Matt Attard previews the round four Monday afternoon match-up between the Bulldogs and the Dragons.
Arguably battling it out for the title of the worst current team, these two proud clubs have given their fans nothing to cheer for. The Bulldogs were lucky to score just a single try in a thumping loss to Manly.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
The Dragons were arguably worse than the Bulldogs: held to nil by the almost-perfect Warriors in a game they would have fancied winning.
Bulldogs coach Dean Pay has made just one change, as Kieran Foran makes his long-awaited return.
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2. Nick Meaney, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Will Hopoate, 5. Christian Crichton, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Lachlan Lewis, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Dylan Napa, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Dean Britt, 13. Adam Elliott ,14. Jake Averillo, 15. Renouf To’omaga, 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 17. Sauaso Sue, 19. Ofahiki Ogden, 20. Kerrod Holland, 21. Sione Katoa, 22. Brandon Wakeham.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Dragons coach Paul McGregor has shifted Corey Norman to fullback and axed Matt Dufty.
1. Corey Norman, 2. Jordan Pereira, 3. Brayden Williame, 4. Zac Lomax, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Ben Hunt, 7. Adam Clune 8. Josh Kerr, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. James Graham, 14. Trent Merrin, 15. Blake Lawrie, 16. Issac Luke, 17. Euan Aitken, 18. Tyrell Fuimaono, 19. Matthew Dufty, 20. Jacob Host, 21. Jackson Ford.
It has to be the completion rate and missed tackles – for both sides. In round three, the Bulldogs completed at just 70 per cent and missed 43 tackles. The Dragons were held scoreless and completed at 83 per cent, but missed 32 tackles and were diabolical with the ball in hand. Where will the points come from? As disappointing as the Dragons were, they still have more attacking threats than the Bulldogs. It’s hard to get excited for this one.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Kieran Foran v Ben Hunt
Both rep players, both collecting huge pay packets, and both with a world of expectations on their shoulders. Hunt has been perhaps the most criticised of any player in the competition, while Foran will be out to pay back the support of his club after yet another long stint on the sidelines due to injury. The Bulldogs desperately lack leadership and direction, which is something Foran is a master at. But just how long it takes him to settle back in remains to be seen.
For Hunt, he will want to silence his critics with a big performance against a team many will consider to be easy beats; it’s time for him to step up and have a big game.
This will probably be a stinker of a contest. I see more points in the Dragons.
Dragons by 10.
Date: Monday June 8.
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney.