IT'S hardly the stuff dreams are made of but St George Illawarra have been given a few favours with the release of the full 20-round NRL draw.
Currently 0-2 after dropping their opening two matches to the Tigers and Panthers, the Dragons, featuring Gerringong's Jackson Ford and Tariq and Korbin Sims, Shellharbour's Trent Merrin and Albion Park-Oak Flats' Adam Clune, will resume their season against the Warriors on the Central Coast on Saturday week.
Beyond that, they'll face grand finalists the Roosters and Raiders twice, as well as arch rivals Cronulla, but they'll also come up wooden spoon favourites the Titans twice.
They'll also play two games against the Bulldogs, the first in round four, in one of five return clashes as opposed to the typical nine in a 25-round season.
In what shapes as a blessing or a curse, they won't face premiership favourites Melbourne until the final round of the season.
It's certainly more favourable than their original trajectory, which was among the toughest in the competition and saw them looking at the Raiders, Eels, Rabbitohs, Roosters and Storm in a single six-week stretch after an 0-2 start.
They'll now face an injury-ravaged Warriors with a nine-day turnaround into their Monday afternoon June long weekend clash before facing the Sharks and Titans.
They'll then meet the Roosters and Raiders in consecutive weeks in rounds eight and nine and will likely need to be at 4-2 heading in or risk being out of the finals race by the mid-point of the season.
A tough treble looms in rounds 13-15 when they take on the Roosters - an Anzac commemoration on the anniversary of the Battle of Lone Pine - the Rabbitohs and the Eels.
Paul McGregor's side will want to be well in the top eight come the home stretch with games against the Raiders and Storm in two of their last three outings.
The draw does not include any NRLW fixtures, with doubts over whether the competition will go ahead, but the women's Stat of Origin fixture has been schedule for Friday November 13, two days after game two of the men's series.
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