Hope remains that the Dragons could close the two-point gap on the top eight before the preliminary finals. The same can’t be said for the Titans as last week’s defeat saw their finals dreams ended.
St George were on the brink of a win last week, only for the South Sydney Rabbitohs to perform a miracle and snatch the points late on.
An embarrassing 54-0 loss leaves coach Neil Henry’s future with the Titans in question unless they can improve dramatically before the season’s close.
The Titans may face the Dragons without star half-back Ashley Taylor, who was unable to train on Wednesday after picking up a knee injury. It is still unknown whether he will play or not while Kevin Proctor’s involvement also remains in question due to his hamstring injury.
Tyson Frizell has been named on the bench for the Dragons.
2017 – Rd 17 Gold Coast 20 def. St George Illawarra 10 at CBus Super Stadium
2016 – Rd 19 Gold Coast 32 def. St George Illawarra 12 at UOW Jubilee Oval
2016 – Rd 7 St George Illawarra 19 def. Gold Coast 14 at CBus Super Stadium
2015 – Rd 25 Gold Coast 28 def. St George Illawarra 26 at CBus Super Stadium
2014 – Rd 24 St George Illawarra 34 def. Gold Coast 6 at UOW Jubilee Oval
The Titans have returned victorious from the last two encounters between the pair including a 20-10 victory in round 17.
|Matthew Dufty||1||1||Jarryd Hayne|
|Nene MacDonald||2||2||Anthony Don|
|Josh Dugan||3||3||Dale Copley|
|Tim Lafai||4||4||John Olive|
|Jason Nightingale||5||5||William Zillman|
|Gareth Widdop||6||6||Kane Elgey|
|Josh McCrone||7||7||Ashley Taylor|
|Leeson Ah Mau||8||8||Jarrod Wallace|
|Cameron McInnes||9||9||Nathan Peats|
|Paul Vaughan||10||10||Ryan James|
|Tyson Frizell||11||11||Kevin Proctor|
|Joel Thompson||12||12||Joe Greenwood|
|Jack de Belin||13||13||Max King|
|Tariq Sims||14||14||Tyrone Roberts|
|Hame Sele||15||15||Nathaniel Peteru|
|Blake Lawrie||16||16||Leivaha Pulu|
|Kurt Mann||17||17||Morgan Boyle|
|Jacob Host||18||18||Paterika Vaivai|
|Taane Milne||19||19||Pat Politoni|
|Jake Marketo||20||20||Phillip Sami|
|Luciano Leilua||21||21||Keegan Hipgrave|
The Facts That Matter
St George Illawarra Dragons
The Dragons rank first in the league for metres gained, averaging 1700 metres per game. This could be key in this fixture given the Titans’ overall lack of go-forward. Henry’s side are slumped in 15th place and will need their forwards, led by the fiery Ryan James, to take the game to the big Dragons pack.
St George’s quick start to the season has kept them in the top eight however they were overtaken by the resurgent Panthers last weekend. They need to find some of the early season form which had Gareth Widdop looking like one of the best playmakers in the game while Paul Vaughan and Jack de Belin were in contention for representative jerseys.
They will be without Russell Packer again this week but the Dragons should have no real issue in maintaining their dominant defence against a disjointed Titans outfit.
Gold Coast Titans
Henry and his side still have a long way to go before they can regain some trust from the Titans faithful and wider NRL public after last week’s showing. The Titans had good chances to score in the Broncos match but were shot down each time. They might still get opportunities against a Dragons side which has dipped in form significantly from their blistering start to the season.
The Titans should bounce back and put in a much better performance than they showed against the Broncos howver that might still not be enough for the points.
St George could dominate this one in the middle of the ruck and that will be enough to get the win. Dragons by 10 points.
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