Saturday, August 18, 5:30pm
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
The Wests Tigers are a chance of moving into the top eight with a big win on Saturday against the St. George Illawarra Dragons at the ‘eighth wonder of the world’- Leichhardt Oval. These two sides met just over a month ago in Wollongong, where the Tigers upset the highly fancied Dragons 20-16, with Robbie Farah starring in a man-of-the-match performance.
It’s time to panic if you’re a Dragons fan, with Paul McGregor’s men dropping their past three games, including a drubbing by bottom-placed Parramatta in round 22 by 36 points. The opposite is true for the Tigers, as they chase a possible finals berth. They will need to win as many of their remaining games as possible and hope the Broncos falter. They are in good form, winning three of their past four match including a narrow 22-20 win against Canberra last weekend.
Stats That Matter
- Fans and spectators might love Leichhardt Oval, but the Tigers’ recent record at their spiritual home is unimpressive, as they have won only eight of 19 matches at the venue since 2014.
- The Dragons are without 82 per cent goal kicker Gareth Widdop for the match through injury, with halfback Ben Hunt converting only 69 per cent of kicks in his career.
- These two teams have met only once at Leichhardt Oval, way back in 2001 with the Dragons winning 27-22.
- Wests have not covered only three of 10 matches as favourites this season, which they are in this match.
- The Tigers are 12-7 ATS against the Dragons since 2008 at all venues.
The Wolf knows that the Dragons faded away badly in 2017, losing four of their final six games to miss the finals. They need one more win to guarantee some September action and without Gareth Widdop, it’s time for Ben Hunt to show everyone why he’s a million dollar player.
How It Shapes Up
St. George by 2.
Best: St. George 1-12 ($3.20)
Value: St George. 1-6 ($4.75)
First Tryscorer: Esan Marsters ($15)