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2021 NRL Round Six Preview, Dragons Vs Warriors

Brad Inger previews the Dragons vs Warriors match to be played at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Date: 18/4, Time: 2 pm

Dragons Team

1. Matthew Dufty
2. Cody Ramsey
3. Jack Bird
4. Zac Lomax
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Corey Norman
7. Adam Clune
8. Blake Lawrie
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Josh Kerr
12. Tariq Sims
13. Tyrell Fuimaono
14. Kaide Ellis
15. Trent Merrin
16. Daniel Alvaro
17. Brayden Wiliame
18. Jackson Ford
19. Billy Burns
20. Josh McGuire
21. Jordan Pereira

Team Changes

IN: Billy Burns, Jordan Pereira, Josh McGuire
OUT:

Warriors Team

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2. Peta Hiku
3. Adam Pompey
4. Marcelo Montoya
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Kodi Nikorima
7. Sean O’Sullivan
8. Leeson Ah Mau
9. Wayde Egan
10. Tohu Harris
11. Josh Curran
12. Jack Murchie
13. Jazz Tevaga
14. Ben Murdoch-Masila
15. Bunty Afoa
16. Kane Evans
17. Paul Turner
18. Rocco Berry
20. Tom Ale
21. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
22. Taniela Otukolo

Team Changes

IN: Bunty Afoa, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Peta Hiku, Rocco Berry, Taniela Otukolo
OUT: David Fusitu’a, Eliesa Katoa

Referee: Chris Sutton

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Dragons

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The Dragons have been on a roll and scored the upset of round five with an impressive 26-12 victory over the Eels. They quickly came out of the gates and never gave the Eels a chance to get into the contest. The Dragons’ spine has really started to click with fullback Matt Dufty playing some of his best football, constantly threatening to bust games wide open, and Adam Clune has stepped into Ben Hunt’s shoes without a hiccup. New recruit Josh McGuire has been named on the extended bench, but if he ends up making it into the Dragons’ 17, it makes their already quality forward pack even better, and they will need to perform against a massive Warriors pack.

Warriors

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The Warriors’ 2021 season hit an all-time low with a 13-12 defeat against a struggling Sea Eagles outfit. The loss of Addin Fonua-Blake to injury and Bunty Afoa to suspension took some serious sting out of their pack, and their halves failed to inject themselves into the contest. The New Zealand side have strike weapons in their backline, but their bumbling attack meant they were barely used. The return of Afoa and Peta Hiku is a welcome sign for Warriors fans desperate to see their side return to the winner’s circle.

PREVIEW

The Dragons will come into this match confident, and if they perform at the same level they did last week, they should canter home. They will need to shut down the Warriors’ pack and target the New Zealand side’s right edge, which has been leaking points every week. Andrew McCullough could have a field-day sniping out of the ruck area as the Warriors have been guilty of having a slow defensive line for the past few weeks: a few runs out of dummy half could blow this game wide open. The Warriors need their forwards to front; if they can dominate the middle, their halves should have more than enough time to get their backs into scoring situations. They should also be kicking bombs at Dufty all day as he still struggles at times under the high ball.

KEY STAT

Head-to-head: both sides have faced each other 30 times, with St George Illawarra winning 21 times. However, the previous two meetings have seen the Warriors walk away the victors, one an 18-0 shutout in 2020 and a much closer 26-18 in 2019.

PREDICTION

The Dragons have been building momentum, and after four wins in a row, it would be a brave man that bets against them to make it five. I’m not that brave, and I think the Warriors’ struggles will continue with a comprehensive win by the Dragons.

Dragons by 13+

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