NRL Preview: Round 23
St George Illawarra Dragons v Gold Coast Titans
UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
St George Illawarra's season is on the line when the Gold Coast Titans head to Kogarah's UOW Jubilee Oval on Saturday afternoon.
With the Penrith Panthers precariously placed two points ahead of the Dragons in the NRL Telstra Premiership top eight, the Red V cannot afford to drop any further competition points.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor has called on young guns Hame Sele and Blake Lawrie to fill the void that remains in Russell Packer's absence. Josh Dugan (ankle) will also be given every opportunity to play.
The Titans will be boosted by the return of back-rower Kevin Proctor, who comes in at the expense of Agnatius Paasi.
Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty, 2. Nene Macdonald, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Tim Lafai, 5. Jason Nightingale, 6. Gareth Widdop (c), 7. Josh McCrone, 8. Leeson Ah Mau, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims, 15. Hame Sele, 16. Blake Lawrie, 17. Kurt Mann, 18. Jacob Host, 19. Taane Milne, 20. Jake Marketo, 21. Luciano Leilua.
Titans: 1. Jarryd Hayne, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Dale Copley, 4. John Olive, 5. Will Zillman, 6. Kane Elgey, 7. Ashley Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Ryan James (c), 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Joe Greenwood, 13. Max King. Interchange: 14. Tyrone Roberts, 15. Nathaniel Peteru, 16. Leivaha Pulu, 17. Morgan Boyle, 18. Paterika Vaivai, 19. Pat Politoni, 20. Phillip Sami, 21. Keegan Hipgrave.
Key Match-Up: Cameron McInnes v Nathan Peats – McInnes has an amazing opportunity to come up against the incumbent New South Wales Origin hooker this weekend. The NRL's leading tackler McInnes can put Peats on notice for future seasons to come with a big showing. Peats' season was impacted early due to injury but he has still managed to produce a strong season regardless and won't prove cannon fodder for the Red V.
The History: Played 18; Dragons 11, Titans 7. The Titans have won three of their past four meetings against the Dragons. Not only did the Gold Coast win by 10 points in Round 17, they also won the last time they were in Kogarah last year by a whopping 20 points.
Match Officials: Referee: Ashley Klein. Assistant Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski. Sideline Officials: Nick Beashel and Nick Morel.
Televised: Fox League – Live coverage from 2:25pm
Radio: ABC and Triple M