Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs head into Sunday's Round 9 clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons seeking their second win of the season.
The Belmore based club will be looking for redemption after falling to the Parramatta Eels at home in Round 8.
St George Illawarra look to turn around their fortunes at Kogarah, doing it tough in the last several weeks without key personnel. The Red V started the season strong, but have fallen off track of late. Anthony Griffin is hoping his men will be able to navigate their way back into the winner's circle.
Brad Deitz Mid-Week Press Conference: Round 9 v Dragons
Bulldogs: Canterbury-Bankstown have made one positional change with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Nick Meaney trading places between fullback and wing respectively. Dylan Napa has been named to start, despite failing to return to the field after succumbing to a shoulder complaint in the 15th minute of last week's Eels derby. Lachlan Lewis has been named on the reserves list after a strong showing for feeder side Mounties as he pushes his claim for a spot in the run-on side.
Dragons: St George Illawarra will be without in-form centre Zac Lomax after he left the field against the Wests Tigers with a dislocated thumb. Tyrell Fuimaono will line up at right centre, with Cody Ramsey cleared to take the field on the wing after overcoming a rib injury suffered last weekend. The Dragons will be without wingers Mikaele Ravalawa and Jordan Pereira due to suspension.
Match: Dragons v Bulldogs
Round 9 -
Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Matt DuftyFullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Winger for Dragons is number 5 Max FeagaiWinger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick Cotric
Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jack BirdCentre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will Hopoate
Centre for Dragons is number 4 Tyrell FuimaonoCentre for Bulldogs is number 4 Corey Allan
Winger for Dragons is number 20 Mathew FeagaiWinger for Bulldogs is number 5 Nick Meaney
Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey NormanFive-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Jake Averillo
Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben HuntHalfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan
Prop for Dragons is number 8 Blake LawrieProp for Bulldogs is number 10 Luke Thompson
Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCulloughHooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Sione Katoa
Prop for Dragons is number 10 Paul VaughanProp for Bulldogs is number 16 Ava Seumanufagai
2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Adam Elliott
2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Chris Smith
Lock for Dragons is number 13 Josh McGuireLock for Bulldogs is number 13 Corey Waddell
Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Billy BurnsInterchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bradley Deitz
Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel AlvaroInterchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Renouf Atoni
Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Kaide EllisInterchange for Bulldogs is number 19 Lachlan Lewis
Interchange for Dragons is number 19 Talatau AmoneInterchange for Bulldogs is number 23 Ofahiki Ogden
Reserve for Dragons is number 18 Jackson FordReserve for Bulldogs is number 17 Matt Doorey
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak v Matt Dufty: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak v Matt Dufty: New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was in immense form before he was ruled out with a knee infection in the lead up to the Pack's Round 7 clash against the Sharks. The willing ball runner has put it upon himself to get his side out of the red zone and on the front foot, racking up an average of 176 running metres per game this season.
Dragons fullback Matt Dufty has been a highlight for the Red V, scoring 6 tries in his 8 appearances this season. The dynamic speedster has threatened the opposition defence, often floating around the ruck sniffing out opportunities wherever possible. He is one player the Bulldog's will keep an eye on for the full duration of Sunday's fixture.
Watene-Zelezniak's return to fullback should see an increase in yardage, racking up an average of 176 running metres, 56 post contact metres and 4 tackle busts per game. Dufty has scored 5 tries in his last 4 outings, including a double in the Dragon's Round 5 upset over fancied rivals Parramatta Eels. The speedster has averaged 142 metres for the year and will look to continue his expansive running game against the blue and white.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs travel to Kogarah to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium this Sunday.
Don't miss out on this week's local derby with tickets on sale here.