St George Illawarra Dragons - 2013 Preview
St George Illawarra were a frustrating team for their fans to support last season, and that frustration culminated in the joint venture narrowly missing the finals for the first time since 2007.
Looking at 2013, it will be another year of rebuilding and frustration for the Dragons under new captain Ben Creagh as the defence will look to carry the load for them unless head coach Steve Price can figure out how to get some more points out of this side.
If the Dragons are to progress deep into the season and finish in the top eight they will need to remain injury free and a tough start to the season facing Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra in the opening three rounds.
Why they will win it?
The Dragons still pose an imposing forward pack with the return of Michael Weyman and the additions of Tyson Frizell and Bronson Harrison add to a young forward pack. If they can get over their opponents it will give the halves room to execute the game plan much like in their premiership winning season.
Why they won't win?
Attack. St George Illawarra have struggled to score points the last two seasons and will do so again in 2013 with a new fullback and possible halves pairing with the Drinkwater signing. It will take St George a while to gel and the season might be over by then.
Player to watch - Tyson Frizell
A powerful forward who made a handful of appearances for the Sharks last year has crossed Tom Ugly's and will add grunt to the Dragons pack after losing Jeremy Smith. The forward also has a knack for crossing the stripe which will be needed.
Rookie to watch?
Adam Quinlan took over the fullback position in the latter stages of 2012 for the U20s side after Evander Cummins injury and didn't look back helping the Dragons to the preliminary final. The explosive fullback who has pace to burn and played in the Dragons two trial matches will see some time in first grade in 2013.
Signings: Gerard Beale (Brisbane Broncos), Damien Cook (2013), Josh Drinkwater (Manly Sea Eagles), Tyson Frizell (Cronulla Sharks), Bronson Harrison (Canberra Raiders), Michael Henderson (Gold Coast Titans), Junior Vaivai (Penrith Panthers), Shannon Wakeman (Promoted)
Losses: Jack Buchanan (Wests Tigers), David Gower (Manly Sea Eagles), Ben Hornby (retired), Denan Kemp (Brisbane Broncos), Jeremy Latimore (Penrith Panthers), Jake Marketo (Redcliffe), Josh Miller (retired), Ben Musolino (Manly Sea Eagles), Beau Scott (Newcastle Knights), Dean Young (retired).
1. Gerard Beale 2. Brett Morris 3. Daniel Vidot 4. Matt Cooper 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Nathan Fien 8. Dan Hunt 9. Mitch Rein 10. Michael Weyman 11. Bronson Harrison
12. Ben Creagh (c) 13. Tyson Frizell
Interchange: 14. Cam King 15. Trent Merrin 16. Jack Stockwell 17. Leeson Ah Mau