Friday Night NRL

Billy is back to take on the Dragons. Image courtesy of: heraldsun.com.au
Dragons v Storm

The long awaited return of Billy Slater is finally here and the Dragons will be hoping to spoil his party when they host the Storm on Friday night. Slater has received the all clear to return from a knee injury suffered in Origin 3 and his presence will be a welcome addition to a struggling Storm attack. Englishman Gareth Widdop returns to five eight after filling Slater’s vacant fullback position in recent weeks. The Dragons welcome Nathan Fien back on to their bench after the utility missed last weekend’s loss against Souths, while Matt Cooper has been sidelined with an ongoing hamstring injury.

History – These two sides have battled on twenty five occasions with the Storm winning eighteen, the Dragons six and one has ended in a draw. Melbourne has completely dominated the Dragons in recent seasons recording eight wins from their past ten encounters. The Storm recorded a narrow 8-6 victory in the most recent clash between these two sides, holding the Dragons scoreless in a spirited second half display.

Dangermen –Brett Morris has been a revelation for the Dragons and is every chance of pulling on a Kangaroos jersey at the end of the season, Morris leads the NRL in run metres and tops the Dragons try scorers list with eight for the season. Billy is back! How will Billy Slater fare in his comeback game from injury? Slater has scored eleven tries in twelve games this season and is sure to make an immediate impact to a struggling Storm attack.

Prediction – Both teams need to start winning games for different reasons, a Dragons loss would end their slime finals hopes, while the Storm will be hoping to regain momentum heading into the finals. Expect the Dragons to come out firing with the Storm proving to strong in the second half. Storm 1-12 .

Roosters v Titans

The Sydney Roosters season is all but over however they will be hoping to restore some pride when they host the Gold Coast Titans at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. The Brian Smith coached side has come under heavy scrutiny this season and now sit in outright third last position on the competition ladder, well outside striking distance of a finals berth. The Titans have navigated a tricky origin period winning five of their past six games and are every chance of featuring in finals football. A huge boost for the Titans will be the return of firebrand back rower Greg Bird after sitting out the past three weeks with a pectoral injury suffered in origin 3.

History – Nothing much separates these two teams over the seasons, of the nine games played, the Titans hold a slight advantage winning five to the Roosters four. The Roosters won the most recent clash between the two teams after an impressive double by Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall sealed an 18-12 win.

Dangermen– Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall has scored five tries in his past five games against the Titans. Kenny-Dowall has been one of the Roosters after missing the middle of the year with an ankle injury. Titans speed machine David Mead scored first in the Titans win over the Bronocs last week and is sure to feature heavily on the end of an improving backline.

Prediction – The Dragons poor season is set to continue and the Storm should record a win thanks to the return of Billy Slater. Storm 1-12 .

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