Cowboys v Dragons
Round 1, Saturday, March 16, 1300SMILES Stadium
Round 15, Friday, June 28, WIN Stadium
Looking ahead: The two sides will meet twice in a season for the first time since 2016, beginning with a season-opening clash at 1300SMILES Stadium in Round 1, pitting star recruit Nene Macdonald against his old side in his first game in Cowboys colours. The Cowboys will then travel to Wollongong for the second encounter in Round 15.
Dragons' changes: Arguably the biggest change to the Dragons roster has been one of the Cowboys' biggest gains. Cairns product Nene Macdonald expressed to the Dragons his desire to return home and was released on compassionate grounds. The Cowboys swooped and signed the hulking winger to a three-year deal. Long-time winger Jason Nightingale retired at the end of the 2018 season, while prop Leeson Ah Mau departed for the Warriors. Former Broncos duo Korbin Sims, Jonus Pearson and Raiders outside back Mikaele Ravalawa headline the Dragons recruits.
Tatey says: "The Dragons are traditionally a team that starts really well and we play them in Round 1 so that presents a big challenge for our boys. The experience a lot of their players got from playing rep footy in 2018 will be invaluable. I think the Dragons will be right up there again in 2019."
Looking back: The two sides met once in the 2018 season, with the Dragons claiming a 24-10 win at 1300SMILES Stadium in Round 19.
Last 5 clashes:
2018, Round 19: Dragons def. Cowboys 24-10
2017, Round 7: Dragons def. Cowboys 28-22
2016, Round 12 Dragons def. Cowboys 14-10
2016, Round 5: Cowboys def. Dragons 36-0
2015, Round 17: Cowboys def. Dragons 18-10
Head-to-head: Played 30; Cowboys 15 wins, Dragons 15 wins
Previous result: Dragons won 24-10 in Round 19, 2018
Finish – NRL ladder: Cowboys 13th v Dragons 7th
Finish – membership ladder: Cowboys 6th (23,437) v Dragons 7th (21,197)