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07 Mar 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 8th March, 09:05

Where? Jubilee Oval

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Arena, Nine network, Foxtel

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

https://www.foxtel.com.au/outa...

https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? https://www.dragons.com.au/gam...

THE LOWDOWN

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Macdonald, Aitken, Lafai, Nightingale, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Vaughan, Frizell, Sims, De Belin – Interchanges: Leilua, Mann, Ah Mau, Sele – Reserves: Latimore, Lomax

Unavailable:

  • St George head into the new season with plenty of hope after some big off-season recruitment as they look to break into the play-offs following their ninth-place finish last season.
  • Ben Hunt – playing against his former club in this game – and James Graham were two of the biggest names to switch clubs and will debut for their new team. Fullback Matt Dufty has caught the eye in pre-season and could be key for the Dragons this season.
  • The Dragons will feel Hunt’s introduction alongside Gareth Widdop can help build on the 22.2 points per game that they averaged last season.

BRONCOS

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

Starting 13: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Kahu, Isaako, Milford, Nikorima, Lodge, Thaiday, Pangai Jnr, Glenn, Gillett, McGuire – Interchanges: McCullough, Ofahengaue, Sims, Su'a

Unavailable: Jack Bird, Andre Savelio, Sam Tagataese

  • Brisbane Broncos enter the 2018 NRL season with plenty to prove after they were hammered 30 points to nil in their semi-final against eventual Premiership winners Melbourne Storm last season.
  • Head coach Wayne Bennett is unable to name new recruit Jack Bird with the Australian international still struggling with injury.
  • The off-season loss of Ben Hunt leaves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima in the halves with the pair key to building on the Broncos’ average of 24.9 points per game last season.

THE PREDICTION

The opening fixture of the 2018 NRL season sees St George Illawarra Dragons come up against Brisbane Broncos at the Jubilee Oval. The Dragons have recruited well and look to have one of the most dynamic packs in the game but come up against a team that can match them in the forwards with a back-row that is up there with the best. This should be a fascinating game to start the season but St George’s new boys could do enough to see them get their season off to the perfect start.

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