Andrew Pelechaty previews the opening game of Round 15 …
St George Illawarra Dragons Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Date: Thursday June 16, 7:50pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Dragons: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Josh Kerr 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Billy Burns
Two wingers are back for the Dragons: Mikaele Ravalawa and Mat Feagai. Jonathon Reuben and Tautau Moga drop out respectively.
Jaydn Su’A is in the starting side, Francis Molo goes to the bench, and Josh McGuire (groin) is out. Hooker Andrew McCullough will play his 300th NRL game.Embed from Getty Images
Rabbitohs: 1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Siliva Havili 17. Hame Sele 18. Peter Mamouzelos 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Dean Hawkins 21. Jed Cartwright 22. Liam Knight
Just one change for Souths: Blake Taaffe joins the bench and Peter Mamouzelos drops to the extended bench.
This is a big game between two sides in top eight contention.
While the Dragons (sitting just outside the eight) entered the bye with wins over the Warriors and Canterbury-Bankstown, their heavy loss to North Queensland was humbling.
While Souths haven’t been as electrifying as last year, they turned it on against the Wests Tigers (44-18) and the Gold Coast Titans (30-16) and sit in seventh. Alex Johnston scored hat-tricks in both games, bringing up his 150th NRL try in the Titans win.
On current form, Souths should win this comfortably, especially if Johnston gets going again. Could he score a hat-trick of hat-tricks? The Dragons are 1-6 against current top eight teams, including losing 24-12 to the Rabbits in Round 5.Embed from Getty Images
South Sydney and the old St George Dragons are first and third in the all-time NSWRFL/NSWRL/ARL premierships. Souths have 21 (14 runners up), while the pre-merger Dragons have 15 (12 runners up), equal with the Eastern Suburbs/Sydney City/Sydney Roosters (15/15). The St George Illawarra Dragons have one premiership (from two grand finals).
Rabbitohs by 12.
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