NRL.com provide an analysis of the St George Illawarra Dragons 2017 NRL Premiership Draw following its release on Thursday.
Teams Dragons Play Twice: Penrith Panthers, Parramatta Eels, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, New Zealand Warriors, Wests Tigers, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Gold Coast Titans, Newcastle Knights
Teams Dragons Play Once: North Queensand Cowboys, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Canberra Raiders, Brisbane Broncos, South Sydney Rabbitohs
Starting Point: The Dragons start their campaign with back-to-back home games against the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels before a local derby with reigning Premiers Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in Round 3.
Tough Run: A daunting run between Rounds 7-11 will see the Red V take on the North Queensland Cowboys, Roosters (away), Melbourne Storm, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and New Zealand Warriors (away) before their first bye. It could prove to be a vital period if the Club hopes to make the finals.
Show-Stoppers: The local derby with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks is always the first to be circled on the calendar, but the fact the Sharks are reigning premiers should add plenty of spice to their contest in Round 3. The traditional clash with the Sydney Roosters on Anzac Day in Round 8 is also one of the highlights of the season.
Origin Impact: (Byes: Round 12 and 18.) The Dragons play only once in the major bye rounds against the Parramatta Eels, with the Club likely to be missing Tyson Frizell and Josh Dugan.