NRL Preview Round 26: Warriors Vs Dragons

The Warriors will lock down third place on the NRL ladder should they beat the Dragons in their final home fixture for the regular season.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

New Zealand Warriors Vs St George-Illawarra Dragons
Venue: Go Media Stadium
Date: Friday August 25, 8pm (local – 6pm Sydney)

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Josh Curran 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jackson Ford 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Freddy Lussick 18. Tom Ale 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Edward Kosi 22. Te Maire Martin 23. Kalani Going

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Michael Molo 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Ryan Couchman 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Zane Musgrove 18. Toby Couchman 19. Jayden Sullivan 20. Max Feagai 21. Sione Finau 22. Jaiyden Hunt

Referee: Peter Gough

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

The current New Zealand Warriors side move a step closer to eclipsing the club’s longest winning streak when they host St George-Illawarra Dragons in their round 26 clash at Go Media Stadium.

Their win over the Sea Eagles last weekend saw the club draw level with a six-game winning streak that took place through their debut season between round 13 and round 18.

The club record stands at eight which was achieved during the 2002 season where the Warriors eventually went down to the Sydney Roosters on Grand Final day.

Should the 2023 side win against the Dragons and then Dolphins at Suncorp in round 27, they have a chance to break the club record in week 1 of the finals series. A win against the Dragons will assure the club will finish in third spot.

Back in 1995 it was the likes of Greg Alexander, Sean Hoppe, Phil Blake, Stacey Jones, Stephen Kearney, and English international Denis Betts that were integral cogs in the foundation season. Hoppe ended the season with 19 tries which was the third most in the ARL.

Fast forward 28 years and the Warriors have Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Shaun Johnston, Addin Fonua-Blake and Tohu Harris leading the charge.

Watene-Zelezniak is in unstoppable form at the top of the try scoring charts with 21 alongside Alex Johnston and Jamayne Isaako. Fonua-Blake leads the most post contact metres and Johnson the most try assists with 25.

Johnson will play his 250th NRL match and the Warriors will be looking to make it a big celebration for the popular halfback.

A lot of experts discounted the Warriors under rookie coach Andrew Webster, but they have certainly proved the rugby league community wrong.

When these sides met during the Origin period mid-season, Watene-Zelezniak pocketed four tries as the Warriors recorded a massive 48-18 victory in a game that popped the balloon out of interim coach Ryan Carr’s honeymoon period. The Dragons only victory since was against the Tigers in round 21.

The Dragons will compete but with not much to play for this one could go south quickly for the Red V.

New Zealand Warriors play their 300th match at Go Media Stadium (formerly known as Mount Smart Stadium) with a 57%-win record.

LAST TEN MATCHES

Warriors 6, Dragons 4

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Warriors by 16 points.

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