UOW Jubilee Oval is a favourite of Titans coach Neil Henry as his side prepare to face the Red V at the venue in Round 19.

Kogarah's a keeper, says Henry

Whether you file out of the train station at Carlton, stumble out of the Royal Carlton Hotel down Jubilee Road, make your way across from St George Leagues Club or work your way in via the back-streets of Kogarah, there is tradition that comes with attending a Dragons game at Jubilee Oval and one Titans coach Neil Henry hopes is retained.

The Titans head to what is now known as UOW Jubilee Oval on Friday night with a place in the top eight in the offing at what can be an intimidating yet invigorating place to play football.

The Red V Army stands proudly on the opposite hill as the players run onto the field and recent upgrades to the grandstand on the western side have helped to encase the primal atmosphere that remains suburban grounds' most enduring characteristic.

Of the grounds at which they have called home since their inception in 1999 St George Illawarra's best winning record is at Jubilee Oval – including seven of their past nine – but Henry sees it as a venue to be revelled in and not intimidated by.

"It's a great little suburban ground. Drive up narrow streets and park in the primary school across the road if you have to drive there or walk to the ground," said Henry, whose only previous visit to Kogarah as a head coach came in 2014 when the Titans were dusted 34-6.

"It's one of those grounds where you go to the footy and all the fans are walking to it.

"I like coaching there, not that we've had a lot of success but it's one of those grounds that hopefully they keep."

 


Titans captain Nathan Friend has two wins from three previous visits to Jubilee Oval to face the Dragons including an 11-10 golden point win with the Titans in 2010 where a Mat Rogers field goal proved the difference.

His last appearance at Kogarah was a 20-10 loss with the Warriors back in 2014 but said he too enjoys the experience of playing in front of such a passionate supporter base.

"It's a difficult ground to play at. I think I've only won a few there and won one in golden point so it's a struggle," Friend recalled.

"It's a good home ground for them but being our first Friday night game I'm looking forward to it.

"Obviously in this day and age you try and build big stadiums and get as many bums on seats but it is nice to head back to the old school [grounds].

"It feels like they're on top of you and it's fantastic. You love to hear the support of the crowd which is only two metres away."

Since coming into the competition in 2007 the Titans have played at Jubilee Oval on only three occasions but have twice come away with victories.

In 2010 they snuck past 11-10 in Round 20 on their way to the finals series and then 12 months later triumphed 28-14 with David Mead and Ryan James the only remaining members of that team taking the field on Friday night.

The most recent meeting between these two teams came in Round 24, 2014 when the Dragons turned a 16-0 half-time lead into a 34-6 spanking.

The Dragons' last-start win at Jubilee in Round 10 was full of high drama with a light tower plunging a corner of the ground into semi-darkness and an inexplicable pass from Raiders fullback Jack Wighton gifting Euan Aitken an unimpeded run to the try-line in golden point extra time.