The NRL has announced that the St.George Bank Dragons will play the Penrith Panthers at Oki Jubilee Stadium on Friday, 13 May. Kick-off has been scheduled for 7:30pm and the match will be televised on Channel Nine.
As little progress has been made with the installation of permanent lighting since Kogarah Council approved the Development Application on St.Valentine's Day, it is hoped that the Dragons will hire temporary lighting for this important match.
Kogarah season ticketholders have already experienced a number of delays in season 2005. The first Kogarah match wasn't scheduled until round 10 due to the proposed 2005 upgrade, the installation of the modernised seating was recently deferred until 2006 and consequently the season tickets have only just been distributed to Kogarah season ticketholders.
On 26 November 2004, Dragons CEO Peter Doust stated:
"Providing appropriate time for building works at Oki to be completed concluded the discussion on the first four home games. We learned our lessons from the work undertaken in 2002/03 and given the need for community consultation and approvals from local authorities we needed to provide for an end of April completion."
The prospect that the match against the Panthers may be switched to another venue is disappointing and extremely undesirable for St.George based supporters who only gain 5 games at the Dragons' spiritual home. Hopefully the Dragons will make a popular decision and invest in the temporary lighting for a match that is expected to attract a capacity crowd.
The last time the Panthers played at Kogarah was in 1999. The Dragons defeated the Panthers by 38-24, with Nathan Blacklock scoring a memorable try to seal the game. When the Dragons cancelled the next home game at Kogarah against Newcastle the following week, it was expected by many that the Panthers match was the last hurrah for Kogarah Jubilee.
Penrith has a dreadful record against the Dragons at Kogarah. In 24 matches at Kogarah since 1967, the Panthers have only recorded 2 victories:
1967 - St.George 25 defeated Penrith 2 1968 - St.George 37 defeated Penrith 8 1969 - St.George 31 defeated Penrith 7 1970 - St.George 20 defeated Penrith 8 1971 - St.George 26 defeated Penrith 10 1972 - St.George 31 defeated Penrith 7 1973 - St.George 23 defeated Penrith 17 1974 - St.George 8 defeated Penrith 3 1975 - St.George 24 defeated Penrith 15 1976 - St.George 13 defeated Penrith 10 1977 - St.George 14 defeated Penrith 10 1978 - St.George 26 defeated Penrith 9 1979 - St.George 37 defeated Penrith 15 1980 - St.George 36 defeated Penrith 12 1981 - St.George 23 defeated Penrith 15 1982 - Penrith 23 defeated St.George 10 1983 - St.George 29 defeated Penrith 22 1984 - St.George 40 defeated Penrith 6 1985 - St.George 13 defeated Penrith 10 1992 - St.George 14 defeated Penrith 6 1993 - St.George 15 defeated Penrith 4 1994 - Penrith 8 defeated St.George 6 1996 - St.George 36 defeated Penrith 10 1999 - St.George-Illawarra 38 defeated Penrith 24