Friday Night Lights

Round 10 will be the last chance for players to press their claims for State Of Origin selection before the teams are announced for game one. This will mean that across the board players are going to be putting in every last ounce of effort they have to make one final impression on the minds of Origin coaches Ricky Stuart and Mal Meninga.

The two games on Friday night are important for separate reasons as well. In one, The Bulldogs are attempting to knock the Dragons off their perch and stay with the top four, while the Panthers are trying to breathe some life into their season against the stampeding Broncos.


This Friday the Canterbury Bulldogs and the St George Illawarra Dragons are set to add another clash to their already illustrious rivalry. The last time the two teams met in round five, an intercept try to fullback Darius Boyd and some suffocating defence swung the result in the Dragon's favour.

The Dragons are continuing to do what the Dragons do best: defend like an impenetrable wall, slowly break down their opposition and grind right over the top of them. Some might call it boring, but the Dragons' clinical attitude is exactly what is needed to win premierships.

The Bulldogs don't have that yet. When they have won, they've done it in a very entertaining manner, but when they've lost, it has been due to careless mistakes and an inconsistent performance against teams that sit above them on the ladder.

It's hard to see where the Dragons will be beaten in this contest. It's been said that the way to beat them is to physically dominate them. The Bulldogs now have the forward pack to do just that, but they'll need to do more than just give the Dragons a battering. They'll need to take their chances when they're presented with them and not blow them. Just look back to their last encounter: the score was 15-6 in the Dragons' favour when Bulldogs five-eighth Kris Keating broke into open play with only Boyd to beat. Somehow, with a three-on-one overlap, Boyd prevailed with a game-changing try.

The Bulldogs will throw a fair amount at the Dragons wall; the interesting thing will be if that wall can stay standing, or begin to show cracks.


Do you remember when you were little and your parents would console you after you failed to win something? They'd put their arms around you and say things like,