If you only watch one match in Round 22 make sure it is this top three Sydney showdown between the rising Roosters and the ladder-leading Dragons at the SCG on Sunday arvo.
The Roosters have been the form team over the past couple of months, shutting down their critics and emerging as serious Minor Premiership contenders after winning five on the trot pushing them up to third spot.
This is the best possible time for the Chooks to sleigh the Dragons, having enjoyed a massive 48 – 12 victory over the Eels last week.
St George come into this one on the back of two straight losses to the Titans and the Broncos with the late season pressure starting to get to Bennett’s boys.
When these two last faced off in Round 7 the Dragons coasted to a 28 – 6 victory, which was their seventh from their past eight against he Chooks.
But it is a far more consistent, confident and classy Roosters outfit they will play on Sunday.
Still, St George are the favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au currently paying $1.83 for a win, but there is little between them as the Roosters are hot on their heels at $1.97.
The Dragons play a clinical style of football that in the past hasn’t worked well come the finals and they will need to pull out something different if they are to overcome the fancy moves of players like Carney and Pearce.
To help aid this reformation Mark Gasnier will wear the No. 3 jersey for the first time since returning to the team, named to start on the field in an attempt to give St George an early advantage.
The Dragons cause is also helped by the return of suspended prop Michael Weyman, and trust us, they will need all the star players they can name.
Everyone is tipping a close contest, but word on the street is that the Roosters will fall short. We, on the other hand, are going against the grain and are betting on the Chooks to make it six straight and reveal the weaker side of the Dragons.
A landmark game for Wayne Bennett, coaching his 600th first-grade game.
Footy Tip of the Match – Shaun Kenny-Dowall to be the first tryscorer through Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
The Roosters have really found the winning combos and placement of players recently, which has seen them score plenty of points. It is always fun picking the first tryscorer and this week we are putting our money on Shaun Kenny-Dowall at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Roosters $1.97 – Dragons $1.83 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 22 Roosters Team:
1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Phil Graham 3. Kane Linnett 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Todd Carney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jason Ryles 9. Jake Friend 10. Nate Myles 11. Frank Paul Nuuausala 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Braith Anasta
Bench: 14. Joseph Leilua 15. Martin Kennedy 16. Daniel Conn 17. Nick Kouparitsas
Round 22 Dragons Team:
1. Darius Boyd 2. Brett Morris 3. Mark Gasnier 4. Matt Cooper 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Ben Hornby 8. Neville Costigan 9. Dean Young 10. Michael Weyman 11. Beau Scott 12. Ben Creagh 13. Jeremy Smith
Bench: 14. Luke Priddis 15. Trent Merrin 16. Matt Prior 17. Jarrod Saffy
Reserves: 18. Jon Green 19. Nick Emmett