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Game day guide: Round 18 v Roosters

The Dragons travel to Gosford to take on the Sydney Roosters at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here is your Round 18 game day guide.

Dragons down two troops

St George Illawarra will travel to Gosford without two usual starters in their squad with Tariq Sims (suspension) and Mikaele Ravalawa (hamstring) both unavailable.

Jack De Belin will cover Sims' spot at lock while Aaron Woods is the new face on the bench.  Replacing Ravalawa on the wing is Tautau Moga who returns to the side for the first time since Round 14.

The only other change to the side is the return of Ben Hunt at the expense of Jayden Sullivan.

Chooks pack boosted

The Tricolours welcome back prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who has recovered from a hamstring injury and will come off the interchange in his first game since Round 12.

Joey Manu will once again wear the No. 6 jersey with Luke Keary (concussion) still unavailable, while new recruit Matt Lodge is a chance of making his club debut after being included in the reserves.

Origin toll

Coaches and clubs face one final Origin affected round as the 2022 State of Origin series wraps up this week.

Dragons captain Hunt might be required to play extra minutes with Maroons playmaker Cameron Munster ruled out (Covid) leaving Anthony Griffin to make decision on his fitness later in the week.

The equation is more difficult for the Roosters with three players in New South Wales' starting side. Captain James Tedesco, winger Daniel Tuopu and forward Angus Crighton will all be asked to back up in Gosford.

Home straight

It's crunch time for teams lingering on the fringe of the top eight and Saturday’s clash shapes a crucial encounter.

The Dragons (9th) and Roosters (10th) are separated by just two competition points but with a better for-and-against the Roosters will jump the Dragons if successful on the weekend.

The Tricolours haven't been this low on the ladder at this time of the year since their 15th-place finish in 2016.

We'll have to see something special from Trent Robinson's men who are currently on a four-game losing streak.

Last time we met

Red V fans will have fond memories of the last time the two sides did battle with the Dragons claiming Anzac Day honours over the Roosters earlier this season.

The Dragons held off a late surge from the Roosters to claim the Anzac Cup 14-12 in a thrilling match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Match Highlights: Anzac Cup v Roosters

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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