Preview: Round 6 v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
The St George Illawarra Dragons will be looking to record their fourth straight victory against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Sunday (4.00pm).
The Dragons will be confident heading into a match-up boasting the best defensive record in the competition, conceding only 58 points following their 13-0 shut-out performance against the Newcastle Knights last round.
However, they now come up against one of the best attacking sides in the competition in the Bulldogs, who have scored the equal fourth most four pointers (19) so far this year, with winger Curtis Rona leading the competition with six tries, while Sam Perrett has four.
While the Bulldogs will be hurting following their 18-17 Good Friday loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, two time Premiership winning coach Des Hasler will surely have his side up for the clash, as they desperately try to avoid back to back losses.
With Sam Kasiano, David Klemmer and James Graham all suspended for this encounter, the forward-pack may be slight lighter against the Dragons.
The Bulldogs have been one of the most disciplined clubs with the ball so far in 2015, recording the second fewest errors (48) in the NRL, while they have given away the second fewest missed tackles (103), second only to the Dragons (98).
Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor has named an unchanged line-up to the one that handed the Knights their first loss of 2015 just under a week ago.
Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop will take to the field for his one hundreth NRL appearance while prop Rory O'Brien joins a five-man extended interchange.
The same cannot be said for the Bulldogs, with Des Hasler being force to make a whole host of changes as a result of injury and suspension.
Tim Browne has been named to take the spot of James Graham in the front row, while Lloyd Perrett and Antonio Kaufusi being added to a five man bench to replace Kasiano and Klemmer.
Former Dragons winger Brett Morris has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, meaning Sam Perrett moves to fullback, with Corey Thompson set to play on the wing.
Finally, Tim Lafai’s injury means Mose Mbye moves into the centres, while Josh Reynolds has been named in the five-eighth jersey, with Chase Stanley expected to start the game on the bench.
The Bulldogs have a good record over the Dragons, winning 17 of 27 between the two sides, including their last five, dating back to the 2011 season.
The Dragons overall record is better at ANZ Stadium, having won 22 of 42 (52%) encounters at the venue.