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St George Illawarra Dragons v Melbourne Storm

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WIN Stadium, Wollongong, Monday 7pm (AEST)

Last meeting: Round 6 2014 - Storm 28 bt Dragons 24 at AAMI Park

Head-to-head: Storm 20 Dragons 7 Drawn 1

TV: Live, FoxSports 1

Ladbrokes: Dragons $2.65, Storm $1.50


Betfair: Dragons $2.66, Storm $1.49

Michael Carayannis writes:  St George Illawarra continue their improvement under new coach Paul McGregor. The Dragons have won two of their past four games, but will face a Melbourne side which who showed enough signs to suggest it is they are back to its best with a strong win against the Eels. The Dragons are expected to be without their best forward, Trent Merrin.

Tip: Storm by 14

AAP writes:  Without injured Cooper Cronk, the Storm have enjoyed some crucial Origin period wins and will eye this as another one. Storm coach Craig Bellamy has ruled out any talk of a surprise return for Cronk. The Dragons propped up their season with a solid win over the Titans last start and, on a cold Monday night in Wollongong, this is a game they can win. Trent Merrin (knee) is out for the home side, with Dan Hunt and Jack Stockwell added to an extended bench.

Key: Monday night football used to be full of upsets. Has the Knights’ win over the Cowboys kickstarted that NRL phenomena again?

DRAGONS: Adam Quinlan, Charly Runciman, Josh Dugan, Gerard Beale, Jason Nightingale, Gareth Widdop, Benji Marshall, Ben Creagh (capt), Mitch Rein, Mike Cooper, Leeson Ah Mau, Joel Thompson, Jack de Belin. Interchange: Dan Hunt, Shane Pumpipi, Will Matthews, Bronson Harrison, Jack Stockwell (one to be omitted).

STORM: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Kurt Mann, Mahe Fonua, Young Tonumaipea, Ben Hampton, Ben Roberts, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (capt), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Kenny Bromwich, Tohu Harris, Junior Moors, Jordan McLean, Tim Glasby, Joel Romelo (two to be omitted).

Referees: Ashley Klein, Alan Shortall.

NZ WARRIORS v PENRITH PANTHERS at Mt Smart Stadium, 2.00pm