Everything was going beautifully for the Dragons in the first half hour of last week's clash with the Eels, but then everything went horribly wrong and a 14-0 lead quickly disappeared.

The 32-18 loss left them with a 4-4 record and teetering on the edge of the top eight.

Worse still are the mounting injuries for coach Paul McGregor, with Corey Norman (broken cheekbone) the latest high profile casualty. Tyson Frizell is also under an injury cloud.

The Warriors crashed to their sixth loss from eight games last week against Newcastle and are fighting an uphill battle to emulate last year's top eight finish.

Match: Warriors v Dragons

Round 9 -

Full Time
Warriors

Home Team

Warriors

Scored 26 points
Dragons

Away Team

Dragons

Scored 18 points

Venue: Suncorp Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

The Rundown

Team news

Warriors: The Warriors are 1-17, with Gerard Beale and Chris Satae dropping off the reserves list before kick-off. Isaac Luke and Chanel Harris-Tavita were dropped from the squad on Friday. Luke was left out due to form while Harris-Tavita won't play on account of Kodi Nikorima's arrival. David Fusitu'a (ribs), Bunty Afoa and Jazz Tevaga (both leg) require final fitness checks after missing last week's loss to the Knights. Fusitu'a trained on Wednesday.

Dragons: St George Illawarra are 1-17 with Jonus Pearson and Lachlan Timm cut from the 19-man squad on Saturday. Jai Field comes in for his first game of 2019 to replace injured five-eighth Corey Norman (cheekbone) in the only change to the 17 which faded badly in the second half against the Eels. Mitchell Allgood and Josh Kerr were the two players omitted 24 hours before kick-off.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jordan Pereira
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Zac Lomax
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Patrick Herbert
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Timoteo Lafai
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Jai Field
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Blake Green
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Agnatius Paasi
    Prop for Dragons is number 8 James Graham
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Nathaniel Roache
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Leeson Ah Mau
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Lachlan Burr
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Blake Lawrie

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
    Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Jeremy Latimore
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Euan Aitken
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Ligi Sao
    Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Jacob Host
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Karl Lawton
    Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Luciano Leilua

Key match-up

Ben Hunt has heard all the criticism in the past about his tendency to disappear in crunch time. With Norman sidelined, Hunt has a great opportunity to show he can be the 80-minute field general the Dragons need him to be. If he is going to earn an Origin recall Hunt needs to out-shine Warriors veteran Blake Green.

For the Warriors to win

After another lacklustre performance in last week's home loss to the Knights, it's make or break time for the Warriors. They've had some good wins at Brisbane in the past and might actually to prefer to play away from Mt Smart Stadium for this game. Stephen Kearney has to get his team re-committed to defence and staying strong for 80 minutes.

For the Dragons to win

They didn't seem to drop in confidence after the Anzac Day loss to the Roosters but it'll be interesting to see if the manner in which they were overrun by the Eels leaves any mental scars. McGregor needs to quickly settle on a replacement for Norman, but the Dragons' hopes rest largely on Hunt's shoulders on Saturday.

Brett Kimmorley says

With Corey Norman out, the Dragons will lose a lot in attack. Their forwards are good but Matt Dufty needs to remain strong in attack like he has been over the last couple of weeks. As for the Warriors, a likely new No.7 (Kodi Nikorima) might give them someone who can manage a game plan for them. I want to see Isaac Luke, Tohu Harris and the leaders in the forwards take control of the game. Dragons by 2

Stat Attack

The Warriors completed 75% against the Knights, which isn't all that bad except Newcastle completed 91% (29/32). They missed 32 tackles and their eight errors doubled that of the visitors. Blake Lawrie worked hard in the loss to the Eels, making 134m from 17 runs. He also had 15 hit-ups and 39 tackles in just 57 minutes of game time.

And another thing ...

Revenge should be high on the agenda for the Dragons after failing to beat the Warriors in two meetings last season. The Warriors ended the Dragons' six-game winning run to start the season with a 20-12 victory at Mt Smart Stadium in round seven before completing a 2-0 sweep with an 18-12 triumph at WIN Stadium in round 18. Neither team is travelling as well as they were this time last year.