Craig Cauchi previews Sunday’s afternoon clash between the Dragons and the Cowboys.
St George Illawarra Dragons Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: Netsrata Jubilee Stadium
Date: Sunday July 31, 4:05pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Dragons: 1. Moses Mbye 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Jack Bird 4. Zac Lomax 5. Tautau Moga 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Tyrell Sloan 15. Aaron Woods 16. Francis Molo 17. Josh Mcguire 18. Michael Molo 19. Mathew Feagai 20. Jaiyden Hunt 21. Tyrell Fuimaono 22. Jackson Ford
Tyrell Sloan has been named on the bench with Moses Mbye filling the fullback role with Ramsey out injured. Jack Bird moves to the centres allowing for Aaron Woods to be named on the bench.Embed from Getty Images
Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Coen Hess 9. Reece Robson 10. Luciano Leilua 11. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 15. Jake Granville 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 18. Connelly Lemuelu 19. Ben Hampton 20. Reuben Cotter 21. Brendan Elliot 22. Ben Condon
The Cowboys bring the same 17 from their Round 19 clash into Sunday’s encounter. Reuben Cotter has been named in the reserves and is a chance of proving himself fit in time for the afternoon clash.
Referee: Chris Sutton
By the time the players take the field Sunday afternoon it will have been a week to the day since the Cowboys last round match ended in controversial fashion. While much of the talk surrounding the Dragons will be centred on them keeping their finals hopes alive, plenty attention will be given to the Cowboys and their lucky escape last week. Though if the away side can put that noise to the side they’ll be gunning for the chance to solidify their spot inside the top 4 and place themselves in the box seat for a top 2 finish.
These two sides met 7-weeks ago in Townsville and was the first match after Origin 1 to be played that round. The Cowboys players were buoyed by their returning representatives and put in a top quality first half with plenty of fast ball movement to take a strong lead into the halftime break. The Dragons momentarily threatened a comeback but the Cowboys steadied to grind out a comfortable victory in the end. Since then the Dragons have put together some inconsistent results while the Cowboys have only dropped one game.
The Dragons were able to get into the grind in their last match against Manly but they’ll be concerned of a repeat of their clash against the Roosters if their middle third cannot hold up. The Cowboys were wasteful with the ball in their opening half against the Tigers but came out more focused on exploiting gaps around the middle of the ruck. While Manly focused a lot of their attack on the Dragons left hand defence it’s more likely that the visitors will follow a similar game plan to the Roosters, who dominated the Dragons down the middle of the park. Much of the focus this week for the Red V will be on how well they can limit the away teams impact from their forwards.
The Dragons this week announced the immediate axing of two of their assistant coaches as they prepare to move in a different direction for the remainder of the season and 2023. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the team in the build up to the match and the approach Anthony Griffin will make without them.Embed from Getty Images
It’s hard not to mention the curious trend that appears to be occurring with the Dragons this year. In the 9 matches they have won this season they have been the team to score first while their 9 losses have come after the opposition have scored first. Whichever way the first four pointer goes may be telling of the match.
Follow Nothing But Rugby League on Facebook