The Fifth Tackle: Round 21 v Dragons
The Bulldogs host the Dragons on Friday night at ANZ Stadium looking to bounce back from their 36 nil loss to the Cowboys.
After a run of four consectuitive wins before the Cowbosy defeat, the Bulldogs will be looking to erase the disappointment of Round 20 against a desperate Dragons team looking to keep their hopes of playing finals footy alive and below are five questions facing both sides ahead of the clash at ANZ Stadium.
How will the Bulldogs respond?
After going down to the Cowboys 36-nil in Round 20, the Bulldogs head back to ANZ Stadium on Friday night looking to bounce back against a desperate Dragons team. The last time the Bulldogs failed to score a point was in Round 6, 2013 when the Roosters won 38-nil and following the loss the Bulldogs responded winning seven of their next eight games. How will the boys from Belmore respond this weekend following the loss?
Will recovery help?
The Bulldogs head into the Round 21 fixture off the back of an eight day turnaround, while the Dragons have only five days to prepare for the clash after going down to the Tigers 25-12. Will the longer turnaround help or hinder the Bulldogs?
Will it be win number nine?
Since arriving in 2012, Coach Des Hasler has enjoyed plenty of success against the Dragons, winning eight of the nine encounters since being in charge of the Bulldogs. The only loss against the Dragons since Hasler’s arrival was in Round 6, 2015 when the Saints won 31-6. Can the Bulldogs make it win number nine from 10 clashes with the 2010 premiers this Friday night?
Which 6 and 7 will shine?
The battle of the halves on Friday night will be a highlight. The Bulldogs pair of Reynolds and Mbye with 164 games experience vs the Dragons pair of Marshall and Widdop with 386 games between them. It’s experience up against youth, but with so much pressure always surrounding the halves of any side, which pair will stand up on Friday night and guide their side to victory?
Will a loss end the Dragons season?
The Dragons head into the clash with the Bulldogs on 20 points and are two points outside the eight. The magic number over the past five seasons to make the finals has been 28 and with their next three games against the Bulldogs, Broncos and Sharks, the dream of playing finals footy could be over with a loss on Friday. With those three games ahead of them and a poor for and against, will the Dragons dream of playing finals in 2016 end if the Bulldogs come away with a win?
THERE'S sure to be fireworks when the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium.
The two clubs have produced some of the most exciting games in recent memory and it's sure to be more of the same in Round 21.