NRL Preview
St George Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers

Saturday, June 3, 3pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Both sides have key players involved in State of Origin 1 on Wednesday night and will be sweating on their stars getting through unscathed. The Dragons have named their NSW representatives, Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell on an extended bench, while playmaker Gareth Widdop has also been named in the squad to make his return from injury. The Tigers welcomed Warriors discard Tui Lolohea to the club during the week and he’ll make his debut in the No.6 jersey on Saturday. James Tedesco and Aaron Woods will back up if they pull up well after Origin 1. Jack Littlejohn replaces Luke Brooks for a consecutive week in the halves, while Sauaso Sue misses the clash through suspension.
The Dragons have won 4 of the last 6 clashes with the Tigers including a 28-6 win in Round 5 this year. Dragons winger Jason Nightingale scored a hat-trick in the 22-point victory. The Dragons have also won 4 of the last 5 clashes against the Tigers at ANZ Stadium.
The Dragons are fifth on the ladder with a 7-4 record. They lost three straight before entering the bye with a dominant 30-14 win over the Warriors in New Zealand. The Dragons have conceded at least 13 in five straight after doing so just once in the first six rounds. The Saints have scored 22-plus in 6 of their last 8. The Tigers are down in 15th on the ladder with a 3-8 record. The Tigers dropped their last three before the bye, following a respectable 22-16 loss to Cronulla with embarrassing performances against South Sydney and Brisbane. The Tigers have conceded at least 22 points in 8 of their last 10 and have lost the last two matches by a combined 64-8.
Key Matchup
Paul Vaughan v Aaron Woods. Vaughan has not only been the signing of the season but he has arguably been the best forward in the competition over the first 12 rounds of the competition. He’s tied in second spot on 14 points with Paul Gallen on the Dally M Medal leaderboard and will be determined for a big performance here against Aaron Woods, the man who many suggest should have missed out on NSW selection in favour of Vaughan. The Tigers are looking light in the forwards with the suspension of Sue and the injury to Josh Aloiai, and it will be up to Woods once again to carry the Tigers pack if they’re to cause an unlikely upset here.
Stats That Matter

  • St George Illawarra are 8-3 ATS with a 6-5 over record while the Wests Tigers are 4-7 ATS with a 7-4 under record.
  • The Dragons have won 4 of the last 6 clashes with the Tigers including a 28-6 win in Round 5 this year.
  • St George Illawarra have won 4 of the last 5 at ANZ.
  • Four of the last five matches meetings have failed to break 40 points.
  • The Dragons have been the top cover team this year.
  • St George Illawarra have covered 5 of their last 9 when favoured by more than a converted try while they are 10-5 over in games as a favourite by 6.5 or more.
  • The Tigers are 14-21 ATS with a 22-13 over record when an outsider of 8 or more.
Final Thoughts
The Tigers are struggling at the moment, while the Dragons have been the surprise packets of the competition. The Dragons will only be boosted by the return of Gareth Widdop and look to have a clear advantage in the forwards. The Red V should win this one comfortably.
How It’s Shaping Up
St George Illawarra by 16
Best Bet
St George Illawarra Dragons 13+ ($2.30)
Other Recommended Bets
Over 43.5 ($1.88)

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