NRL Preview: Round 19
Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons
GIO Stadium, Bruce
The St George Illawarra Dragons will look to get back into the winners circle this Friday night, when they take on a Canberra Raiders outfit desperate to keep their finals chances alive.
While neither Tyson Frizell or Euan Aitken have been named for the clash, the Dragons have selected Paul Vaughan on an extended bench to play his former club.
Fellow former Raider Josh Dugan has also been named on an extended bench, pending how he gets through Origin Game III on Wednesday night.
Youngster Matt Dufty has been named in the #17 jersey for the Dragons, and could make his NRL debut this Friday night.
Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Joseph Leilua, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Blake Austin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Junior Paulo, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Shannon Boyd, 11. Josh Papalii, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Iosia Soliola Interchanges: 14. Kurt Baptiste, 15. Luke Bateman, 16. Dave Taylor, 17. Joseph Tapine, 18. Michael Oldfield, 19. Erin Clark, 20. Clay Priest, 21. Royce Hunt
Dragons: 1. Jason Nightingale, 2. Nene Macdonald, 3. Taane Milne, 4. Tim Lafai, 5. Kurt Mann, 6. Gareth Widdop, 7. Josh McCrone, 8. Russell Packer, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Leeson Ah Mau, 11. Tariq Sims, 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Jack de Belin Interchanges: 14. Jacob Host, 15. Blake Lawrie, 16. Hame Sele, 17. Matt Dufty, 18. Jake Marketo, 19. Josh Dugan, 20. Luciano Leilua, 21. Paul Vaughan, 22. Will Matthews
Key Match-Up: Jordan Rapana v Kurt Mann: Coming off tries in back-to-back games, Kurt Mann will look to continue that trend Friday night against the second leading try scorer in the NRL, Jordan Rapana. While Rapana hasn’t crossed the line since Round 14, he has scored an impressive 14 tries in 16 games, while also leading the competition in line breaks (14).
The History: Played 27; Raiders 16, Dragons 10, Drawn 1. The Dragons have won their last four against the Canberra Raiders, including the last two at GIO Stadium.
Match Officials: Grant Atkins, Chris Sutton;Sideline Officials: Jeff Younis, Rohan Best;Video Referees: Bernard Sutton, Ben Galea;
Televised: Channel Nine – Live coverage from 7:30pm. Fox Sports 2 – Live coverage from 7:50pm.