After two golden-point wins the Dragons let loose against the Bulldogs last weekend registering their highest score for 2019 with a 40-4 win.
The convincing seven tries to one victory also pushed the Dragons back into the top-eight leapfrogging the Warriors and Sharks to get there.
Full of confidence and flair they now they face another NRL club enjoying three wins on the trot in the Manly Sea Eagles.
And one of the hardest workers in Des Hasler's team is lock Jake Trbojevic, who celebrates his 100th NRL game. If Manly could turn on the fireworks for Daly Cherry-Evans in his 200th last weeked, Trbojevic would be hopeful of a similar favour.
Dragons: 1-17. Paul Vaughan will play despite leaving the field with an ankle injury last week. The Dragons have scored 119 points in three successive wins against the Sea Eagles.
Sea Eagles: Toafaoa Sipley (No.17) has been named to replace the suspended Addin Fonua-Blake, who was found guilty of a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday. Morgan Boyle joins the interchange. Des Hasler has a 6-1 record against Dragons rival Paul McGregor. Sea Eagles lock Jake Trbojevic will play his 100th NRL game.
Ben Hunt is unlikely to regain the Queensland halfback jersey this year but his two line-break assists, three try assists and scoring two four-pointers himself against the Bulldogs, makes his duel with incumbent Maroons No.7 Cherry-Evans one to savour. The Manly skipper ran 145 metres as he terrorised the Knights defensive line with a line break and three tackle busts.
For the Dragons to win
Pull together the same team effort at Kogarah last week and let it loose in Wollongong this week, when the home crowd again has your back. With the glue in the Hunt-Norman partnership starting to set firm and hard, the Sea Eagles forwards will have their heads spinning trying to keep up with which way the pair will run, pass or kick.
For the Sea Eagles to win
Five-eighth Kane Elgey reproducing the form he showed against the Knights in both attack and defence only frees up Cherry-Evans to do more knowing that his five-eighth is linking nicely with the Sea Eagles backs. And Tom Trbojevic stand-in Brendan Elliott held his own in kick-return metres and under the high ball. His confidence grows as he works well with his other back-three members - wingers Jorge Taufua and Reuben Garrick.
Brett Kimmorley says
Dessie has the Brookvale faithful back on board. The big pack of forwards are ripping in and playing tough. They are finding different ways of spoiling the opposition attack and coming up with victories. For the Dragons, Paul Vaughan was in superb form last weekend. If Ben Hunt can repeat his performance of last weekend that will also be a huge help. Dragons by 8
Dragons Stat Attack
The Dragons lead the NRL in kick metres (3,273) and are second in total kicks (115) to Melbourne (116). They are fourth in tackles breaks (180) and fifth in line breaks (21).
Sea Eagles Stat Attack
Daly Cherry-Evans is the NRL's top point-scorer after five rounds (45). Jake Trbojevic led by example as usual last week with a team-high 45 tackles against Newcastle and 132 run metres.
And another thing ...
The work being done by starting No.9 Api Koroisau and his bench replacement Manase Fainu must be pleasing coach Des Hasler. The pair of hookers are nimble and energetic as they manoeuvre around tired forwards in the defensive line. Koroisau made a line break against the Knights, while Fainu had four tackle breaks against the Rabbitohs the previous week.