Super Saturdays kick off with a bang for the 2017 season at UOW Jubilee Oval, as the St. George Illawarra Dragons play host the Penrith Panthers. Both clubs will be looking to start their campaign positively, and pick up the two points.

Last Time Out

The last meeting between these two sides was round four of the 2016 NRL season. On this occasion the Dragons came up trumps, defeating the Panthers 14-12 in a thriller at WIN Stadium. Josh Mansour’s try in the 72nd minute looked to wrap the game up for the Panthers, but up stepped star Dragons fullback Josh Dugan late in the game, scoring to sink the hearts of the boys in black. Widdop sent the Red V in front with an easy conversion attempt, and they went on to win the match. The Panthers have waited almost a year for redemption, and will be all guns blazing this Saturday afternoon.

Key Battle

While I would have liked to compare the two star-studded back row’s of each team, I simply can’t look past the battle at fullback. Two Origin and Australian representative players will go head to head when these sides meet. The Dragons Josh Dugan up against the Panthers Matthew Moylan. The two players are chalk and cheese when it comes to play style. Dugan is a running fullback, who is strong on the ball and deadly when returning the ball, while Moylan is more of a third play maker for the Panthers, utilising his superb passing and kicking game. It’s a battle good enough to make you lick your lips, and I can’t wait to see them go at it on the field.

Prediction

The Panthers are being talked up as legitimate premiership contenders this season, while the Dragons unfortunately are being talked about at the other end of the table. I believe this game will mimic that, and the Panthers should get home easily.

Panthers by 14

Squads

St George Illawarra Dragons v Penrith Panthers at UOW Jubilee Oval, 4.30pm (AEDT) Saturday

Dragons: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Josh McCrone 8. Russell Packer 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin Interchange 14. Tariq Sims 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Jacob Host 17. Jai Field 18. Kurt Mann 19. Taane Milne 20. Jake Marketo 21. Hame Sele

Panthers: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Dean Whare 3. Waqa Blake 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Peta Hiku 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin 14. James Fisher-Harris 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. Moses Leota 18. Sitaleki Akauola 19. Dylan Edwards 20. Mitch Rein 21. Sione Katoa