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After being embarrassed by Newcastle, prompting interim coach Dean Young to compare their efforts to "under-eights stuff", the Dragons can save face at home against the mighty Storm to end another turbulent season.

Second-placed Melbourne are down a few troops but based on what we've seen in recent weeks, St George Illawarra will need to drastically lift to upset Craig Bellamy's finals-bound side.

The Storm have scored 108 points across their past three games while the Dragons leaked 102, so the hosts will have their hands full.

The rundown

Team news

Dragons: Paul Vaughan (eye) is out, with Kaide Ellis starting at prop and Tyrell Fuimaono joining the bench. Jordan Pereira was the other player omitted from the extended squad on Saturday.

Jayden Sullivan will debut in the halves alongside the returning Adam Clune with Ben Hunt suspended.

Brayden Wiliame and Corey Norman were the two players left out an hour before the match.

Max Feagai has been called onto the wing with Jordan Pereira out and prop Eddie Blacker handed a debut on the bench, while Euan Aitken (hamstring) has returned at centre.

Jacob Host (calf) is back in the second row with Tariq Sims moving to the bench and Tyrell Fuimaono out while Blake Lawrie will start with Kaide Ellis benched. The Dragons have lost four from five at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium this season.

Storm: In changes announced an hour before kick-off, Aaron Booth (No.18) will start at lock and Max King drops back to the bench. Albert Vete and Dean Ieremia were omitted an hour before kick-off.

Plenty of players rested at Melbourne with an entirely new backline. Ryan Papenhuyzen (Achilles) will return with Nicho Hynes shifted to the bench. Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu are rested with Sandor Earl and Issac Lumelume on the wings. Brenko Lee and Justin Olam are out with Ricky Leutele and Paul Momirovski the new centre pairing. Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes are rested with Ryley Jacks and Cooper Johns in the halves.

Cameron Smith, Jesse Bromwich, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Felise Kaufusi, Kenny Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona are rested from the pack. Brandon Smith will start at hooker with the returning Christian Welch and Tui Kamikamica at prop, Tom Eisenhuth and Chris Lewis forming a new back row. 

Trent Loiero and Judda Turahui were trimmed from the extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. The Storm have won six of their past eight games against the Dragons.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Max Feagai
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Sandor Earl
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Ricky Leutele
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Paul Momirovski
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Cody Ramsey
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Isaac Lumelume
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Jayden Sullivan
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Ryley Jacks
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Cooper Johns

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Tui Kamikamica
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Dragons is number 15 Kaide Ellis
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Tyson Frizell
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Tom Eisenhuth
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jacob Host
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Chris Lewis
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jackson Ford
    Lock for Storm is number 18 Aaron Booth

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Tariq Sims
    Interchange for Storm is number 13 Max King
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Josh Kerr
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Nicho Hynes
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Eddie Blacker
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Darryn Schonig
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 21 Tyrell Fuimaono
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Aaron Pene

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Cecchin
  • Touch Judge: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Cameron McInnes v Brandon Smith. Whether he plays hooker or lock, McInnes is the heart and soul of the Dragons and the proud skipper will be desperate to inspire his troops after last week's hiding. Smith, meanwhile, gets his chance to pull the strings from hooker with chief playmakers Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster on the sidelines.

Stat attack

Despite their consistency, there is only one category in which Melbourne are the league leaders - dummy-half runs (291).

The Dragons rank 10th in that category with 179 and may need their outside backs to step in for more scoots to match the Storm's production.

2020 NRL Fans Poll

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