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Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons

Tuesday, April 25, 4pm (AEST), Allianz Stadium, Sydney

The Dragons have been the surprise packets this season and many experts are waiting for them to fall off their perch sooner rather than later. This will be a big test against a strong Roosters side, but The Wolf is starting to think that the Dragons are the real deal and their no-nonsense style of football will work a treat in a low-scoring affair. The Dragons have been boosted by the return of Josh Dugan in the No.1 jersey, while Latrell Mitchell and Dylan Napa have been named on an extended bench for the Roosters.
The Roosters and Dragons have played some thrillers on ANZAC Day over the years and The Wolf is expecting nothing different on Tuesday afternoon. The Roosters have won 7 of their last 9 against the Dragons but the Saints have won the last two and nine of the last 11 Anzac Day games. The Dragons won last year’s ANZAC Day clash 20-18, while the Roosters bounced back in a big way in the Round 24 clash with a 42-6 victory. Blake Ferguson and Daniel Tupou both crossed for doubles on that occasion.
The Sydney Roosters opened the season with four straight wins before back-to-back losses and an unconvincing win over Newcastle. The Roosters have posted more than 20 just once since Round 2. The Chooks are fourth on the ladder with a 5-2 record. The Dragons have been the hot team in the NRL and remarkably lead the premiership with a 6-1 record, the best attack and the third best defence. The Saints have won their last five and have posted 26-plus in their last four. They have won all three road games this year.
Key Matchup
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves v Paul Vaughan. The Wolf is expecting a physical battle and these two enforcers will go a long way to deciding the fate of their respective sides. Waerea-Hargreaves toes a fine line with his aggression, but if he can control it, he’ll be one to watch for the Dragons pack. Vaughan has been one of the signings of the season and has been the Dragons best player alongside Gareth Widdop. Vaughan keeps things simple by going forward all day long and will create plenty of space for Widdop to weave his magic.
Stats That Matter
Sydney Roosters are 4-3 ATS with a 4-3 under record while St George Illawarra are 5-2 ATS with a 4-3 over record. The Roosters have won 7 of their last 9 against the Dragons but the Saints have won the last two and nine of the last 11 Anzac Day games. Three of the last four matches have tallied 38 points or fewer. The Dragons have covered 6 of their last 9 as an underdog.
Final Thoughts
The Wolf is surprised that the Dragons have drifted out to 4 point outsiders and it’s impossible not to take the Dragons with the generous start. The Dragons have one of the most underrated packs in the competition, but are riding high on confidence and always lift on ANZAC Day. Definitely look value as outsiders.
How It’s Shaping Up
St George Illawarra by 4
Best Bet
St George Illawarra +4 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
St George Illawarra 1-12 ($3.75)

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