Thu, Jun 9, 12:09am by Kevin Pitstock
The Bench mark team St George Dragons are facing off with the Titans this Friday to kick off the round 14 NRL weekend. With all of the Dragons representative players out for Origin it is the perfect time for the Titans to snap their 4 game losing streak. The problem with this equation is that the Dragons are on a 10 game undefeated streak. Wayne Bennet’s vacancy from the team last week as a result of his mother’s passing seemed to have an effect on the moral of the team as they put in a less than impressive performance against the Eels. They were still able to remain undefeated for the 10th fixture in a row as they drew after both teams were unable to score in Golden Point extra time. The Titans were upset at home against the Panthers who are travelling well at the moment, going down by a predicted 13+.
Last year the Dragons were one of the very few teams to walk away with the competition points at skilled park as they defeated the Titans 25-16. This match sees the Titans travelling down to WIN Jubilee stadium, where they have met just once, the Titans surprisingly winning in Round 20 of 2010 by 11-10. Can they make a repeat of this effort? Lets have a look.
Ben Creagh (O)
Beau Scott (O)
Jamie Soward (O)
Darius Boyd (O)
Trent Merrin (O)
Mark Gasnier (O)
Dragons Preview – WWWWD
The Casualties list this week is plagued with Origin Rep stars out marked by the “(O)”. This has a massive effect on the strike power of the Dragons with the best players all missing. Further to this their back line is lacking with their a couple of starters and second string players missing due to injury. Matt Prior is used to playing in the forwards, he even slots into the Front Row when needed, can you believe he is in the Centre position this week? Incredible! Yet he does have some toe so there will only be a little bit of pace missing, which is happily replaced with strength.
Jamie Soward and Darius Boyd are probably the two most important players for the Dragons, with them out it is almost a completely different team. They will struggle to score points in this one.
Titans Preview – WLLLL
The Titans put in yet another dismal performance against the Panthers last week, without Nathan Friend they really lose a lot of hard work in defence and good service at hooker. Riley Brown has been the replacement hooker for a couple of weeks, however he has a lot of improving to do if he thinks he is a first grade NRL player. In his place this week is little known Matt Srama, that means a third string hooker is lining up. Apart from this the Titans team is at pretty much full strength, so they really have no excuse for losing this one.
I mentioned earlier that the Dragons have very few points in them this weekend, this is probably their most fortunate opposition they could come up against, with the Titans averaging just 10.5 PPG in their last 4 starts. Over the season they have averaged just 14.5 PPG, the worst of any team in the competition. With these stats it is very likely that we will see a match with less than 30 points scored.
This tip is made extremely hard by the fact the Dragons have so many players out. At a similar time last year the Dragons were up against the Panthers, a game that ended in a 10-6 score line. We can expect the same this week, with the Titans taking the cake home.
The Titans are slight outsiders in this one, with the best odds to be had through Centrebet @ $2.00.
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