Match Preview: NRL Round 20

Wests Tigers will look to build on their impressive 46-18 win over the Bulldogs in Round 19 when they take on the St. George-Illawarra Dragons this Sunday.

The dominant win over one of the competition favourites will have done the hosts the world of good this week, and they’ll be eager to make it back-to-back wins this Sunday as they keep their hopes of a top-eight finish alive.

Given how tight it is in the race for the eight, two points could be crucial.

The Dragons saw a mini-winning streak ended by the Sea Eagles on Monday Night Football to close our Round 19; they’ll be desperate to get back to the form that saw them topple the Wests Tigers 44-24 in their Round 1 match.

Who will get the points this weekend?

Will it be the Wests Tigers young guns that fired so well against the Bulldogs or will it be Benji Marshall’s men who prove too strong on the day?

Read on for a full preview of this week’s Round 20 matchup including all the key details, team news, analysis, statistics and more.

Click here to get your tickets for our Round 20 clash against the Dragons on Sunday, July 27!

Match Details

Date — Sunday, July 27, 2014

Time — 3:00pm (Gates open 12:40pm)

Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

 

TV and Live Stream Details

Channel 9 will provide coverage of the match (check local guides) but on a one-hour delay commencing at 4:00pm AEST. A live stream of the match is available via the NRL’s Digital Pass, but also on a delay (subscription required).

 

Confirmed Squads

Wests Tigers

1. Mitchell Moses 2. Keith Lulia 3. Tim Simona 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Pat Richards 6. Blake Austin 7. Luke Brooks 8. Aaron Woods 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Curtis Sironen 12. Bodene Thompson 13. Adam Blair (Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanufagai 15. Martin Taupau 16. Dene Halatau 17. James Gavet 18. Sauaso Sue)

 

St. George-Illawarra Dragons

1. Adam Quinlan 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Dugan 4. Gerard Beale 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Benji Marshall 8. Ben Creagh 9. Mitch Rein 10. Mike Cooper 11. Leeson Ah Mau 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin (Interchange: 14. Bronson Harrison 15. Shane Pumpi 16. Will Matthews 17. Jack Stockwell 19. Nathan Green 24. Charly Runciman)

 

Last Five Matches

Wests Tigers

R14 — South Sydney Rabbitohs 32 def. Wests Tigers 10

R16 — Wests Tigers 19 def. Canberra Raiders 18

R17 — Penrith Panthers 26 def. Wests Tigers 10

R18 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40 def. Wests Tigers 8

R19 — Wests Tigers 46 def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18

 

St. George-Illawarra Dragons

R14 — Penrith Panthers 18 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 14

R15 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 19 def. Gold Coast Titans 18

R16 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 24 def. Melbourne Storm 12

R17 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 27 def. North Queensland Cowboys 24

R19 — Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 21 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 12

 

Match History: Played 29, Won 13, Lost 15, Drawn 1

 

Number to Know — 5

When these two sides met back in Round 1, it was Wests Tigers on the end of an attacking masterclass from the Dragons — one that both Robbie Farah and Mick Potter think they brought upon themselves. The young Wests Tigers kicked the ball dead or allowed it to be caught in goal on five occasions that game — allowing the Dragons to get several seven-tackle sets and dominate field position — and that certainly went a long way to getting the two points. They’ll be looking for a sharp improvement in the kicking game of halves Luke Brooks and Blake Austin this week to ensure they don’t repeat the process this time around.

 

Coach’s Comment

"I think they're an underrated pack. I think they're going to be tough to break down. Their edges with Josh Dugan, Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop are hard to contain; they play with a lot of out-the-back but also against-the-grain. They're kicking off the inside and outside and creating trouble for our back three. We're going to need more people working on last tackle for us..." (Mick Potter, NRL Head Coach)

 

Individual Stats Leaders

 

Wests Tigers

St. George-Illawarra Dragons

Points

Pat Richards (135 points)

Gareth Widdop (91 points)

Tackles

Adam Blair (513 tackles)

Mitch Rein (636 tackles)

Hit-Ups

Aaron Woods (175 hit-ups)

Ben Creagh (166 tackles)

Total Metres

Aaron Woods (1910 metres)

Ben Creagh (2033 metres)

 

Key Player Stats

  • Pat Richards ranks fourth in the NRL for total points scored (135)
  • Mitch Rein ranks sixth in the NRL for total tackles (636)
  • Luke Brooks ranks first in the NRL for turnover tackles (12)
  • Robbie Farah ranks first in the NRL for dummy-half runs (86)
  • Pat Richards ranks equal first in the NRL for intercepts (4)
  • Benji Marshall ranks equal second in the NRL for handling errors (11)
  • Luke Brooks ranks first in the NRL for missed tackles (82)

 

Team Stats

 

Wests Tigers

St. George-Illawarra Dragons

Position

9th (22 points)

12th (20 points)

Points For

344 points (8th)

315 points (13th)

Points Against

396 points (13th)

378 points (11th)

Penalties For

120 penalties (4th)

105 penalties (12th)

Missed Tackles

543 tackles (13th)

438 tackles (4th)

Line Breaks

65 linebreaks (11th)

64 linebreaks (12th)

2014 Home Record

Played 8: Won 5, Lost 3

Played 10: Won 5, Lost 5

2014 Away Record

Played 9: Won 4, Lost 5

Played 7: Won 3, Lost 4

2014 Total Record

Played 17: Won 9, Lost 8

Played 17: Won 8, Lost 9