Round 9 Preview: St George Illawarra Dragons vs Melbourne Storm

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Sunday, May 6th
Jubilee Oval
2:00pm AEST
 
 

Dragons: 
1 Matthew Dufty
2 Nene Macdonald
3 Euan Aitken
4 Tim Lafai
5 Jason Nightingale
6 Gareth Widdop (c)
7 Ben Hunt
8 James Graham
9 Cameron McInnes
10 Paul Vaughan
11 Tyson Frizell
12 Tariq Sims
13 Jack De Belin
Interchange: 
14 Jeremy Latimore
15 Kurt Mann
16 Leeson Ah Mau
17 Reece Robson
Reserves:
18 Jacob Host
19 Zachary Lomax
20 Mitchell Allgood
21 Hame Sele
 
Storm:
1 Billy Slater
2 Suliasi Vunivalu
3 Will Chambers
4 Curtis Scott
5 Josh Addo-Carr
6 Cameron Munster
7 Ryley Jacks
8 Christian Welch
9 Cameron Smith (c)
10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
11 Felise Kaufusi
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Dale Finucane
Interchange: 
14 Brandon Smith
15 Kenny Bromwich
16 Joe Stimson
17 Sam Kasiano
Reserves: 
18 Young Tonumaipea
19 Patrick Kaufusi
20 Tui Kamikamica
21 Brodie Croft
 
Match Preview:
Boy aren’t we all in for a treat. We have the table topping Dragons taking on the well in form defending premiers from the south. This is the most hyped game of the year, and it’s gonna be good! 
 
First up we have the home side. The form side of 2018 and the team to beat this year. The Dragons have been simply spectacular to watch! Apart from their one loss, they have looked unstoppable, not even close games. The offensive fire power of the Dragons is terrifying if you’re not supporting them, and the form that the team is playing in puts them deservingly up the top. Players who were once average have become superstars, and their once superstars are... well, super superstars. The Dragons are the real deal this years folks. I think we will see them on Grand Final day.
 
The Melbourne Storm. Finally hitting their stride again after a rough start to the season. This is the team I predict the Dragons meeting on Grand Final day, and at the way these two teams are playing, it could be one of the best ever! The Storm have looked unstoppable as well since their last out defeat to the Wests Tigers. The Storm haven’t been gentle, they obviously didn’t like the start to the year and are making everyone pay! The forward pack which started the year quite soft has really upped their intensity, and along with those outside backs that make the Storm oh so dangerous, it’s an onslaught. Get ready for this one fans!
 
Key Match Ups.
 
Matt Dufty vs Billy Slater.
Ahhhh man am I excited for this battle! The ageless Slater is at his very best like usual. The way he’s going, I don’t see him ever retiring.
 
Matt Dufty, in my opinion the best fullback of 2018 so far. This kid is the answer to all Dragons fans questions about the #1 jersey, and he is set for his biggest match up to date.
 
Gareth Widdop vs Cameron Munster.
The kid has been in career best form. For years we saw Munster move throughout different positions, but after last year’s Origin and how this year has started, it’s definitely obvious that the #6 jersey is his home.
 
This Pom is on fire. He’s in career best form, and as a Kiwis supporter, I’ve ever more terrified of him taking this form into the English camp. He’s been possibly the best player of the 2018 campaign so far.
 
Cameron McInnes vs Cameron Smith.
If your name is Cameron, you need to be a football play. Cameron’s are killing it! McInnes is one of those and he’s fighting for that Blues jersey. One of the best Hookers in the game if not equal best with Damian Cook.
 
Smith may be slowing down a little, but he’s still one of the best masterminds of the game. Smith will be out to dominate the Dragons pack, and if his past is anything to go by, we won’t see him fail.
 
Stonecold’s Prediction: Dragons by 2.
This is the hardest prediction I’ve made this year. I’ve tipped the Storm, but may have to change it. The Dragons at home will have a packed house, and I’m thinking whenever these two meet it’ll be the home ground advantage that gets my tip. The Dragons will be tough to beat, but if anyone can do it, it’s the Storm. I got the Dragons just edging it out but.
 
-Stonecold.



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