Competition leading tri-colours prove they have grit to go with the flash.
While much has been made of the Sydney Roosters attack this NRL season, Trent Robinson’s men showed they have what it takes defensively to be considered premierships favourites this season.
After their grinding 18-12 win against the Manly Sea Eagles last round, the Roosters have shown themselves to be the best defensive side in the top four currently.
In a massive boost for the Roosters, James Maloney (cheekbone) returns, with Sonny Bill Williams reverting to the back row and Isaac Liu relegated to 18th man.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves made a big impact for Sydney in his return from his five week suspension and he will again look to lead from the front.
The Dragons have plummeted towards the bottom of the ladder in recent weeks and their task will not be made any easier this weekend with the suspension of fullback Josh Dugan.
Dugan has been one of the few bright signs for the Dragons after being picked up in a mid-year signing after his contract was terminated by Canberra.
With State of Origin III around the corner, Dugan took the early plea and will only miss one week with Adam Quinlan replacing Dugan (suspension, round 19) at fullback.
Trent Merrin returns, with Dan Hunt (knee, indefinite) dropping out and Jack de Belin pushing into the front row.
Charly Runciman could be a great young prospect for the side and Matt Cooper could return soon from a toe injury despite his status still being listed as out indefinitely.
Tip: Sydney Roosters by 20
ST GEORGE DRAGONS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS at WIN Jubilee Oval
DRAGONS: Adam Quinlan, Brett Morris, Nathan Green, Charly Runciman, Jason Nightingale, Chase Stanley, Nathan Fien, Jack de Belin, Mitch Rein, Jack Stockwell, Tyson Frizell, Ben Creagh (capt), Trent Merrin. Interchange: Cameron King, Leeson Ah Mau, Matt Prior, Michael Weyman, Will Matthews, Atelea Vea (two to be omitted).
Ins: Adam Quinlan, Brett Morris, Will Matthews, Atelea Vea
Outs: Josh Dugan (suspension, round 19), Dan Hunt (knee, indefinite)
Others unavailable: Bronson Harrison (broken hand, round 19), Gerard Beale (knee, season), Kyle Stanley (knee, season), Matt Cooper (toe, indefinite)
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello (capt), Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Luke O’Donnell, Mitchell Aubusson, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Aidan Guerra, Sam Moa, Isaac Liu (one to be omitted).
Ins: James Maloney
Others unavailable: Jack Bosden (hip/wrist, indefinite), Martin Kennedy (knee, season)
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