Five things: Magic Round v Warriors

The St George Illawarra Dragons will once again travel to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium in 2019, though this time to take on the New Zealand Warriors in an epic weekend of rugby league. Here are five things about the upcoming match.

Magic Round

One of the biggest talking points ahead of this weekend is Magic Round, with every Round 9 NRL Telstra Premiership match to be played across four days at Suncorp Stadium.

The Dragons will take the field for the fifth match of the weekend kicking off at 5:30pm on Saturday.  The newly introduced concept will make things interesting with a capacity crowd expected but with many of whom supporting other teams, leaving it up to either side to win over the crowd.

Fond memories

It has only been five weeks since the Dragons last visited Suncorp Stadium for a match that saw our first points of the season.

A last-minute field goal to Corey Norman gave the Dragons a one-point victory over the Brisbane Broncos in a hard-fought contest that kick-started the Dragons season.

The Dragons' contingent will be missing the services of Norman this time around after the star playmaker recovers from a fractured cheekbone suffered in last week’s loss to the Parramatta Eels.

Warriors' record

While facing a team from New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium may be a unique experience for the Dragons, they can take confidence in their strong record over the Warriors.

The Dragons have won 21 of 28 meetings between the two sides including a dominant 11-game winning streak stretching from 2008 to 2015.

However, the Warriors have taken revenge against the Dragons in recent years, ending the Dragons' six-game winning streak to start last season and going on to win their most recent clash with an 18-10 triumph in Round 18.

Field day

With the absence of Corey Norman, Dragons young gun Jai Field gets another game in the top flight. Field has played a total of six games for the Dragons with his first appearance coming back in Round 1, 2017.

In each of his appearances, the Shellharbour junior has come off the bench and injected his pace and energy into game during the latter stages. Now Field gets his chance in the starting side wearing the No. 6 jersey.

Despite his brief experience in the NRL, Field played the Warriors in Round 11 of the 2017 season and helped the Dragons to a resounding 30-14 victory.  Having previously represented both the Junior Kangaroos and New South Wales Under-20s, keep a keen eye on Field as he stakes his claim for a place in the team. 

Dee-Fence

They say defence wins matches and luckily for the Dragons they have plenty of options in that department. Currently leading the NRL in tackles is captain Cameron McInnes who has racked up 388 tackles so far this season.

English international James Graham ranks just outside the Top 10 with 309 tackles while local junior Blake Lawrie is also high up the list with 287 tackles.

In contrast, the best defensive player from the Warriors is rookie Lachlan Burr who has made a total of 283 tackles this year. Despite the attacking potential of both sides, keep an eye on how the defensive battle plays out.