Dragons to play Bathurst Panthers in NRL curtin raiser at Glen Willow
By Ben Harris
Mudgee Dragons will play Bathurst Panthers as the curtain-raiser to the NRL match between Parramatta and Gold Coast on May 26 following the official release of the Group 10 draw this week.
It will be the only Group game on that day, the other four matches are schedule to play either on Friday or Saturday.
Dragons premier league captain-coach Mat Stott said the players were pumped for the round eight clash, despite it being three-and-a-half months away.
“It is going to be a great spectacle,” Stott said.
“To play in front of a full-house at Glen Willow is going to be incredible.
But before their clash with the men in black, Mudgee have to go through the other Group 10 teams first.
The Dragons have the hardest start to the competition out of any team, meeting the two teams that have played in the past two grand finals.
They kick-off their season on April 7 at home against the premiers Lithgow before meeting Orange CYMS in the colour city.
They are then at home to Hawks in round three and go up against Bathurst St Pats, Oberon, Cowra and Blayney before meeting the Panthers.
The first round match against Lithgow will be the first time the two sides have met since that infamous match last year in July.
The game was called off seven minutes from half-time after a spate of brawls.
“They are the premiers now and they are the benchmark team that everyone wants to be levelled with or in front of.
“It will put us in a good position as to where we are at.”
There were meant to be 10 teams playing in premier league this season but last month Blackheath opted out.
Where teams are schedule to play Blackheath, premier league will have the bye.
The semi-finals are schedule to begin on August 18 with the grand final to be held on September 8