The luckless Dragons now have the best chance yet to grab a ram-raid winÂ over the star-less Melbourne Storm in Round 10, with the 2007 Premiers without up to 9Â regularÂ players andÂ their head-coach for the Super Saturday match-up.
The Storm haveÂ called up anÂ unrecognisable team for the clash, withÂ Maroons squad membersÂ Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau, Dallas Johnson, Michael Crocker and Billy Slater and Blues Brett White, Ryan Hoffman and Anthony Quinn all unavailable for the NRL match up with the Dragons.
Slater was given his shot at fullback in the Queensland side, after his form ensured he was first picked. Brisbaneâ€™s Karmichael Hunt getting the five-eighth gig, while Storm skipper Smith will captain the side.
The Dragons do have some of their strike weapons missing, with outside backs Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper and utilityÂ playerÂ Ben Hornby all chose for the New South Wales, State of Origin squad.
St George Illawarra have just 2 victories in 2008 but both were against top teams, beating the Titans in round 2 and the Roosters in round 7. In many instances, the Dragons have been without luck – playing well, but just not getting the victory. Their points difference also backs this up. Soward, Gasnier and Coooper have remained stand-out’s for the Dragons – but it’s the lack of consistent punch in the forwards really hurting them. Fallen star Jason Ryles continuing his woes, with brain-fade penalties that are costing his team dearly.
That form-line could keep going, when they get the chance to tackle the heavily under-strength Storm on Saturday.
Dragons: Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale, Josh Morris, Chase Stanley, Michael Lett, Jamie Soward, Rangi Chase, Justin Poore, Dean Young, Jason Ryles, Beau Scott, Lagi Setu, Ben Creagh. Interchange: Kirk Reynoldson, Dan Hunt, Simon Woolford, Stuart Webb, Jon Green, Matt Prior, Frank Samia (three to be omitted).
Storm: Steve Turner, Brett Anderson, Will Chambers, Sam Tagataese, Dane Nielsen, Russ Aitken, Cooper Cronk, Clifford Manua, Matt Geyer, Antonio Kaufusi, Jeremy Smith, Sika Manu, Aiden Tolman. Interchange: Liam Foran, Kevin Proctor, Scott Anderson, Sinbad Kali, Lucas Miller (one to be omitted).