Hutchinson 20. Kiti Glymin

Preview

Sydney Roosters host St George-Illawarra Dragons in the traditional feature match of ANZAC Day at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

This will be the fourteenth clash between these two sides on April 25 since the St George-Illawarra franchise started in 1999.  The Roosters have won on five occasions including the last two where they recorded 34-10 victory in 2013 and 34-14 in 2014.

It appears this year the scores won’t be so blown out with the Dragons equal first on the back of a Mike Cooper inspired victory over Brisbane at Kogarah on Friday night.  The Roosters haven’t won since round 4 when they eclipsed Canberra 34-6, a match which ended with Blake Ferguson’s season ending foot injury.

St George-Illawarra will be out to prove the critics that they can score points after only averaging fourteen points.  Benji Marshall could make ANZAC Day his own despite coach Stephen Kearney dismissing any chances of a comeback for the Kiwis next weekend.  Another player looking to press chances for rep selection is Josh Dugan.  It’s likely to come down to a decision between him and Penrith’s Matt Moylan for the New South Wales fullback role.  A milestone for Ben Creagh as he plays game 250 in the National Rugby League.

Sydney Roosters almost knocked off Melbourne Storm last weekend at AAMI Park with Cooper Cronk’s last minute field goal the difference.  They’ll be without Jared Waerea-Hargreaves after sustaining a pectoral injury.  It’s just another dent for the Roosters who are also missing Aidan Guerra with a broken jaw and Ferguson.  Sam Moa replaces JWH in the starting line-up.  With the heat on Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds from Blues legend Andrew Johns ahead of Origin, it could be an opportunity for Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney to remind selectors they wouldn’t be out of place at the top level.

If the Dragons shut down speedsters Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Michael Jennings, they are half way to continuing their giant-killing run on the back of steel-like defense.  The fear will be the Roosters could get over that magic fourteen point mark and head towards a comfortable victory.

Prediction Sydney Roosters to win at home and make it three ANZAC Day wins in a row.  For all the great work done by the Dragons lately I fear the Roosters are about to climb back up the ladder.

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