The Dragons are at home at Wollongong this weekend and will be desperate to return some pride to the Red V jersey when they host competition newcomers the Dolphins.
Both teams went down in Round 4 in contrasting losses, with the unfancied Dolphins fighting to the last inch in their blockbuster 'Battle for Brisbane' derby against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
The Dragons however suffered another second-half capitulation in their derby loss to the Nicho Hynes-inspired Cronulla Sharks, letting in seven tries in their 40-8 defeat.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing for Dragons fans is that for the most part, the side have worked hard and looked competitive early in their last two losses - and in both matches have even led their opposition - only to fall in a heap when forced to defend their errors.
Dolphins fans however have been buoyed by the fight displayed by their side in all their matches, where they have fought back from early deficits to win their first three matches and only went down late to the Broncos, despite a heavy injury toll which included losing halfback Sean O'Sullivan and hooker Kodi Nikorima and a leg injury to winger Tesi Niu hampering his efforts for the majority of the game.
Match: Dragons v Dolphins
Round 5 -
Venue: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Dragons: Jacob Liddle will start at hooker with Moses Mbye going to the bench in a late switch an hour before kick-off. Talatau Amone makes his first NRL appearance of the season after coming into the starting squad at five-eighth on Friday for Jayden Sullivan (shoulder). Jack de Belin's calf is good to go and he replaces Zane Musgrove on the bench, after being named in the extended reserves on Tuesday.
Dolphins: The Dolphins are 1-17 with no late changes. Anthony Milford moves from five-eighth to halfback to cover for Sean O'Sullivan (pectoral) and Isaiya Katoa returns from an elbow injury in the No.6 jumper. Tesi Niu (knee) is replaced on the wing by Jack Bostock, who will make his NRL debut against his junior club. Hooker Jeremy Marshall-King is back from a two-week suspension, so Mason Teague goes to the bench. Herman Ese'ese returns from a pectoral injury at prop.
Match: Dragons v Dolphins
Round 5 -
Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Tyrell SloanFullback for Dolphins is number 1 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew FeagaiWinger for Dolphins is number 2 Jamayne Isaako
Centre for Dragons is number 3 Mosese SuliCentre for Dolphins is number 3 Euan Aitken
Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac LomaxCentre for Dolphins is number 4 Brenko Lee
Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele RavalawaWinger for Dolphins is number 5 Jack Bostock
Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 21 Talatau AmoneFive-Eighth for Dolphins is number 6 Isaiya Katoa
Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Ben HuntHalfback for Dolphins is number 7 Anthony Milford
Prop for Dragons is number 8 Francis MoloProp for Dolphins is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
Hooker for Dragons is number 14 Jacob LiddleHooker for Dolphins is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake LawrieProp for Dolphins is number 10 Herman Ese'ese
2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Ben Murdoch-Masila2nd Row for Dolphins is number 11 Kenneath Bromwich
2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'a2nd Row for Dolphins is number 12 Connelly Lemuelu
Lock for Dragons is number 13 Jack BirdLock for Dolphins is number 13 Tom Gilbert
Interchange for Dragons is number 9 Moses MbyeInterchange for Dolphins is number 14 Jarrod Wallace
Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Toby CouchmanInterchange for Dolphins is number 15 Mark Nicholls
Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Josh KerrInterchange for Dolphins is number 16 Ray Stone
Interchange for Dragons is number 22 Jack De BelinInterchange for Dolphins is number 17 Mason Teague
Replacement for Dragons is number 18 Michael MoloReplacement for Dolphins is number 18 Poasa Faamausili
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
- Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
- Senior Review Official: Kasey Badger
- The Dragons have won their past five games at WIN Stadium.
- Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has scored five tries in four games in 2023.
- The Dragons have conceded 80 points in consecutive losses to the Broncos and Sharks.
- Dolphins captain Jesse Bromwich will play his 300th NRL game.
- Dragons centre Moses Suli will make his 100th NRL appearance.
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.