Dragons vs Storm

Dragons vs Storm: NRL – National Rugby League Round 16 of the 2019 NRL season is upon us – the last of the Origin-affected bye rounds where there’s only four games to be played ahead of next Wednesday’s State of Origin decider.New South Wales and Queensland players are having the weekend off, which leaves a very interesting set of team sheets for this St George Illawarra vs Melbourne match-up.

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National Rugby League 2019
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We’ll see a sprinkling of new and familiar faces, new club signings getting their first run in a different jersey and a few regulars who we know can be relied on.The Storm are three games clear on top of the table and are racking up points for fun. They’ve got the best attack (359 points), matched by the stingiest defence (only 169 conceded, just 12 per game). Their 12-2 win loss record is without peer this season.

Their hosts St George Illawarra sit tenth with six wins from 14 games. Their season to date has been anything but what was expected from Dragons fans. They were one play away from a preliminary final in 2018 after finishing seventh, but they’ve regressed badly from the side that was in the top four for the majority of last year.

Life doesn’t get any easier against Melbourne, who in their last meeting put a lazy 52 points on the Dragons. It was another strange Origin period game back in Round 17 last year. The Dragons led 30-28 after an hour, then lost 52-30. The Storm hold the recent head-to-head record 7-3.

Origin has had a massive impact on this game. For the Storm, Queensland coach Kevin Walters’ son Billy Walters will play five-eighth in the absence of Cameron Munster. He’ll partner with halfback Brodie Croft. Former New Zealand Warriors centre Solomone Kata will make his Storm debut in the centres and Sandor Earl returns on the wing.

For the Dragons, Jai Field and Darren Nicholls will take the reins in the halves. Nicholls is a 30-year-old halfback with a solitary first grade game to his name, Field a 21-year-old who has played five games this season. There’s a lot of responsibility on this couple.