Will the Dragons finally kill off their Canberra hoodoo once and for all? Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
Dragons v Raiders
No question Ricky's Raiders are the Red V's bogy team – since 1998 the two sides have met on 23 occasions, with St George Illawarra singing the team song after fulltime just six times. Talk about a hoodoo! The Dragons have won just one game in their past 11 meetings, back in 2007 at WIN Stadium. Moreover, they haven't cracked it for a win in the nation's capital since 2000.
But maybe the tables are about to turn – certainly fans can bet the Red V's latest ex-Green Machine recruits Joel Thompson and Sam Williams will be doing their best to get one over their former teammates. Throw in x-factor Josh Dugan's similar burning desire and this is one match-up Dragons fans should definitely circle on their calendars.
Dragons v Roosters
The agony of last year's 34-10 shellacking at the hands of the Roosters in the traditional Anzac Day clash at Allianz Stadium still throbs among the Red V faithful. Heck, this was a clash St George Illawarra owned for most of the first decade of the 21st century, but last season the game was as good as over as the players trudged to the sheds at halftime staring disconsolately at a 22-4 scoreline.
The fact the Dragons were then whitewashed 36-nil in Round 17 will only add to the fans' hunger for the team to make amends in 2014. The players will also want to step up for coach Steve Price after it was announced he would be granted a contract extension at that embarrassing midpoint in last year's Anzac Day clash. The crowd will nudge 40,000 – and you can bet the Red V fans will be there in force.
Dragons v Sharks
Oh the pain! The Red V had this local derby with Cronulla in Round 23 last season seemingly in the bag when they led 18-12 with seven minutes remaining before the sky fell on their heads. Beau Ryan's try in the 73rd minute triggered some nerves – but when Andrew Fifita won the chase for an in-goal grubber to finger-tip touchdown the Dragons weren't just done for the game, but also for the season, with any slim semi-finals chances snuffed out.
Revenge is planned. Especially given that last-ditch win saw the black, white and blue edge to 16 wins – one victory clear of the Dragons in their 36-year history. St George Illawarra fans won't hear of their 'little brother' neighbours pulling any further clear in the head-to-head stakes.
Check back on NRL.com on Wednesday for details of your team's schedule with the release of the 2014 NRL Draw.