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St George Illawarra enter their WIN Stadium clash with Canterbury on a rising trajectory as they seek revenge on the Bulldogs for a round four thumping that capped a dismal 0-4 start to 2020.

Since that 22-2 Bankwest belting at the hands of their fellow strugglers, Canterbury's only win so far, the Dragons have turned their season around with three wins in five outings to sit just two points behind a three-way tie for eighth place.

In that time they have lost only to last season's grand finalists the Roosters (26-12) and the Raiders (22-16) and registered their most impressive win of the season on Sunday, an emphatic 34-4 thumping of Manly.

Canterbury, in contrast, reaped nothing from that round four clash beyond the two points. Things have gone from bad to worse during a five-game losing skid which plumbed new depths in an error-ridden performance on Saturday which allowed former partners-in-misery Brisbane to snap their own six-game run of futility.

The Rundown

Team news

Dragons: The Dragons are 1-17. Winger Jason Saab replaces the suspended Jordan Pereira in the only change from last week's big win over Manly. Fullback Matt Dufty has scored eight tries from his past 10 games at WIN Stadium.

Tristain Sailor and Tim Lafai dropped out of the squad an hour before kick-off after Jacob Host and Korbin Sims were omitted on Friday.

Bulldogs: Interim coach Steve Georgallis has recalled Lachlan Lewis in the halves in place of Brandon Wakeham. Nick Meaney swaps to fullback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the wing.

Kerrod Holland starts at centre for the suspended Reimis Smith. Jeremy Marshall-King is back at starting hooker with Sione Katoa reverting to the bench.

Dean Britt and Jake Averillo were trimmed from the reserves list on game day after Wakeham and Chris Smith were cut 24 hours out from kick-off.

The Bulldogs have held the Dragons tryless in three of the past seven meetings of these clubs.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Jason Saab
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Kerrod Holland
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Marcelo Montoya
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Christian Crichton
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran Foran
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan Lewis

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden Tolman
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Ben Hunt
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan Napa
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Cameron McInnes
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Luke Thompson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Trent Merrin
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Sione Katoa
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Josh Kerr
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Tyrell Fuimaono
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Renouf Atoni
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Jackson Ford
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Ofahiki Ogden

Match Officials

  • Referee: Henry Perenara
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Video Referee: Bryan Norrie
  • Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell

Last updated:

Key match-up

Matt Dufty v Dallin Watene-Zelezniak: The diminutive Dufty has been a revelation for St George Illawarra, his speed and incisiveness playing a key role in igniting the Dragons' resurgent attack.

Watene-Zelezniak, on the other hand, has failed to provide any spark when handed the No.1 jumper, leading the league in errors (19) and handling errors (18). The Bulldogs custodian has just one try to his name this year (and only three over his past 34 games) against Dufty's 2020 tally of six.

Stat Attack

The Bulldogs' woes can be attributed in large part to their NRL-worst attack which has produced a meagre 94 points through nine rounds, their 16 tries lagging 10 behind 11th ranked St George Illawarra's 26.