With both sides languishing in the lower regions of the NRL ladder a local derby may just be the spark that St George Illawarra Dragons and Cronulla Sharks need to ignite their season. Although the quality of football from both sides has been questionable lately, they did put on one of the games of the season earlier in the year and a repeat this time around will bring cheer to their long suffering fans.
Despite an uninspiring display on Monday against Souths it appears as though the Dragons will go into this weekend’s game with little or no changes to their squad. Paul McGregor will instead hope that the very public criticisms coming the way of the likes of Benji Marshall will stir a response from his underperforming group.
While Marshall came up with an unacceptable amount of errors on Monday, he was at least putting in the effort that meant those errors got noticed. Another hard working display on Saturday will bat least be another step in the right direction for the star recruit.
For Cronulla 2014 has been a case of a few injuries too far. Paul Gallen, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson and Beau Ryan are among those to spend significant chunks of the season on the sidelines – the latter forced into premature retirement this week due to the seriousness of his neck injury. Peter Sharp has done his weekly juggling act with what payers he does have available and, along with a couple of potential debutants, he is able to call upon Nathan Gardner for the first time in 2014.
Saturday 7th June, WIN Stadium Wollongong 19:30
St George Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Sharks