Dragons v Warriors NRLW preview

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St George Illawarra Dragons v Warriors Saturday 12:30pm at Stadium Australia

A disappointing NRLW season will come to an end for both the Dragons and Warriors but first both sides will look to secure their only victory of the NRLW season on Saturday afternoon.

Coming into the season as favourites, the St George Illawarra Dragons will be bitterly disappointed with their efforts in 2020 following their grand final appearance last season and their victory at the NRLW 9s in Perth at the beginning of the year. The Red ‘V' have been struck by injury across the two weeks with almost all their key stars suffering from injuries at some point across the first two weeks including Isabelle Kelly and Kezie Apps who suffered serious injuries during last weekend's clash with the Broncos.

Last weekend, the Dragons came into the game knowing that they would need a victory to keep their grand final hopes alive but it was the Broncos who took control of the game. The Dragons were heavily affected by injuries following their opening clash with the Roosters in Canberra and the toll continued to mount with Isabelle Kelly, Kezie Apps, Maddie Studdon and Jess Surgis all injured during the contest.

The Red ‘V' have named Maddie Studdon and Jess Surgis in their side for Saturday's contest despite their injury concerns but they have lost Isabelle Kelly and Kezie Apps to their injuries suffered last week. Dragons coach Daniel Lacy could have the advantage of recalling Shakiah Tungai to his side after missing the clash with the Broncos due to a Shoulder injury.

The New Zealand Warriors have lost no admirers in the opening two rounds of the competition having had to scramble a side together given the COVID restrictions and the inability for many NZ based players to head to Australia. Whilst suffering defeats in their first two games, the Warriors have proven they were not walk overs when they ran out to an 8-0 lead over the Broncos before the Broncos ran over the top of them.

Last weekend, the Warriors couldn't find the combinations that they needed to put their attack together as the Roosters were able to run out to an early lead that the Warriors couldn't pull back despite two late tries at the end. The Warriors have been lucky to keep their squad relatively stable and injury free during the competition which has given them good experience.

The Warriors have made a number of positional changes to their side with Hilda Peters named at hooker with Kanyon Paul dropped from the Warriors 17. The other changes to the Warriors side have seen Samantha Economos named in the 10 jersey, whilst Shaniah Power is named in the second row.

Last meeting: Round 2 2019 - Warriors 6 Dragons 26

Who to watch: Having been a part of the Dragons squad for all three NRLW seasons, Keeley Davis will move into the halves for the Dragons this week after playing in the 9 jersey for the opening rounds of the competition. Being only 20, Davis has already represented Australia and will be an important key to the Dragons this weekend.

Warriors captain Georgia Hale has been a touch disappointing this season for the Warriors with a lack of impact from the Kiwi international. Hale has strong defence and attacking games but whether it be through game circumstances, Hale hasn't really stood up as much as what would've been expected. The Warriors need Hale to lead from the front if they want to beat the Dragons.

The favourite: It's a hard pick to pick the favourites, both sides have been extremely disappointing this season and the Dragons have been hit by injuries.

My tip: This is a hard game to tip because both sides will be desperate for the victory, the Dragons are affected by injury but still have a quality line-up. The Warriors also have a strong line-up and the fact they have had reasonable stability could see them get home. Warriors by 4.

1. Sam Bremner 14. Teagan Berry 2. Rikeya Horne 3. Jessica Sergis 5. Jaime Chapman 6. Keeley Davis 16. Jade Etherden 8. Ellie Johnston 9. Aaliyah Fasavalu-faamausili 10. Stephanie Hancock 11. Georgia Page 12. Talei Holmes 19. Maddison Weatherall 13. Elsie Albert 15. Christine Pauli 17. Mahalia Murphy

1. Karina Brown 2. Madison Bartlett 3. Shontelle Stowers 4. Evania Pelite 5. Ellia Green 6. Kirra Dibb 7. Naomi Kara 8. Crystal Tamarua 9. Hilda Peters 10. Samantha Economos 14. Teaghan Hartigan 12. Tazmin Gray 13. Georgia Hale 11. Shaniah Power 15. Taimane Levu 17. Michaela Peck 20. Laken Paitai

Referees: Belinda Sharpe; Sideline Officials: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski, Drew Oultram; Video Referees: Steve Clark;

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