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Preview: Dragons v Warriors

One of their best defensive performances of the season could be the signal for a turnaround in the fortunes of defending premiers St George Illawarra, who face one of the most important games since last year's grand final this Sunday.
Preview: Dragons v Warriors
by NRL

One of their best defensive performances of the season could be the signal for a turnaround in the fortunes of defending premiers St George Illawarra, who face one of the most important games since last year's grand final this Sunday.

A sixth consecutive loss would just about be curtains for the Dragons, who would then be faced with the possibility of finishing seventh or eighth on the ladder or even being eliminated from the top eight altogether if results go the wrong way in Round 26.

It has been a stunning slide by the premiers but there were enough positive signs in their 8-6 loss to Melbourne last Friday night to suggest that their fightback is under way.

The Dragons defended their line stoically in the second half at AAMI Park in a performance that is expected to translate into a more confident performance against the Warriors this Sunday.

The Dragons have proven something of a bogy team for the Warriors over a long period and the Kiwi outfit hasn't registered a winning result in Wollongong since 1996.

Take a penalty goal to either side as First Scoring Play but consider a Dragons win by 1-12 points.

First Tryscoring candidates include Jason Nightingale, Matt Cooper and Brett Morris for the Dragons or Krisnan Inu, Kevin Locke or Joel Moon for the Warriors.

St George Illawarra v Warriors
WIN Stadium
Sunday 2pm


St George Illawarra Dragons
1 Darius Boyd, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Mark Gasnier, 4 Matt Cooper , 5 Jason Nightingale, 6 Jamie Soward, 7 Ben Hornby [c], 8 Dan Hunt, 9 Dean Young , 10 Michael Weyman, 11 Beau Scott, 12 Ben Creagh, 13 Matt Prior. Subs: 14 Adam Cuthbertson, 15 Trent Merrin, 16 Jon Green , 17 Kyle Stanley, 18 Nathan Fien, 20 Mitch Rein (two to be omitted).

New Zealand Warriors
1 Kevin Locke, 2 Bill Tupou, 3 Joel Moon, 4 Shaun Berrigan, 5 Krisnan Inu, 6 James Maloney, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 Russell Packer, 9 Aaron Heremaia, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Feleti Mateo, 12 Simon Mannering [c], 13 Micheal Luck. Subs: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Lance Hohaia, 16 Ben Matulino, 17 Sam Rapira, 18 Elijah Taylor (one to be omitted).

Prediction - Matthew O'Neill: Dragons by 14

OVERALL:
Total Games: 17
St George Illawarra Dragons wins: 13. [Pts: 440]
New Zealand Warriors wins: 4. [Pts: 295]
Draws: 0

Biggest wins:
St George Illawarra Dragons: 54 pts: 2000 National Rugby League - Round 14 - [View] Sat May 6: Dragons 54 d. Auckland 0 [Crowd: 7039]
New Zealand Warriors: 28 pts: 2007 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 18 - [View] Sun: New Zealand Warriors 44 d. St George Illawarra Dragons 16 [Crowd: 10037]

Biggest Crowd: 2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 2 - [View] Sat Mar 20: Warriors 10 l. Dragons 16 [Crowd: 16425]

Last 50 games against each other form line (most recent matches at end of line):
St George Illawarra Dragons: LWWLWWLWWWWLWWWWW
New Zealand Warriors: WLLWLLWLLLLWLLLLL

Last 10 games:
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 3 - [View] Sun: New Zealand Warriors 12 l. St George Illawarra Dragons 25 [Crowd: 11651]
2010 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 13 - [View] Sun: New Zealand Warriors 20 l. St George Illawarra Dragons 22 [Crowd: 8312]
2009 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 20 - [View] Sun: New Zealand Warriors 4 l. St George Illawarra Dragons 29 [Crowd: 13507]
2009 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 8 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 d. New Zealand Warriors 11 [Crowd: 14562]
2008 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 24 - [View] Sun: St.George-Illawarra Dragons 34 d. New Zealand Warriors 6 [Crowd: 11583]
2007 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 18 - [View] Sun: New Zealand Warriors 44 d. St George Illawarra Dragons 16 [Crowd: 10037]
2006 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 10 - [View] Sat: Dragons 22 d. Warriors 16 [Crowd: 10117]
2005 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 13 - [View] Sat: Dragons 32 d. Warriors 18 [Crowd: 14479]
2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 23 - [View] Sat Aug 14: Dragons 28 d. Warriors 10 [Crowd: 12520]
2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 2 - [View] Sat Mar 20: Warriors 10 l. Dragons 16 [Crowd: 16425]

Overall record at WIN Stadium, Wollongong (NSW) Stats:
St George Illawarra Dragons: 81 games, won 51, drawn 4, lost 26.
Last 5 games:
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 23 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 l. Sydney Roosters 20
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 21 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 24 l. South Sydney Rabbitohs 34
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 17 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 10 l. Newcastle Knights 14
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 16 - [View] Mon: St George Illawarra Dragons 24 d. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6
2010 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 11 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 14 l. Canberra Raiders 22

New Zealand Warriors: 9 games, won 1, drawn 0, lost 8.
Last 5 games:
2009 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 8 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 d. New Zealand Warriors 11
2008 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 24 - [View] Sun: St.George-Illawarra Dragons 34 d. New Zealand Warriors 6
2006 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 10 - [View] Sat: Dragons 22 d. Warriors 16
2005 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 13 - [View] Sat: Dragons 32 d. Warriors 18
2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 23 - [View] Sat Aug 14: Dragons 28 d. Warriors 10

Head to Head at WIN Stadium, Wollongong (NSW) Stats:
Total Games: 7
St George Illawarra Dragons wins: 7. [Pts: 220]
New Zealand Warriors wins: 0. [Pts: 79]
Draws: 0

Last 5 games:
2009 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 8 - [View] Sun: St George Illawarra Dragons 12 d. New Zealand Warriors 11 [Crowd: 14562]
2008 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 24 - [View] Sun: St.George-Illawarra Dragons 34 d. New Zealand Warriors 6 [Crowd: 11583]
2006 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 10 - [View] Sat: Dragons 22 d. Warriors 16 [Crowd: 10117]
2005 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 13 - [View] Sat: Dragons 32 d. Warriors 18 [Crowd: 14479]
2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 23 - [View] Sat Aug 14: Dragons 28 d. Warriors 10 [Crowd: 12520]

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