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Prior to the Super League, the premiers have not successfully defended their premiership since the Brisbane Broncos won the title in 1992 and then went on to win the competition again in 1993. Prior to this occasion, the last club to win consecutive premierships was the Canberra Raiders in 1989 and 1990.
The Dragons face a task which was last achieved 18 years ago and the pressure is certainly on for them to achieve the same success they tasted last season. Over recent years the defending premiers have not had an easy run. The Brisbane Broncos who won the grand final in 2006, scraped in at eighth spot in 2007 only to be be turned away in the first week of the finals. The Manly Sea Eagles who won the competition in 2008, also had an early exit the following year in 2009. Manly reached the first week of the finals however, due to results that were unfavourable they also went crashing out in the first week.
Dragons fans certainly believe that they are capable of going back-to-back – with their star-studded backline, the unwavering influence Wayne Bennett exhibits over the club and his uncanny ability to get the best out of his players time and time again, the Dragons are certainly in an excellent position to be the first club in 18 years to secure consecutive premierships.
Though there are still some doubts over their depth, after losing some quality players in the off-season, mainly Jeremy Smith (Cronulla Sharks) and Neville Costigan. However, the Dragons still field a solid forward pack including premiership winners Dean Young, Ben Creagh and Michael Weyman.
The Dragons chances again, hinge on their coach Wayne Bennett. If he is able to re-gather the same attitudes of hunger and determination – as many sides found out last season – the Dragons will be hard to beat. This is why undoubtedly, the Dragons are the most likely team to be able to win back-to-back titles, and if you were to back one team to do it – it would have to be them.