MOUNTIES could still be having nightmares about Dragons young-gun Jai Field after he proved chief tormentor in last year’s elimination semi-final.
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The Shellharbour Sharks product scored a try and laid on another to peg back a 12-nil deficit in the first half but it was his 60-metre effort with just over a minute on the clock that proved the real heart-breaker.
The long-range effort came as Mounties clung to a two-point lead and continued the Wollongong-based club’s recent joy against Mounties after the Illawarra Cutters defeated them in the 2016 grand final.
Field will again wear the number one when the two sides meet at WIN Stadium in Saturday’s season-opener and Dragons ISP coach Mat Head expects the recent rivalry to bring plenty of intensity.
“We’ve had some great tustles with Mounties in the last couple of years,” Head said.
“It’s a pretty good match-up.
“There’s a couple of pretty good quality first grade players coming back into both squads.
“We probably had our best win of the year against Mounties down there in Canberra midway through last season and then Fieldy broke their hearts in that semi-final.
“I expect there’ll be a few of the boys wanting to pay us back there, but they’ve got a new structure with their coach as well.
“It’s a whole new year, we’re all looking to start the season with a victory so I’m sure they’ll come firing.
“We’re pretty excited, it’s been a long preseason as they all are. We’re at home at WIN Stadium so it’s exciting times.”
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