Dragons v Titans: Sullivan back on deck; Tino returns to helm

After the Dragons' final hopes were snuffed out on Sunday they must find a way to recover from the loss before confronting a Titans team buzzing after a big win over Manly.

Seemingly in good shape in eighth position just six weeks ago, the Dragons have now slumped to 11th and will miss the finals for a fourth straight year - the longest absence since joint venture began in 1999.

Meanwhile, despite being well out of the finals race, the Titans have shown positive signs in the past month, desperate to avoid their second wooden spoon in four years.

When these sides met in Round 10 it was the Titans prevailing 20-16 in Magic Round. Justin Holbrook's men then lost 10 in a row before stunning the Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium.

The Rundown
Team news

Dragons: Jayden Sullivan is ready to return from a shoulder injury and was added to the bench on Saturday along with Francis Molo. That means Tyrell Fuimaono drops to 18th Man and Billy Burns is out. 

Titans: Changes on Saturday with Brian Kelly out of the side, replaced in the centre by Patrick Herbert with Greg Marzhew promoted to start on the wing. Erin Clark's season-ending knee injury sees Sam McIntyre moved to hooker. Paul Turner and Jarrod Wallace are the new faces on the bench. Skipper Tino Fa'asuamaleaui is back after missing Round 22 due to his partner giving birth to their second child.

Key match-up
AJ Brimson v Talatau Amone: The battle of the No. 6s will be among the highlights of the game with both promising halves turning 2022 into true breakout seasons. Brimson has made the switch to the halves this year and is making a good fist of it. The young five-eighth chalked up a try, a try assist and two line breaks in Sunday's win over Manly. Meanwhile at the Dragons, 20-year-old playmaker Talatau Amone has found his form this season. On a disappointing day for the team, Amone stood tall with a hat-trick in Canberra, tormenting the Raiders defence with his sharp footwork.

Stat Attack
Ben Hunt's influence on the side speaks through his stats. The Maroons playmaker led Dally M voting when it went behind closed doors in Round 12 and his form has carried on. Hunt is in the top five for try assists (15), total kick metres (8465m), all kicks (264) and 40/20's (5). The veteran half also continues to lead the NRL with line engagement, totalling 181 for the year. 


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