A much needed win will come for one of these sides.
Stgeorge Illawarra and Gold Coast have had a wretched time of it lately and will be keen to get a late season win here. The Dragons at least are still in contention for a spot in the top eight but the Titans only have pride to play for.
The Dragons will come into this with their confidence low after blowing a late lead to lose to Souths 26-24 at SCG while the Titans are coming off a 54-nil flogging at home to Brisbane.
Three rounds ago it looked for certain that Stgeorge Illawarra would be heading towards the finals.
Their 52-22 win over Manly gave the indication that they had returned to their early season form, however, it was merely an illusion as they’ve since dropped games to Newcastle and Souths which should have been wins. Ultimately those dropped points could come back to haunt the merged entity.
They are now in ‘must-win’ mode for the final month but they need to lift their intensity significantly, even if it is against the fading Titans, if they want to win.
Making their task a bit harder is the fact Josh Dugan is in doubt but has been named while Tyson Frizell will start this week rather than coming off the bench.
Beware a wounded beast!
The pride of the Titans players will be at an all-time low after being held scoreless last week against Brisbane. They were overrun, outclassed and lacked any enthusiasm once the Broncos began going through them at will.
The performance indicated that the Gold Coast players have clocked off for the season which is a little understandable considering they can’t make the finals.
Even still, teams have a knack of bouncing back the following week after a big loss and if the Titans are ever going to win another game this season then it could be against the Dragons.
Are you prepared to take $3.30 @ bet365 about them?
The Titans may fancy their chances here considering they have won back-to-back matches against the Dragons.
Their consecutive wins is the most they have racked up in succession against the Red V with their latest win being back in Round 17 on the Gold Coast. On that particular occasion they out-enthused the Dragons and ripped them apart on the edges with Anthony Don scoring a hat-trick.
Stgeorge Illawarra’s defence on its edges has been disgraceful all season so it could be worth having a few dollars on Don @ $36 (Sportsbet) to repeat the dose here.
Travelling to Kogarah won’t concern Neil Henry’s side either as they have left with the points on three of their four visits to the venue.
Reluctantly we are tipping you in to the Dragons although we aren’t declaring them at the price ($1.42 @ Centrebet).
We have said this for the past two weeks but they still have everything to play for and now that they aren’t comfortably in the eight any more, will that spurn them on to find something extra in the final few weeks of the season?
Paul Macgregor has pretty much kept the same side that has lost in the past two weeks so that shows he has faith in the players but the squad need to stand up. Gareth Widdop needs to take charge of his troops and make better decisions at the back end of games.
The Dragons lead the league for metres gained per game with just over 1700 and if they can replicate that here then it will give Widdop and Josh McCrone plenty of time to space to weave some magic, just like they did against Manly three weeks ago.
Gold Coast will be up for the challenge early and if they stifle the Dragons in the opening exchanges may just worry the home side out of it.
We think the Saturday afternoon timeslot, plus Kogarah Oval, will play to Stgeorge Illawarra’s favour though especially since they have won three of their four games at the ground this season.
JOEL THOMPSON ANYTIME TRYSCORER