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Dragons v Wests Tigers: McGuire to start; rookie replaces Roberts

The Dragons have well and truly come back to earth after their heady four-game win streak had them in the upper reaches of the eight and the talk of the town.

St George Illawarra's winning run had been built on the back of their forwards out-muscling opposing packs but the Warriors flipped that script on its head in round six before Sam Walker and the Roosters blew the Dragons away on Anzac Day.

Anthony Griffin has plenty of work ahead of him to reignite that bully boy spark.

But as difficult as that assignment may be his counterpart Michael Maguire faces a challenge of another magnitude following Wests Tigers' ignominious collapse after a strong start against Manly.  

Dragons v Wests Tigers

The rundown

Team news

Dragons: In a positional switch announced an hour before the match, Josh McGuire will start at lock with Tyrell Fuimaono to come off the bench. Jackson Ford is the 18th man.

Ben Hunt will return from a leg injury. Dragons coach Anthony Griffin has shifted Jack Bird back to the centres after last week's five-eighth experiment.

Max Feagai will play his first game of the season with Jordan Pereira and Mikaele Ravalawa missing through suspension.

Kaide Ellis replaces Adam Clune on the bench. Poasa Faamausili was the other player to drop out of the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Dragons fullback Matt Dufty has scored 13 tries in 14 games at WIN Stadium.

Wests Tigers: Wests Tigers centre James Roberts has been ruled out of Sunday's clash with the Dragons, with Zac Cini to make his debut for the club.

Tommy Talau will start at centre with Cini to line up on the wing. Michael Chee Kam will be the 18th man.

Zane Musgrove and Tom Amone also dropped out of the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Wests Tigers have won three of their past four games against the Dragons.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
    Fullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Joseph Leilua
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Wests Tigers is number 5 Tommy Talau
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Max Feagai
    Winger for Wests Tigers is number 24 Zac Cini
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
    Five-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Adam Doueihi
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jake Simpkin
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
  • Lock for Dragons is number 15 Josh McGuire
    Lock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 13 Tyrell Fuimaono
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Moses Mbye
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Stefano Utoikamanu
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Billy Burns
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Alex Seyfarth
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 18 Kaide Ellis
    Interchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Thomas Mikaele

Reserves

  • Reserve for Dragons is number 21 Junior Amone
    Reserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee Kam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Matt Dufty v Daine Laurie: Laurie has been one of the high points of Wests Tigers' season. While other problems have emerged around him, Laurie hasn't needed very long to make the No.1 jersey his own for years to come. On his day Dufty is a match-winner, he just needs to make those days come around with greater regularity.

Stat attack

Wests Tigers play-makers Luke Brooks and Adam Doueihi will have to get their kicks away quickly with the Dragons (three, tied with Penrith) and second-rower Tariq Sims (two) leading the league in charge-downs.

 

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