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NRL Preview St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs

NRL Preview round 3 :  St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Sunday, March 20, 4pm (AEST), Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Rugby League returns to its historic home on Sunday afternoon when St George Illawarra and South Sydney play off at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The two traditional rivals have started the season off in strikingly different form.
Selection NotesPaul McGregor has bitten the bullet and named Josh Dugan at fullback, dropping Kurt Mann after his stinker against the Sharks. Euan Aitken comes in at right centre. South Sydney are unchanged from the team that whipped Newcastle.

HistorySouths have absolutely dominated the Dragons in recent meetings, winning 7 of the last 8  clashes. The teams met twice last season with the Rabbits winning 24-8 and 16-10. The Dragons have not surpassed 10 points in their last four with Souths while none of the last four matches have tallied more than 32 points. The teams are 3-3 at the SCG since the Dragons’ merger. Alex Johnston has two tries in two games against the Saints.
Form
St George Illawarra and South Sydney could not have started the season in more different form. The Dragons have recorded losses to the Storm and Sharks. They performed admirably in a two-point loss to Melbourne but were shocking against Cronulla showing totally ineptitude in attack, for which they rank last in the NRL. The Rabbitohs, by contrast, broke the club’s all-time record for most points through the first two rounds in hammering the Roosters and Knights. Souths have been unchallenged in putting together the best attack in the NRL.

Key Matchup
Josh Dugan v Greg Inglis. Dugan has had no clean ball in two games playing centre and the Dragons have given themselves no chance of victory. His return to fullback gives the Dragons a much better look. Inglis has been brilliant over the first few rounds and will be looking at keeping his great start going.

Stats That Matter
The Dragons are 1-1 ATS with two unders to open 2016 while the Bunnies are 2-0 ATS with two overs. Only 1 of the last 7 SCG matches has topped 32 points. Outsiders of 6.5 or more points in day games are 19-15 ATS after being kept to single digits the match before while teams who have scored 40 and are favourites are 8-11 ATS. Favourites of more than a converted try off a 30-point win are 28-31 ATS. The Dragons away from Kogarah and Wollongong since 2013 are 22-26 ATS with just three covers in their last 10. Over the same time Souths are 24-18 ATS away from ANZ. The over is 12-7 away from ANZ when they are favoured by more than a converted try.


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