NRL 2021 Season Preview – St George Illawarra Dragons

Soure: St George Illawarra Dragons www.dragons.com.au

Following two difficult seasons, St George Illawarra will be looking to improve upon their 12th placed finish in 2020, with a difficult draw and their captain out for the season a finals appearance will be hard fought for.

What to expect

The Dragons’ 2021 season suffered a significant setback before the season even began with co-captain Cameron McInnes going down with a season-ending ACL injury in early February.

Luckily the arrival of Andrew McCullough from the Knights was just days away, with McCullough bringing 271 games experience to the side.

The side will likely have a teething period early in the season with the coaching and leadership group having undergone a complete revamp.

This is a move that could help shake the demons of the past two seasons from the team’s memories.

Should they come away from the early rounds relatively unscathed the Dragons are looking at one of the most challenging draws of the league in 2021.

The final six rounds of the home and away season will be one of the most difficult periods for the Dragons, who will face a team that made the finals in five of the six matches.

Key match-up

There will be no more important time for St George Illawarra in 2021 than the end of the home and away season.

By then it will be expected that the club has settled following the shake-ups prior to the season commencing and excuses of players yet to feel comfortable in their roles will be redundant.

In 2020, St George Illawarra was unable to beat any of the teams they face in the final six rounds, suffering a particularly demoralising defeat to the Canberra Raiders in round 18.

However, it’s the two matches against South Sydney in rounds 20 and 25 that will define the run home for St George Illawarra. A win in the round 20 clash would push the Dragons with a positive outlook towards the second match just a month later.

Following the first two matches against the Rabbitohs and the Raiders, there will be no chance to take the foot off the gas, when they take on last year’s minor premiers, Penrith Panthers.

Regardless of the result, the Dragons will have nine days to recover and reset before they take on the Sydney Roosters.

Their round 24 opponent, the North Queensland Cowboys will be the Dragon’s only opponent in the last six weeks that finished outside the top eight.

The Dragons will welcome the home game against the Cowboys during the high pressure period for the club.

If the Dragons perform well early in the season and are in the hunt for a finals berth, there will be several tough opponents to defeat, and if not win manage scorelines that will not destroy any chance of finals contention due to a negative points difference.

Squad

Backs

Source: NRL www.nrl.com.au
Junior Amone
Five-eighth
Jack Bird
Centre
Adam Clune
Halfback
Matthew Dufty
Fullback
Mathew Feagai
Centre
Max Feagai
Centre
Ben Hunt (C)
Halfback
Zac Lomax
Centre
Corey Norman
Five-eighth
Jordan Pereira
Winger
Cody Ramsey
Fullback
Mikaele Ravalawa
Winger
Shaun Sauni-Esau
Centre
Tyrell Sloan
Fullback
Jayden Sullivan
Five-eighth
Brayden Wiliame
Centre

Forwards

Source: NRL www.nrl.com
Daniel Alvaro
Prop
Jack De Belin
Lock
Eddie Blacker
Prop
Billy Brittain
Hooker
Kaide Ellis
Prop
Poasa Faamausili
Prop
Jackson Ford
Second Row
Tyrell Fuimaono
Second Row
Josh Kerr
Prop
Blake Lawrie
Prop
Hayden Lomax
Lock
Andrew McCullough
Hooker
Cameron McInnes (C)
Hooker
Trent Merrin
Lock
Tariq Sims
Second Row
Paul Vaughan
Prop

About Jacqui Dodd 135 Articles
Jacqui is a journalist based in Melbourne. A fan of all things sports she primarily focuses on Olympics and Tennis news. You can hear her on The Inner Sanctum's Olympics podcast, Ascending Olympus.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*