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NRL: Warriors out to slay Dragons

St George Illawarra Dragons could be in for a long evening in Auckland on Friday night, as they prepare to face title contenders the New Zealand Warriors at Go Media Stadium.

The Dragons will already have one eye on the 2024 NRL season, with no chance of finishing in the top eight this year.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will be looking to make sure they don’t have any unnecessary slip-ups, as they focus on finishing in the top four.

WhatNew Zealand Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons
WhereGo Media Stadium, Auckland
When18:00 (AEST) Friday 25th August, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsNew Zealand Warriors 1.14, St George/Illawarra Dragons 5.75

A big night for the Warriors

Victory against the Dragons on Friday night would see the Warriors guaranteed a top-four finish in the NRL this season.

It would be a remarkable achievement given the competitiveness of the league this year, and the feat is now within touching distance.

The Warriors are deserved favourites going into this one at 1.14 to pick up the victory on home soil.

Securing a sixth-consecutive win with victory over Manly Sea Eagles last time out, it was the first time a Warriors had achieved that length of winning streak since 2002.

Just two more wins and this current crop of players would equal the club’s all-time winning streak record that was set 21 years ago.

The Warriors have been given another boost ahead of Friday as they are set to welcome back Te Maire Martin for the first time since he suffered a broken leg in Round 6 against the Newcastle Knights.

Big ask for the Dragons

The Dragons have only taken the field twice at Go Media Stadium since 2015 and were the losing side on both occasions in Auckland.

Sat down in 16th place in the NRL standings going into this one, only Wests Tigers sit below the Dragons on the ladder.

At odds of 5.75, it’s hard to see the Dragons causing an upset on Friday night, especially against a Warriors side playing with so much confidence and momentum after their recent winning run.

In team news, Zac Lomax returns at centre for the Dragons after recovering from a shoulder injury, in the only change to the side that managed to push Melbourne Storm in Round 25.

Added intrigue in top tryscorer market

The race for the top tryscorer in the NRL this season looks like it will go right down to the wire.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is one of the players who has touched down on 21 occasions already this season. 

With Jamayne Isaako of the Dolphins and Alex Johnston for the South Sydney Rabbitohs also at the top of the leaderboard on 21 tries, Watene-Zelezniak will be determined to add to his tally on Friday night.

Watene-Zelezniak is available at 5.50 to score the opening try of the contest and 1.37 in the Anytime market.  

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