NRL Round 13: Bulldogs v Dragons Preview & Betting Tips
What better way to wind down the long weekend than another game? The Bulldogs host the Dragons with both sides desperate to win
Canterbury Bulldogs v St George Illawarra Dragons – ANZ Stadium – 4:00pm
Can things get much worse for the Doggies? Once again finding themselves in 16th, Canterbury look a side fresh out of attacking ideas. Their 12-10 loss to Canberra was particularly painful considering how understrength their opponents were via Origin and a wasted opportunity for a badly needed win.
The Dogs clawed their way back into the contest with Jack Cogger and Marcelo Montoya’s tries levelling the game at 10-all with 15 minutes left but ball security betrayed them and when compounded with ill-discipline allowed Canberra to sneak home via Jarrod Croker’s late penalty goal and desperate scrambling defence. Coach Dean Pay continues to largely keep the faith in his struggling team however, naming a mostly unchanged 17. However given their systemic attacking problems (averaging just 12.67 points per game in 2019), whether Pay decides to make some last-minute changes to shake up his side remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the Dragons are facing their own crisis, losing five straight games and now with the unenviable record of surpassing 20 points only twice in 2019. Their 22-9 loss to Cronulla summed up their recent form slump – they had the slender 9-8 halftime lead but never looked like a genuine chance of adding to their tally in the second half – they seemingly ran out of ideas. Corey Norman’s return from his facial injury is a welcome one, along with Matt Dufty returning to fullback in an attempt to kickstart the flailing Dragon attack.
The Sharks defeat was compounded with Tim Lafai (ankle) and inspirational stand-in captain James Graham (leg) suffering injuries which will bench them for the representative season. With the likes of Ben Hunt, Paul Vaughan and Tyson Frizell playing in the forwards for Origin 1, it’ll be a nervous wait for coach Paul McGregor. He’s responded with naming all three in his reserves – a potential game of cat and mouse awaits with his final 17. For all their recent woes, the Dragons have an opponent in a similar boat to them and if they cannot deliver a breakthrough win, McGregor will be facing intense scrutiny once again – even if he’s got the safety of his recent extension.
Key stats: These sides met in round five with the Dragons thrashing Canterbury 40-4. The Bulldogs have scored 10 points or fewer in seven of their 12 matches this season. The last time the Dragons lost six straight was round 19, 2015.
Best bet: Race to 10 points – Dragons - $1.66*
Value bet: Away team to win both halves - $3.30*