The St George Illawarra Dragons will meet the Penrith Panthers on Sunday, June 4th at BlueBet Stadium, Penrith. This is your game day guide.
Hunt named to start, Su’A returns
Ben Hunt has been named to make his return for the Dragons after missing last week’s clash due to Origin commitments.
His return sees Jayden Sullivan revert to the interchange and Moses Mbye shift to the reserves.
Jaydn Su’A is also set to return from a hamstring strain to replace Jack Bird who will use the long turnaround to refresh his body.
Billy Burns comes into the starting side with Ben Murdoch-Masila dropping back to the bench and Toby Couchman listed among the reserves.
KOE Cup kick-off v Panthers: 3.45pm
NRL kick-off v Panthers: 6.15pm
Where: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
Watch: Kayo & Foxtel
Origin stars named for Panthers
Blues representatives Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton and Isaah Yeo have all been named to back up for the hosts on Sunday night.
The Panthers are expected to monitor their Origin stars following Wednesday's series opener with several players on standby should they miss the clash.
Spencer Leniu (groin), Izack Tago (pec), and Matt Eisenhuth (shoulder) have all been listed among the reserves as they eye returns from injury along with Jack Cogger, Luke Garner, Tom Jenkins and Liam Henry.
Dragons return to BlueBet
Sunday night’s clash will mark the Dragons’ first trip to the foot of the mountains in almost four years.
James Graham and Tyson Frizell co-captained the side on that occasion as the Panthers came away with a 22-point victory.
The side’s last win at Penrith came in Round 25, 2017 when an incredible, one-on-one strip courtesy of Tariq Sims laid the platform for the back-rower to race nearly 50 metres downfield in soggy conditions to claim what proved the match-winning try and snap Penrith’s seven-game winning streak.
Jack de Belin is the only Dragon who appeared in that outing that is set to run out for the side this Sunday with Blake Lawrie still sidelined with a hand fracture.
Last time they met…
It has been over a year since the Dragons last faced the defending premiers when Ivan Cleary’s men came away with a tight 20-16 win at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Round 2 of last season.
Despite being hit with a pair of contentious sin bins and finding themselves down 20-6, the Dragons stormed home via second half tries to Jaydn Su’A and Zac Lomax and came within inches of a miracle win late but ultimately fell short.