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2021 NRL Round Nine Preview, Dragons Vs Bulldogs

Matt Attard previews the final match of Round 9 when the St George-Illawarra Dragons face Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Jubilee Stadium.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Jubilee Stadium, Date: 9/5, Time: 4:05pm

Dragons Team

1. Matthew Dufty
2. Cody Ramsey
3. Jack Bird
4. Tyrell Fuimaono
5. Max Feagai
6. Corey Norman
7. Ben Hunt
8. Blake Lawrie
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Josh Kerr
12. Tariq Sims
13. Josh McGuire
14. Poasa Faamausili
15. Billy Burns
16. Daniel Alvaro
17. Kaide Ellis
18. Jackson Ford
19. Junior Amone
20. Mathew Feagai
21. Adam Clune

Team Changes

IN: Adam Clune, Jackson Ford, Mathew Feagai, Poasa Faamausili
OUT: Zac Lomax

Bulldogs Team

1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
2. Nick Cotric
3. Will Hopoate
4. Corey Allan
5. Nick Meaney
6. Jake Averillo
7. Kyle Flanagan
8. Dylan Napa
9. Sione Katoa
10. Luke Thompson
11. Adam Elliott
12. Chris Smith
13. Corey Waddell
14. Bradley Deitz
15. Renouf Atoni
16. Ava Seumanufagai
17. Matt Doorey
19. Lachlan Lewis
20. Joe Stimson
21. Tuipulotu Katoa
23. Ofahiki Ogden

Team Changes

IN: Joe Stimson, Lachlan Lewis, Ofahiki Ogden, Tuipulotu Katoa
OUT: Brandon Wakeham

Referee: Ben Cummins

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Dragons

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The tide really turned on Anzac Day when coach Anthony Griffin made a number of unneeded team changes. They were walloped by the Roosters, lost both wingers to suspension and then lost star centre Zac Lomax and winger Cody Ramsay in the shock loss to the Tigers last weekend.

Before that, they were looking very good. A forward pack that was dominant, halves that were clicking and combinations that were coming up with points.

This is a danger game for the Dragons, who shouldn’t expect a win over a Bulldogs side who is beginning to find some heart.

Bulldogs

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After a lucky but gritty win over the Sharks, Trent Barrett’s men played for all of 20 minutes against Parramatta last weekend and paid the price.

Their defence was awful but their attack looked good in that small stanza of decent football.

Make no mistake, they’re a long way off where they need to be but at least the heart in starting to comeback.

PREVIEW

This is a tough one to pick. On form, the Bulldogs should get the points. St George are down on troops big time and have several players out of position as a result.

They’re in a bad bit of form but they’re also a good enough team to bounce back.

Barrett has publicly condemned his sides poor defence but it’ll take more than that to get the points here. Flanagan needs to take more control and their error rate needs a drastic improvement to give themselves a chance of winning.

KEY STAT

Since 2018 the Dragons have won four of their six clashes, including a big 40-4 win at Jubilee Stadium in 2019. It was a game where Ben Hunt scored twice as the Dragons ran in seven tries to one.

PREDICTION

Bulldogs by 4.

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