Bacon and eggs, one hardly works without the other. Like five-eighths and halfbacks, they simply fit.
When it comes to on-field success, halves must go hand-in-hand.
The men below have had distinguished careers in their own right, but often that might not have been possible if not for their partner in crime.
We're doubling down this time around for our beloved Red V members and fans to have their say in our Team of the Decade (2010s), an initiative by the Dragons aimed to help navigate, and distract, through these harrowing times.
Offering up a great opportunity to look back at not only the club's 2010 premiership success, the Team of the Decade will reflect on a whopping 48 players – including our seven nominated centres – who traversed the triumphs, the trials and the tribulations in the years that followed.
Voting for your favourite halves of the 2010s closes at midnight, Sunday, April 19. This Team of the Decade (2010s) vote is proudly brought to you by TripADeal.
Five-eighth of the Decade nominees
Kurt Mann (2016-18)
Dragons appearances: 60
Kurt Mann earned the reputation as the Dragons' Mr. Fix-It in his three seasons at the Red V. Joining the club from the Melbourne Storm, Mann made his mark across in a number of positions at the Red V but none more so than on the wing and in the halves. No stranger to fullback, centre, lock or bench utility, in the halves was where Mann found himself most comfortable and perhaps most impactful. The former Queensland Origin Under-20s representative departed the club for the Newcastle Knights ahead of the 2019 season.
Corey Norman (2019-present)
Dragons appearances: 21 (19 in the 2010s)
Off the field, Corey Norman is cool, calm and collected; much like how he plays his footy. Joining the Dragons in 2019, the Redcliffe product announced his arrival at the Red V in style after clinching back-to-back field goal winners in Rounds 3 and 4. Norman qualifies for the Team of the Decade due to his Queensland Origin debut last year. Having spent a decade in the NRL following his debut for the Broncos in 2010, Norman has risen through the ranks to become one of the game's premier halves.
Jamie Soward (2007-13)
Dragons appearances: 140 (81 games in the 2010s)
St George Illawarra's most prolific individual point-scorer (977 points) Jamie Soward was often underrated despite possessing one of the best kicking games going. The composed five-eighth slotted 25 field goals in Dragons colours; arguably the most important coming against the Wests Tigers in the 2010 preliminary final to seal the Red V's place in the grand final. The rest, as they say, is history. Soward's form was rewarded in 2011 when he represented New South Wales in all three State of Origin matches before his departure to the Penrith Panthers midway through 2013.
Gareth Widdop (2014-19)
Dragons appearances: 125
Gareth Widdop joined the Dragons from the Melbourne Storm in 2014 and quickly became a fan favourite. That year he was awarded Red V Members' Player of the Year, a feat he repeated in 2015. A Dragons Medallist in 2017 and Immortals Trophy recipient in 2018, Widdop represented England and Great Britain a combined 20 times while at the Red V. The first (and only) Englishmen to score 1000 points in the NRL – achieved in his final game at the Dragons prior to his departure to Warrington – Widdop sits at second on the joint-venture's all-time pointscorer list.
Halfback of the Decade nominees
Nathan Fien (2009-13)
Dragons appearances: 80 (70 games in the 2010s)
The astute purchase of Nathan Fien midway through the 2009 season from the New Zealand Warriors provided a huge boon for the Red V at the turn of the decade. In Fien, the Dragons had a 200-game veteran who had tasted both State of Origin and international football and who was capable of playing in the halves and at hooker. A member of the Dragons' 2010 premiership-winning team (from the interchange), Fien rounded out his career with a further 14 Tests for New Zealand and the 2013 Immortals Trophy.
Dragons appearances: 273 (72 games in the 2010s)
Ben Hornby was already a part of the club's furniture at the turn of the decade. One moment in time trumps all others when reflecting on the 2010s as a St George Illawarra fan – that being Hornby holding aloft the Provan Summons Trophy in 2010. Hornby also led the Dragons to World Club Challenge success and another huge finals tilt in the year following. Prior to his retirement in 2012, Hornby became the most-capped player in St George, Illawarra and St George Illawarra history when he surpassed immortal back-rower Norm Provan, a record that remains to this day.
Ben Hunt (2018-present)
Dragons appearances: 48 (46 games in the 2010s)
St George Illawarra made one of its biggest ever announcement in the summer of 2017; that Ben Hunt would leave the sunshine state and the Brisbane Broncos after a decade for the Red V ahead of the 2018 season. The lynchpin of the Dragons' attack for the past three years, Hunt has had many memorable moments in his three-year stint at the Dragons so far; there also being no doubt that he leaves it all out there each and every single game. Hunt has also become a Queensland Origin and Australia mainstay since arriving at the Dragons.
Benji Marshall (2014-16)
Dragons appearances: 54
Benji Marshall will always be remembered as a Wests Tigers legend, however his few years spent donning the Red V in the mid-2010s saw several highlights. After his short stint playing for Super Rugby outfit Auckland Blues in 2014, Marshall was given an opportunity to play for St George Illawarra. In 2015, Marshall would help lead the Dragons to their first finals appearance in four years on his way to equal-second billing on the Dally M leader board.