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Warriors And Dragons Face Off!


Warriors And Dragons Face Off!

Warriors And Dragons Face Off!



Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons

When: Friday, May 19, 2017.

Where: FMG Stadium, Waikato.

Watch it: LIVE - SKY Sport 2  from 7.30pm.

It’s hard to piece together any preview of a Warriors-Dragons match without straight away going to the head to head record between the teams.

And in case you weren’t aware, for the Warriors, it’s a horror story.

Including the round four clash this year at Kogarah that the Dragons won 26-12, from 25 games overall, St George Illawarra has triumphed 20 times; the Warriors, a mere five.

Until the Warriors toppled the Dragons at Mount Smart Stadium last year, they had tasted defeat in 11 straight contests that dated back to 2007.

So with the historical statistics out of the way, now we can move into the present. Despite the fact the two clubs are seven places apart on the ladder, both are entitled to be a little desperate after the events of round ten.

How quickly can the Warriors bounce back from their collapse against Penrith?

They have stated how they won’t let one bad half define their season, but unless the fans see an instant response they will be left to wonder about the real credentials of Stephen Kearney’s team.

Meantime the Dragons are on the slide. After leading the competition, they’ve lost three games in a row that has coincided with a knee injury to star playmaker Gareth Widdop. They are also without fullback Josh Dugan. There are no two players more influential on their attack.

Among many features of the match I’m looking forward to is the battle up front with a Dragons pack featuring the in-form Russell Packer and Paul Vaughan against the much improved James Gavet and Jacob Lillyman.

I sense this match will have a semi-final style pressure about it, and we’re only halfway through May.

I’m backing the Warriors to win, but I wouldn’t want my life riding on the result. Make sure you tune in on Friday night to catch all the action on SKY Sport.

The hot tip:

I just have the feeling Shaun Johnson is going to produce his best game of the season this week. And the Warriors need it. 

If he stars, the tries might flow. And I don’t know that there are too many points in this Dragons team minus the big guns. 

Kiwi watch:

What a way to kick off the round this week on SKY Sport with a Thursday night battle between premiers Cronulla and North Queensland.

Meanwhile after the Warriors-Dragons game on Friday night you’ll be able to see Adam Blair, who has been linked to a move across the Tasman in 2018, spearhead a Broncos pack against the Tigers.

Your Saturday line up on SKY Sport has the Titans facing the Sea Eagles. Maybe Konrad Hurrell will prove match winner again as he did last weekend against Melbourne.

In the second of two games on Saturday night, Parramatta tackle Canberra with both teams coming off disappointing losses.

And on Sunday, it’s rugby league all afternoon and into the night. The 4pm match will see the Knights at home to the Panthers

At 6pm, Jared Waera-Hargreaves will lead a Roosters forward pack against the Bulldogs.

And the round will finish way across in Perth with South Sydney facing a Melbourne side still minus Jesse Bromwich. On a brighter note, Tohu Harris made a successful comeback to the NRL last week and will take his place in the Storm back row against the Bunnies.

From the vault:

It was good times for the Warriors in round 11, 2005.

Celebrating their 250th premiership match, the Warriors snapped a three game losing streak to outclass South Sydney 34-16 in a rare NRL game played at North Sydney Oval.

Manu Vatuvei, one of the Warriors six try scorers, was named man of the match.

My tips for round 11:

Sharks, Warriors, Broncos, Titans, Raiders, Panthers, Roosters, Storm.

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

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