Quite the opposite to how they finished 2009. When a strong end to the year saw the Dragons within 80 minutes of the Grand Final.
A key player in their late season surge was Stand Off Adam Mogg. A former Queensland State of Origin representative, Mogg has plenty of big game experience. Injury restricted him to 18 appearances last year, but that was still enough for him to contribute 10 try assists, and 4 tries of his own.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Mogg's creative play, is robust Winger Dimitri Pelo. Last year the French International hustled and bustled his way to 17 tries. Like all good wingers Pelo keeps his width in attack, but he's not shy to come in off his wing to search for opportunities.
The third player I want to highlight is a true icon in the sport. Dallas Johnson has won two NRL Grand Finals and represented Australia, but it's his efforts for the Queensland State of Origin side that are truly staggering. A lynchpin in helping Queensland to their last four consecutive series wins, the 2007 installment is something that has gone down in Origin folkore. In the third and final game of that year, Johnson was knocked out in the very first tackle of the match. Despite the concussion meaning he hardly knew what day it was, Johnson returned in the second half to make an astonishing 50 tackles! This followed on from Game 1, where he'd stole the headlines again by setting an Origin record of 62 tackles in 77 minutes!
Evidently defence is a big part of his game, and in his first year at the Dragons he'll be wanting to ensure his Catalans team mates follow his lead.
It's a good time to be playing the Dragons though. Following a good run in last years play offs, added to them having the majority of their squad playing for France in the 4 Nations; their offseason has been much shorter than most clubs. This should work in the Quins favour, but the Catalans will need no incentive for what in the past has often been a fiery encounter!
Stevie Owen, Sky Sports
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