St George Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Sharks
UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
The St George Illawarra Dragons will do battle with the Cronulla Sharks for the second time in two months on Friday, May 12 at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.
The two combatants had a high amount of players each take part in NRL Representative Round, and neither came through unscathed.
Dragons fullback Josh Dugan's (fractured cheekbone) friendly fire with teammate Russell Packer in the Trans-Tasman Test will see him miss the next three weeks.
As a result, Jason Nightingale shifts to fullback with Taane Milne (wing) and Jai Field (bench) earning promotions in coach Paul McGregor's 17.
The Sharks will have to make do without back-rower Tony Williams (ACL) who is out for the season following his showing for Tonga at the Pacific Test Invitational last Saturday.
Sharks veteran Luke Lewis's return from a hamstring injury sees him slot in as T-Rex's replacement.
Dragons: 1. Jason Nightingale, 2. Nene Macdonald, 3. Euan Aitken, 4. Tim Lafai, 5. Taane Milne, 6. Kurt Mann, 7. Josh McCrone, 8. Russell Packer, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tyson Frizell (c), 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims, 15. Leeson Ah Mau, 16. Hame Sele, 17. Jai Field, 18. Kalifa Faifai Loa, 19. Jacob Host, 20. Luciano Leilua, 21. Siliva Havili.
Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Jack Bird, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Gerard Beale, 6. James Maloney, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Luke Lewis, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: 14. Joseph Paulo, 15. Chris Heighington, 16. Jeremy Latimore, 17. Kurt Capewell, 18. Sam Tagataese, 19. Daniel Mortimer, 20. Edrick Lee, 21. Kurt Dillon.
Key Match-Up: Kurt Mann v James Maloney – Mann will face his biggest test as a NRL five-eighth against incumbent New South Wales Origin playmaker James Maloney. Thrown from position to position in 2017, Mann's sought consistency should allow him to make inroads against the Sharks. Surprisingly Maloney has only two try assists to his name this season, meaning he could very well turn it on this weekend as well.
The History: Played 39; Dragons 20, Sharks 18, Drawn 1. The Red V were last start winners against the Sharks following their 16-10 win back in Round 3. As a result the Dragons extended their recent record over their local rivals to seven wins in their past 10 meetings.
Match Officials: Referee: Gerard Sutton. Assistant Referee: Chris Butler. Sideline Officials: Brett Suttor and Phil Henderson.
Televised: Fox League – Live coverage from 5:30pm
Radio: ABC and Triple M