A deserved send off for a legend beckons as the Dragons sit on the brink of the NRLW finals following another difficult campaign. This is your game day guide for St George Illawarra's NRL Round 2 and NRLW Round 4 clashes this weekend.
- Buy tickets to the Dragons' Norm Provan tribute clash
- Experienced trio boost NRLW fortunes
- Woods loss for Panthers clash
An immortal tribute
The Dragons will celebrate the life and career of St George legend Norm Provan with a fitting tribute and plaque unveiling in the middle of the Jubilee Oval surface on Friday night.
The No. 9 Red V jersey that Provan made famous has been retired for Round 2 in homage to rugby league's 12th immortal.
It's the least St George Illawarra can do for the man responsible for 10 straight grand finals at founding club St George, as part of the unprecedented 11-premiership Never Before, Never Again era.
Provan's 256 first grade games is the fourth most by any St George, Illawarra or St George Illawarra player ever, while his 18 Tests for Australia and 25 appearances for New South Wales is nothing to sneeze at either.
The Provan-Summons Trophy, encapsulating the mud clad scenes post the 1963 grand final between St George and Western Suburbs, currently sits in the Penrith Panthers trophy cabinet too.
There's no better opponent to celebrate the life and times of Norm Provan.
Norm Provan tribute match
Date: Friday, March 18
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
Public gates: 4:45pm
Lend a helping hand
Broken hands are in vogue at the Dragons.
That's not a good thing.
Forward Tegan Dymock is the third Red V NRLW player to have suffered the ill-fated injury this campaign.
Back-rower Talei Holmes hasn't been sighted since Round 1, while Kezie Apps is closing in on her return following similar hand breaks each.
Suspensions served by winger Madison Bartlett and forward Kody House in addition to centre Jaime Chapman's concussion woes has led to coach Jamie Soward calling upon every squad member bar Alexandria Sulusi and Matilda Power to the Dragons' 18-woman line-up so far.
It's remarkable the Dragons are on the brink of their second NRLW finals berth, let alone remaining competitive, given the obstacles thrown their way over the opening three weeks of the season.
Watch them live from Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium against the winless Knights where all good rugby league is shown at 1:45pm on Sunday afternoon.
On a hip and a milestone
George Burgess has achieved everything there is for a Pom to achieve in Australian rugby league.
A premiership winner? Yep. A Test player? You betcha.
There is something Julie's baby boy ain't though, and that's a quitter.
Hip resurfacing surgery a little under a year ago looked to have prematurely ended his career. A rugby league first for a player whose desire to continue playing burnt bright.
He took solace in a handful of countrymen, playing the toff's game back home, returning from such a procedure.
The demands of rugby shirk in comparison to the NRL promise land though. Faster, fitter, stronger are traits that will get you as far as the club's reception these days.
Burgess has fought tooth and nail for another opportunity. Against all odds.
Not only will he achieve a rugby league first upon his return, Friday will also be Burgess's 150th NRL game.
St George Illawarra player No. 257 awaits.
Pearson points watch
We mentioned last week that Dragons' fearless playmaker Rachael Pearson was on the brink of NRLW history.
Pearson is now the Dragons' equal most point-scorer ever with former centre Jess Sergis (20 points) just three games into her first grade career.
Round 4 will see her jump to the outright lead at the club, and incredibly the fourth most points by a woman in a single NRLW season.
Roosters utility Zahara Temara and former Bronco, now Dragons assistant coach, Meg Ward sit in reach after scoring 22 and 30 points respectively in 2020. Brisbane hooker Lauren Brown also sits two points behind Pearson in this year's tally.
Pearson's work is still cut out for her if she's to become the most prolific point-scorer in NRLW history – former Queensland and Australia outside back Chelsea Baker scored an incredible 38 points across four games in 2018.