Wests Tigers will look to end the 2015 season on a winning note when they take on the St. George-Illawarra Dragons in their Round 26 clash this Saturday.

Buoyed by their recent thrashing of the New Zealand Warriors, Jason Taylor’s side will enter the match with plenty of confidence as they look to end the season as far away as possible from the wooden spoon — able to finish as high as 11th depending on results.

However, the Dragons certainly won’t be rolling over without a fight.

After losing to the Gold Coast Titans last week, Paul McGregor’s side can confirm their spot in the finals with a victory on Saturday, or may have to wait until Sunday’s game to see how the Sea Eagles fare against the Sharks. Either way, there’s no doubting the intensity that the home side will bring on Saturday — having already lost to Wests Tigers earlier in the year — as they look to keep their top eight hopes alive with a much-needed two points.

It’s shaping as an intriguing clash on Saturday between two sides both desperate to win, albeit for contrasting reasons. Who will emerge with the two points on offer? Read on for a full match preview including all the team news, analysis, facts, figures and more!

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Match Details

Date — Saturday, September 5, 2015

Time — 5:30pm (Gates open 3:10pm)

Venue — ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park

 

Match Officials

On-Field Referees — Matt Cecchin and Gavin Morris

Touch Judges — Russell Turner and Adam Reid

Video Referees — Bernard Sutton and Luke Patten

 

TV, Live Stream and Radio Information

TV — Live via Fox Sports 1 (subscription required)

Live Stream — Foxtel Go, NRL Digital Pass (subscription required)

Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand, AM 873 2GB (check local guides)

 

Confirmed Squads

St. George-Illawarra Dragons

 

Wests Tigers

Josh Dugan

1

James Tedesco

Eto Nabuli

2

David Nofoaluma

Euan Aitken

3

Kevin Naiqama

Peter Mata’utia

4

Tim Simona

Jason Nightingale

5

Pat Richards

Gareth Widdop

6

Mitchell Moses

Benji Marshall

7

Luke Brooks

Leeson Ah Mau

8

Aaron Woods

Mitch Rein

9

Robbie Farah (capt.)

Mike Cooper

10

Sauaso Sue

Tyson Frizell

11

Curtis Sironen

Jake Marketo

12

Chris Lawrence

Trent Merrin

13

Martin Taupau

George Rose

14

Kyle Lovett

Ben Creagh (capt.)

15

Keith Galloway

Mark Ioane

16

Ava Seumanufagai

Jack de Belin

17

Dene Halatau

Craig Garvey

18

Manaia Cherrington

Justin Hunt

23

 

Paul McGregor

Coach

Jason Taylor

Update: Friday Sept. 3 — Jason Taylor has confirmed that Chris Lawrence will miss Saturday's game due to a pec injury sustained last week against the Warriors. Young hooker Manaia Cherrington (originally named as 18th man) will come into the squad.

 

2015 Recent Results

Wests Tigers

R21 — Wests Tigers 34 def. Melbourne Storm 16

R22 — Wests Tigers 20 def. Canberra Raiders 18

R23 — Newcastle Knights 24 def. Wests Tigers 18

R24 — Cronulla Sharks 40 def. Wests Tigers 18

R25 — Wests Tigers 50 def. New Zealand Warriors 16

 

St. George-Illawarra Dragons

R21 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 46 def. Newcastle Knights 24

R22 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 36 def. New Zealand Warriors 0

R23 — Brisbane Broncos 32 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 6

R24 — St. George-Illawarra Dragons 19 def. Penrith Panthers 12

R25 — Gold Coast Titans 28 def. St. George-Illawarra Dragons 26

 

Last Time They Met — Rd.2, 2015 (Wests Tigers 22 def. Dragons 4)

After a dominant first half from James Tedesco that saw the Wests Tigers fullback score a try and create two others, the home side took full advantage with a 22-0 lead after 30 minutes, before grinding out the match to emerge with a 22-4 victory over the Dragons. Pat Richards crossed for two tries for the hosts, along with Kevin Naiqama and Tedesco.

 

The History

·       Against St. George-Illawarra Dragons — Played 30, Won 14, Lost 16

·       At ANZ Stadium —  Played 9, Won 5, Lost 4

 

Numbers to Know

16 — Wests Tigers (81) have scored 16 more tries than the Dragons (65) this year, but come into the match with three less wins than the home side.

68 — The Dragons have made just 68 linebreaks this year, the fewest in the NRL.

174 — Wests Tigers have won 174 penalties this year, the most in the NRL.

2 — The Dragons have the second highest possession rate in the NRL this year 51.696%.

8343 — The Dragons have made 8343 tackles this year, the most in the NRL.