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Gold Coast Titans v St George Dragons
Friday, June 30, 6:00pm (AEST) at Cbus Super Stadium

The Dragons found themselves down 28-10 against the Knights last week but a second half revival could have just saved their season from being derailed. They avoided a third straight defeat and have maintained a spot in the 8 as a result. The Titans are also coming off a win, albeit against the Tigers, but with Hayne and Hurrell each grabbing two tries the Titans could make a late season charge. The Dragons have been rocked by the injury to Paul Vaughan and his loss will most definitely have an impact on the Dragons go forward. Who will step up…

The last 12 matches between the Titans and Dragons have been split evenly. There has been little between them with 5  of the last 7 meetings being decided by a margin of 5 points or less. A deeper dive reveals that there CBUS Stadium has been the home of nail biters when St George come to town. There combined margin of victory in the last 4 encounters between them at the ground is just 9 points with two of the games being decided by a single field goal. 

Gold Coast are 14th on the ladder with a 5-10 record. The Titans had lost four on end but had few issues in disposing of an ordinary Tigers side last Friday. It was one of just four games they conceded fewer than 20 points. St George Illawarra nearly received the shock of the season when trailing Newcastle 28-10 before coming back to win 32-28. The Dragons are sixth on the ladder with a 9-6 record but have won just three of their last eight.

Key Matchup
Jarryd Hayne v Josh Dugan: They have had their fair share of criticism but just as we are ready to write them off they respond with match winning performances. Hayne shouldered much of the blame for the Origin II defeat on the back of his failure to put Morris over in the corner but he responded with the kind of performance that only he can produce. The same can be said about Dugan whose Dragons side had lost their last two with him on the sidelines. He ran for 255m, found the try line and laid on another to lead the Dragons second half revival. They may sometimes look out of place in the centres for NSW but when they are wearing the no.1 on their backs they are game changers!

Stats That Matter
– Gold Coast are 7-8 ATS with an 11-4 over record while St George Illawarra are 8-7 ATS with an 8-7 under record.
– Three of the last four matches have all topped 40 points.
– Gold Coast have covered just 2 of their last 9 at home but are 16-11 ATS as a home underdog.
– The Titans have failed to cover their last three as an underdog of less than a try at home with the over 8-3.
– The Dragons have covered three straight interstate games and are 13-7 ATS interstate since 2014.
– As an interstate favourite, they are 4-2 ATS.
– The Saints are 32-12 under in night games since 2014.

Final Thoughts
The loss of Paul Vaughan should not be underestimated – especially when we look at the Dragons recent form. They were poor against the Tigers, Bulldogs and Eels, averaging less than 10 points per game in that stretch, before a second half explosion against Newcastle. What used to be one of the NRL’s defence has been anything but with the Dragons conceded almost 23ppg in their last 3. With the Titans holding the unwanted mantle as the worst defensive team in the comp it is hard to see either team holding the other out. We have seen 3 of the last 4 between them top 40 points and The Wolf says they will swallow the total at CBUS.

How It’s Shaping Up
Gold Coast by 7

Best Bet
Over 40 points ($1.90)

Other Recommended Bets
Both Teams To Score 20 points – YES ($3.30) 

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