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2015 NRL Match Preview: St George-Illawarra Dragons vs South Sydney Rabbitohs

Date: Saturday July 18, 2015

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground

Kick-Off: 7:30pm AEST

Dragons: 1 Josh Dugan 2. Justin Hunt 3. Euan Aitken 4. Peter Mata’utia 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Leeson Ah Mau 9. Mitch Rein 10. Ben Creagh 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Mike Cooper. Interchange: 14. George Rose 15. Will Mathews 16. Jake Marketo 17. Heath L’Estrange 18. Drew Hutchinson 19. Charly Runciman 20. Mark Ioane

Rabbitohs: 1 Greg Inglis 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dylan Walker 4. Bryson Goodwin 5. Aaron Gray 6. Luke Keary 7. Adam Reynolds 8. George Burgess 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Tim Grant 11. Glenn Stewart 12. John Sutton 13. Chris McQueen. Interchange: 14 Dave Tyrell 15 Ben Lowe 16 Chris Grevsmuhl 17 Thomas Burgess

Preview

Traditional rivals St George-Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs face off on Saturday night at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Dragons welcome back NSW Origin star Josh Dugan and former Kiwi International Benji Marshall as Paul McGregor’s men try to end a five game losing streak.  Last weekend they were never in the contest against Shire rivals Cronulla Sharks at Remondis Stadium in going down 28-8.  They now sit in a precarious seventh as they desperately look to hold on to a top eight spot.

Dugan and Marshall aren’t the only Dragons making a return for the game being played at the once ‘home of rugby league’.  Tyson Frizzell and Joel Thompson return to the back row.  A seven man bench has been named which includes George Rose and Heath L’Estrange.  Trent Merrin is sitting out the second of his four week suspension out of the final Origin game in Brisbane.

South Sydney are coming off the bye after going down to a desperate Penrith Panthers 20-6 at Pepper Stadium. They welcome back Greg Inglis from Origin duty as they battle to stay in touch with the top four after the New Zealand Warriors passed them on points differential following their win against the Storm.

Inglis’ return means Alex Johnson will return to the wing, with Joel Reddy dropping out of the squad.  Isaac Luke is suspended after his tackle on Tyrone Peachey two weeks ago.  The capable Cameron McInnes takes his spot in the side.  Tim Grant returns from injury and will start at prop.  South Sydney’s bench is impressive with Dave Tyrell, Ben Lowe, Chris Grevsmuhl and Thomas Burgess.

The Widdop-Marshall connection is reunited and this will provide the Dragons with much more to offer in attack. This is a game where Adam Reynolds needs to have an impact for the Bunnies after having a disrupted 2015 campaign.  With both packs evenly matched, it might be the experience on South Sydney’s bench that is the difference after eighty minutes.

Prediction I’m afraid this could be a repeat of the last time these two teams met at the Cricket Ground when South Sydney won 26-6.  South Sydney by 14.

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