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Game day guide: Round 2 v Panthers

The St George Illawarra Dragons will face the Penrith Panthers in Round 2 of the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership campaign at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah on Friday, March 20. This is your Round 2 game day guide.

Dragons v Penrith Panthers (NRL) – 6pm

Gates closed 

Spectators won't be allowed into Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Friday, following the code-wide decision by the NRL to play Round 2 of the Telstra Premiership in empty venues.

This follows the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison's suspension of all public gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday, March 16.

The Dragons will comply, in the name of health and safety, with any and all future directives from the NRL, State and Federal Governments.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Dragons' website, socials and of course the game this weekend for all the latest on the Red V.

Still stings

The Panthers will remember the last time they made the trip across to Kogarah despite three years elapsing since.

The Dragons pummelled the Panthers 42-10 with former Dragons Joel Thompson and Gareth Widdop combining for five tries. Widdop coupled his double with a perfect day from the kicking tee.

The Dragons can also take confidence in the fact they have trumped the Panthers when carrying the home ground advantage on the past three occasions.

Familiar faces 

Both Trent Merrin and Tyrell Fuimaono could lace up against former teammates if selected for Friday's match.

Merrin played 72 games for the Panthers from 2016 to 2018, while Fuimaono represented the Panthers on seven occasions just last year. 

Unprecedented circumstance

An NRL game has never been played in front of an empty stadium, but given the current circumstances, Friday nights clash will be just that.

Players are well accustomed to running out to screaming fans, especially in the Dragons' Kogarah heartland.

The biggest unknown surrounding Round 2 is what effect it will have on the outcome, if any.