Dragons target Manly rookies

Trent HodkinsonSt George Illawarra are ready to turn up the heat on Manly’s rookie halves combination in tonight’s crucial NRL clash at Kogarah’s WIN Jubilee Oval.The Sea Eagles have been a regular fixture in the finals for the past five years, and went on to claim the 2008 premiership.They have a wealth of players with play-offs, State of Origin and international experience, but second-rower Ben Creagh yesterday revealed the Dragons would target young playmakers Kieran Foran and Trent Hodkinson. Full coverage of the Dragons Hodkinson has played 19 NRL games since debuting this year, while Foran is in his second season with just 27 games under his belt.Creagh said the Dragons were determined to exploit their lack of experience in tonight’s game, expected to be played in a finals atmosphere.”It’s definitely a key to winning,” Creagh acknowledged. “Earlier in the season they played really well against us, they had a great combination going.”But the more pressure you put on young halves, hopefully it will come up with a few errors or bad passes.”It’s always important to try and limit their time with the ball.”The young Manly halves duo will square off against Dragons pairing Jamie Soward and captain Ben Hornby, who have played every game for the past two years together.Soward has played 101 games in his NRL career, while Hornby is a 221-game veteran.Creagh is adamant the regular Soward-Hornby combination will prove to be a major asset in this year’s finals series.”Sowie has been going great and they’ve been combining better and better for everyone else around them,” he said.Manly toppled the Dragons 24-6 the day after the Australia-New Zealand Test and Country-City Origin clash earlier this season.It is the most points St George Illawarra have conceded this year, having averaged just 10.75 points against all teams after 20 rounds.”We can take a bit of motivation from the points they scored on us earlier in the season and stop it happening again,” Creagh said.”That’s definitely what we’ve been training to do all week and we will be backing our defence [tonight] and hopefully hold them to as least tries as possible.”
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