Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Smith Has Big Job against Dragons; a Crystal Ball Ahead of Origin

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Smith Has Big Job against Dragons; a Crystal Ball Ahead of Origin

Article excerpt

DuRKO'S DISSECTIONS

TONY DURKIN

STORM V DRAGONS

AAMI Park,

Thursday, 7.50pm

History: Played 35, Storm 24, Dragons 10, drawn 1

Last met: Dragons 34-14, round 9, 2018

Did Cameron Smith have this match in mind when he stunningly announced his retirement from rep footy two weeks before Origin I? Not only are the Storm without injured key forwards Dale Finucane, Jesse Bromwich and Sam Kasiano, but six of their remaining best will miss this clash with the ladder leaders because of Origin commitments. However, they still have Smith, who got them home on the bell last weekend. And while the Dragons may have five absent on Origin duty, the remainder of their roster is intact and they will still field a strong side. But Smith, aided and abetted by the Dragons' poor record at AAMI Park -- none from four -- could be the stumbling block.

TIP -- Dragons

PANTHERS V WARRIORS

Panthers Stadium,

Friday 7.55pm

History: Played 39, Panthers 22, Warriors 16, drawn 1

Last met: Panthers 34-22, round 19, 2017

Following two successive losses and a skinny one-point win, the Panthers need to resurrect their season quickly, but that may well be another week away. Missing halves James Maloney and Nathan Cleary as well as utility Tyrone Peachey, all to Origin, Penrith is hoping the recalled trio of Corey Harawira-Naera, Waqa Blake and Viliame Kikau return from an injury list that numbers nine members of their NRL roster. But the Warriors have also slipped down the ladder with indifferent form of late, and the addition of Tohu Harris and Bunty Afoa to their list of injured is poorly timed. However, try-scoring wingers David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo return, as does Adam Blair, giving the Warriors a line-up of 12 internationals, which will be hard to beat.

TIP -- Warriors

BULLDOGS V RAIDERS

Belmore Sports Ground,

Saturday 7. …

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