It's been the season from hell for Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

He lost Jack de Belin at the start of the season, Gareth Widdop went down in round three, while James Graham, Tyson Frizell, Corey Norman, Korbin Sims and others were all sidelined at various stages with injuries.

Once they fell into a slump the Dragons never dug themselves out. If they'd just scraped home for a few more wins they'd still be fighting for a finals berth but that ship has well and truly sailed.

The Titans have lurched from bad to worse over the past few weeks and need to take more pride in their performance as a team.

Match: Dragons v Titans

Round 21 -

Full Time
Dragons

Home Team

Dragons

Scored 40 points
Titans

Away Team

Titans

Scored 28 points

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

The Rundown

Team news

Dragons: Blake Lawrie and Zac Lomax have been left out of the squad to face the Titans. Lawrie suffered a nasty knock late in the side's loss to the Eels, while Lomax was suffering from a hamstring strain. The Dragons have scored 96 points in their past two games against the Titans. They will line up 1-17 as named on Tuesday, with Tristan Sailor and Josh Kerr the last players cut before kick-off.

Titans: Ash Taylor is out, replaced at five-eighth by Tyrone Peachey. Nathan Peats (knee injury) is also out, with Mitch Rein to start at hooker. Peats and Anthony Don were the two players to drop out of the squad 24 hours before game time. Leilani Latu has been promoted from the reserves to the bench, while Treymain Spry was omitted an hour before kick-off. The Titans have conceded 208 points in six consecutive losses.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Corey Norman
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jason Saab
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Jesse Arthars
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Kallum Watkins
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Timoteo Lafai
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Brian Kelly
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Phillip Sami
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Gareth Widdop
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 14 Tyrone Peachey
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Ryley Jacks

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 James Graham
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
    Hooker for Titans is number 18 Mitch Rein
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Jai Whitbread
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Patrick Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Sam Stone
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tyson Frizell
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Jai Arrow

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Jeremy Latimore
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Korbin Sims
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Brenko Lee
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Jackson Ford
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Bryce Cartwright
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Luciano Leilua
    Interchange for Titans is number 21 Leilani Latu

Key match-up

Throughout the Dragons' dire season, inspirational hooker Cameron McInnes has been one player who has never given up. He's pitted against rugged rake Nathan Peats, who is also a tackling machine.

For the Dragons to win

They've tightened up defensively in recent weeks but have hit the wall offensively. Playmakers Norman, Hunt and Widdop have to do a better job of actually making plays, Tariq Sims and Tyson Frizell need to live up to their reputations, while Tim Lafai has to step up and prove he deserves to keep his spot.

For the Titans to win

If last week's hammering from the Roosters doesn't stir some pride and passion in the Titans then it's hard to imagine what will. They have five games remaining in what has been a wretched season and should at least try to finish as strongly as possible for the sake of their fans.

Brett Kimmorley says

Both teams need to show something looking towards 2020. The entire coaching staff of both clubs are probably coaching for their future just as the players are. Gareth Widdop has been a good servant to the Dragons and they will be looking to send him off well. In saying that, I can’t find any reason as to why either side will play well. Dragons by 2

Stat Attack

Dragons captain Gareth Widdop certainly enjoys facing the Titans. In his past two games against Gold Coast, the English five-eighth has produced six try assists, six line break assists, three line breaks, a try and 16 goals.

And another thing ...

Paul Vaughan is one tough hombre. The Dragons prop made one of the more memorable defensive plays of 2019 with his one-handed tackle on Parra's Clint Gutherson last Sunday. Vaughan had just dislocated his finger when Gutherson broke into the clear and a try beckoned if Vaughan hadn't grabbed a handful of his jersey. The finger is back in place and Vaughan is expected to play on Saturday.