Dragons five-eighth Jamie Soward, on the move during training at WIN Stadium yesterday, expects a spirited challenge from the Broncos. Picture: SYLVIA LIBERHaving made the finals for the past 17 years under Wayne Bennett, Brisbane will have a point to prove against their old mentor when playing for their season on Friday night.St George Illawarra five-eighth Jamie Soward believes the Broncos will be fired up to avoid becoming the first team to miss September action following Bennett’s phenomenal streak before he left the club for Wollongong this year.Written off as finals contenders after a horror run of form which included a 56-0 hiding at the hands of Canberra, the Broncos breathed new life into their title hopes with a second-half shellacking of Penrith on Sunday. HAVE YOUR SAY: Why should the home semi-final be played in Wollongong? Full coverage of The St George Illawarra DragonsIt leaves Brisbane clinging to eighth spot with three rounds remaining.Soward claimed it was a warning that the Broncos, under new coach Ivan Henjak, can still be as dangerous as ever.”Brisbane are always a dangerous team and obviously they’ll be up to prove something to Benny,” Soward said.”(But) for us it’s just about how we’re going to play.’They’re the Broncos, they’ve played finals football for the last 20-odd years so they’re never gone.”With everyone bagging them – and it was the same with Souths – everyone was writing up stuff and they came out and won three or four in a row.”And the Broncos can do the same thing if we’re off on Friday night.”Welcoming back the likes of Matt Prior and Beau Scott from suspension and Matt Cooper and Jason Nightingale from injury, Soward claimed the Dragons would not dwell on Saturday’s loss to Canberra. The Dragons named a 19-man team, with Prior named in the starting line-up and Dean Young returning to hooker ahead of mid-season recruit Nathan Fien.Soward claimed the Dragons have a perfect preparation for the finals by playing the Broncos, South Sydney and Parramatta, who are all among the frantic chase for a top-eight position.”I’m excited. I think it’s a great run for us – it’s going to be like a finals game every game,” Soward said.”Those teams are going to be throwing the ball around and throwing stuff at us that we’ve not really expected, so it’s going to be a good test for us over the next month.”Soward claimed the Eels and Bulldogs were the biggest threats to the Dragons.”(Parramatta fullback) Jarryd Hayne has been outstanding,” Soward said.”Every team is dangerous but I watched the Bulldogs (who beat North Queensland 24-12 on Friday night) and I was really impressed with them.”
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