Creagh to show true colours for Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Creagh to show true colours for Dragons

Ben Horne 30/07/2011 05:24:52 PM Comments (0)

When you're partnered with the NRL's most famous club, it's easy to understand how the Illawarra influence in St George Illawarra gets a little bit lost.

But the region will be celebrated as the driving force that it is when the Dragons take on South Sydney at WIN Stadium on Sunday.

There's now a roof on the partly completed main grandstand and a capacity crowd is expected for a match where Illawarra will celebrate its history and the Dragons will attempt to get their premiership campaign back on track.

Last week the Illawarra team of the century was named, with Ben Creagh the only current NRL player selected.

Not that he's needed a special event as an excuse to turn in starring performances this season, but you can bet Creagh is primed for a big one in front of home fans after his latest accolade.

Creagh is rated as the best second-rower in the game at the moment by many good judges after a stellar season so far for the Dragons and a re-emergence at State of Origin and Test level.

While his selection in the Illawarra all-time team didn't come with the hype and media attention of a Blues or Kangaroos jersey, it's a mighty recognition of his talent.

The Illawarra has been a production line for NRL stars over the decades and for Creagh to be picked alongside the likes of Bob Fulton and Graeme Langlands, when his career is probably only just past its halfway point, is some achievement.

While in rugby league speak St George Illawarra is often shortened to St George and simplified to Dragons, the players will run out in their Steelers jerseys on Sunday and locally-produced players will be keen to show how important Illawarra still is.

"I think it's (exciting). We had the dinner for the 100-year team (last week) and with the new stand and coming back to Wollongong I think it's going to be pretty good," said Dapto boy, Dan Hunt.

"I heard it's going to be a sellout so all the boys are looking forward to it."

Indicating theprestige of Creagh's Illawarra selection is the fact contemporaries with Test experience like Matt Cooper, Ben Hornby, Dean Young, Glenn and Brett Stewart all missed out.

St George area legend Mark Gasnier knows what Illawarra has meant to the joint venture and what team of the century honours means for teammate Creagh.

"He's a tremendous player and a great guy and to make that team is a tremendous honour because Illawarra produces a lot of talent," said Gasnier.

The Rabbitohs must win to keep their finals hopes alive, no easy feat given the strength of opposition and the fact they were embarrassed by the Warriors last week.

St George Illawarra's agonising last-minute loss to Canberra wasn't part of the plan for the Dragons, but Hunt says the team knows what's required to get back on track against Souths.

"Every team seems to get up against us and we'll be ready on Sunday because I know they'll be and they've got some quality players in Issac Luke and Chrissy Sandow," said Hunt.

"We've just got to do our job and get all the little things right, do it consistently and we'll get back to our best."

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