Round 1 Preview: St George-Illawara Dragons Vs Brisbane Broncos




St George-Illawara Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos

Thursday, March 7th, 2018
Jubilee Oval, NSW
8:05pm (NSW), 7:05pm (QLD), 11:05pm (NZ)

Dragons team: 
18. Matthew Dufty
2. Nene Macdonald
3. Euan Aitken
4. Tim Lafai
5. Jason Nightingale
6. Gareth Widdop (c)
7. Ben Hunt
8. James Graham
9. Cameron McInnes
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Tariq Sims
13. Jack De Belin

Interchange: 14. Luciano Leilua, 15. Kurt Mann, 16. Leeson Ah Mau, 17. Hame Sele. 

Reserves: 19. Jeremy Latimore, 20. Zachary Lomax, 21. Blake Lawrie, 22. Joshua Kerr


Broncos team: 
1 Darius Boyd (c)
 2 Corey Oates 
3 James Roberts
 4 Jordan Kahu
5 Jamayne Isaako
6 Anthony Milford
7 Kodi Nikorima
8 Matthew Lodge
9 Andrew McCullough
10 Samuel Thaiday
11 Alex Glenn
12 Matt Gillett
13 Josh McGuire

Interchange: 14. Tevita Pangai Jnr, 15. Joe Ofahengaue, 16. Korbin Sims, 17. Jaydn Su’a. 

Reserves: 18. Tom Opacic, 19. Sam Tagataese, 20. Jonus Pearson, 21. George Fai


It is the opening game of the 2018 NRL season and it is one of the most intriguing games of the season. The Dragons are one of the more underrated teams in the competition in my opinion and they are up against a Broncos team who will want to make a mark very early on in the season. Wayne Bennett will want to get a win against his former club, while Mary McGregor will want a strong home start.
and

Ben Hunt comes up against his former club, with the battle of the halves being the main point here. Hunt and Widdop could be a force to be reckoned with during the season, with Milford and Nikorima proving themselves over the back half of last season. It is a very attacking game, and the electric back lines could make for a high scoring game.

The battle of the forward packs will be interesting, with the Dragons having one of the most underrated packs in my opinion. The addition of James Graham to combine with the likes of Tyson Frizell and Paul Vaughan should make for a great battle with a Broncos line up consisting of Josh McGuire, Matt Gillett and Matt Lodge.



That will be another talking point heading into this game, with Lodge having his name ran through the wringer. It will be interesting to see how he is able to put all of that aside and perform on the pitch. His match fitness might come under scrutiny here too, with the Dragons to run it hard at him after the first 15 minutes.
Both sides have named strong squads, with the bookies favouring the Dragons in a close affair. This could very well be the sneaky one for match of the round, and I tend to agree with the bookies on this one. The Dragons will get up, in a decent game first up.

My prediction?

I can see the Dragons getting home in a close game by 4 points.

-Chumpie

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