2024 NRL: Round 3 Preview, Dragons Vs Cowboys

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 3 clash between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the North Queensland Cowboys.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

St George Illawarra Dragons V North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Date: Saturday 23rd March, 5:30pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan, 2. Zac Lomax, 3. Moses Suli, 4. Jack Bird, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Kyle Flanagan, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Jack De Belin, 9. Jacob Liddle, 10. Blake Lawrie, 11. Luciano Leilua, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Tom Eisenhuth, 14. Connor Muhleisen, 15. Michael Molo, 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 17. Viliami Fifita, 18. Christian Tuipulotu, 19. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 20. Mathew Feagai, 21. Ryan Couchman, 22. Alec Tuitavake

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Zac Laybutt, 5. Murray Taulagi, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Jordan McLean, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jason Taumalolo, 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Reuben Cotter, 14. Jake Granville, 15. Griffin Neame, 16. Sam McIntyre, 17. Jack Gosiewski, 18. Tomas Chester, 19. Thomas Mikaele, 20. Semi Valemei, 21. Marly Bitungane, 22. Jake Clifford

Referee: Belinda Sharpe

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MATCHDAY PREVIEW

The Dragons face an uphill battle in their attempt to bounce back from their last start loss, as they take on a red hot Cowboys side that is looking more and more like the side that made a preliminary final in 2022, rather than the shadow of themselves they produced in 2023.

The Dragons came crashing back down to earth in round 2 as they were trounced by The Dolphins 38-0 at Kayo Stadium. After a dominant performance in round one, Shane Flanagan’s ability to get his side back up following a dismal showing in their last start will be a key factor in this clash. If the premiership-winning coach can get the response he is looking for from the side they could really take the fight to the Cowboys come game time.

The Cowboys are riding the high from their two wins on the trot to start the season, having won a Golden Point thriller against the Knights. New captain Tom Dearden showed his ability as an X-Factor, scoring a try and looking threatening on many more occasions, and will want to continue to show how dangerous he can be when he takes the line on. If they can play at the level they have so far this season they should prove too good for the home side.

Dragons fullback Tyrell Sloan was dangerous in a well beaten side and the livewire will be hoping his forward pack can get on the front foot and give him plenty of room to move. On the other side of the park, Scott Drinkwater will look to make the most of any half chance given to him through his burst of speed to create for himself or throw his signature cut-out pass for a winger. The battle of the fullbacks should provide plenty of excitement for the fans in this one.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 3 Number Crunch.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Cowboys by 10 points.

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