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The Dragons remain in the mix for the eight after a good win over Manly but they face a stern test of their credentials against the Cowboys on Sunday.

When the two sides met in round 14 it was the Cowboys running away with the game 31-12 in Townsville and Todd Payten's men have gone on with the job since then to sit alone in second spot.

Should the Cowboys go on to secure an all important top-four spot they will look back on the round 15 miracle comeback against Manly and the round 19 great escape against the Tigers as pivotal moments in their season.

The Dragons face a gruelling run home with games against the Cowboys, Sharks and Broncos to come but they have given themselves a fighting chance of being part of the September action.

The Rundown

Team news

Dragons: There are no late changes for the home side. Moses Mbye takes the No.1 jersey with Cody Ramsey out, Jack Bird goes to centre, Tariq Sims comes into the starting side at lock and Aaron Woods joins the bench. With Jayden Sullivan sidelined by a shoulder injury, Tyrell Sloan gets a recall on the bench for his first game since Round 10. 

Cowboys: Jamayne Taunoa-Brown will start with Luciano Leilua going back to the bench. Reuben Cotter will make his return via the bench after a layoff with a hamstring injury. Jake Granville moves back to 18th man. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Moses Mbye
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
  • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew Feagai
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
  • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
  • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Tautau Moga
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Talatau Amone
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
  • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben Hunt
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Jack De Belin
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Coen Hess
  • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
  • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake Lawrie
    Prop for Cowboys is number 16 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Billy Burns
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
  • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
  • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tariq Sims
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Tyrell Sloan
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 10 Luciano Leilua
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Aaron Woods
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Francis Molo
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame
  • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Josh McGuire
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 20 Reuben Cotter

Reserves

  • Replacement for Dragons is number 18 Michael Molo
    Replacement for Cowboys is number 15 Jake Granville

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Key match-up

Ben Hunt v Chad Townsend: Impossible to go past the battle of the two No.7s as the most intriguing and most important at Netstrata Jubilee on Sunday. With five tries in his past six games, Hunt has been lethal from close range and the Cowboys will need to be extra vigilant if they're to prevent the Dragons skipper from adding to that tally. Townsend may not be scoring tries but he is laying them on for fun, racking up 15 try assists, eight line break assists and 11 forced dropouts in a campaign that has been all class and composure.

Stat Attack

The Cowboys have come up with 59 try assists so far this season, 20 less than the No.1 ranked Panthers (79) but 16 more than the Dragons (53) who are 13th on the list.

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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