Kogarah house full signs sets new

Yesterday's 'house full signs' for this weekend's Dragons v Eels clash at Kogarah holds the unique record for a club match being sold out so early in the week, according to Dean Ritchie at Foxsports.

The St George-Illawarra Dragons will host the Parramatta Eels next Sunday at Kogarah's Oki Jubilee Stadium, now officially listed as a 17,000 sellout.

Ritchie writes: "Never before in Australian rugby league's 97-year history has a club match sold out so early in the week."

Kogarah has now had two sell-out games in a row. The round 20 clash against the Cowboys was also sold out prior to kick off with over 17,113 people in attendance.

While upgrades continue at Kogarah, with lighting and seating, it has become clear there is a resurgence in suburban ground attendances with Oki Jubilee being the perfect example.

Earlier this week, the SCG Trust had offered to host the game at Aussie Stadium. The switch may have earned the Dragons an estimated $200,000 in additional gate takings. But the offer was rejected by the Dragons, citing home ground advantage and sponsorship considerations as the main reasons.

Dragons coach Nathan Brown reiterated this in the Foxsports report: "I'd rather be playing at our home ground," said Brown.

Saints' forward Lance Thompson summed up his feelings in saying it was important for the team to play at Kogarah. "Kogarah brother, I'm a Kogarah boy," he said.

"Money isn't everything. Winning is what we want."

Half back Ben Hornby agreed: "Definitely the home ground," he said. "It's an important match for us and we want any edge we can."

This Sunday's match will be marked by a special tribute to former St George forward and legend Robert Stone who passed away earlier this month. An advocate of the importance of having a strong home ground in the St George district, 'Stoney' was instrumental in bringing the Dragons back to Kogarah in 2003.

Pre-match entertainment will feature Grand Final winning players from the 1960s and 1970s, the last time Dragons won a premiership was in 1979. There will also be a tribute and banner celebrating 85 years of St George, the club played their inaugural first grade match in 1921.