Game one of the 2018 Telstra Premiership is done, and St George Illawarra fans should have an extra spring in their step. Follow today's NRL.com Daily Blog to get all the wash-up from last night's match and all the news heading into the remaining opening week clashes.
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That's it for the NRL.com Daily Blog for Friday. The first of tonight's matches is just under an hour away. After the Knights and Sea Eagles meet at 6pm, Johnathan Thurston will play his 300th NRL match at home against the Sharks at 8:05pm (AEDT). A new Daily Blog will appear on this site on Monday morning, starting at 7am. Have a great weekend, enjoy your footy.
4:55pm AEDT: South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Greg Inglis has returned from a season ending injury. His teammates full of excitement to run be running out alongside the Australian International.
4:50pm AEDT: Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson clears up the Cooper Cronk jellyfish rumour.
Was Cronk stung by a Jellyfish?
4:45pm AEDT: Sydney Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary will sit out of the Saturday clash against the Wests Tigers after coach Trent Robinson has cut his squad from 21 to 19. It is still hoped that Keary will be cleared to play in round two after Robinson this week confirmed he had overcome the injury he suffered in the pre-season.
4:40pm AEDT: Rising stars to keep a close eye on in the Intrust Super Cup.
4:30pm AEDT: Jarryd Hayne generated all the headlines in that now infamous Parramatta Eels five-kilometre pre-season fitness trial, but we can reveal the 108-kilo front-rower that was first past the post in an incredible display of endurance.
4:15pm AEDT: The Gold Coast Titans will be rocking a new style in Sunday's match against the Canberra Raiders.
4pm AEDT: Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall is a definite for some minutes in Saturday's clash against the Sydney Roosters.
3:45pm AEDT: Panthers forwards James Tamou and Viliame Kikau are ready to rock the engine room on Sunday in the Battle of the West.
3.30pm AEDT: Parramatta Eels enforcer Nathan Brown is adamant his team can kick-start their season with a win on Sunday against Penrith.
Brown: Eels can do something special
3.15pm AEDT: Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has dismissed talk Cooper Cronk's stint at the club will be a failure if they don't win a premiership.
3pm AEDT: Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence is well aware just how dynamic Sydney Roosters and former teammate James Tedesco can be.
Lawrence: Fans will give Tedesco rough reception
2.15pm AEDT: North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth Michael Morgan is expected to be ruled out of tonight's game versus Cronulla with a stomach strain. Nothing has been made official from the club, however it is understood the injury sustained this week will keep Morgan out of Friday's season opening blockbuster.
Grand final pivot Te Maire Martin is the likely replacement alongside captain Johnathan Thurston in his 300th career game.
1.45pm AEDT: Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans is bouncing ahead of the Sea Eagles taking on the Newcastle Knights tonight.
12.55pm AEDT: Dan Walsh reports from Roosters HQ where Trent Robinson has addressed the media.
News from the east is Luke Keary's worrying concussion symptoms have subsided but he is still considered unlikely to play against Wests Tigers tomorrow, with Trent Robinson to make a call on his star pivot after Friday's captain's run.
"We've got one last session today we'll see how that goes.
"(The headaches) have gone and I think the jaw – as far I know, I'm obviously not a doctor – but I know that a plate was inserted to make it stronger and the bone takes about six weeks to heal.
"We're just about at that point now, so it's pretty close."
Robbo also had some fun with reports Cooper Cronk had a run-in with a jellyfish during the week at Bondi Beach, though he was never in doubt for his Tricolours debut.
"A jellyfish? Right. No he had a cut on his foot at one of his recoveries and he trained yesterday. It's a good story, but no he didn't get stung by a jellyfish.
"I can't confirm or deny any animals involved. He's got a cut on his foot at the beach.
"Is there a beach ban now placed on Cooper": "That's a ridiculous question."
The Roosters also expect to have former Raiders hooker Kurt Baptiste on their books by the end of next week, with Robinson declaring a 2018 commitment from Baptiste “is pretty close.”
12.45pm AEDT: An estimated 1.872 million viewers tuned into Channel Nine’s Round 1 coverage on Thursday night when the Dragons took on the Broncos. Nine reached a national peak audience of 997,000 across five major cities.
11.45am AEDT: Brisbane Broncos interchange forward Jaydn Su'a has been charged with a grade one shoulder charge on Paul Vaughan in last night's 34-12 defeat versus the St George Illawarra Dragons. He will miss a week with an early guilty plea, but if he fights the charge and loses, Su'a won't return until round 4.
11.15am AEDT: Sunday's clash between Penrith and Parramatta at Panthers Stadium is officially sold out. Final tickets were snapped up early this morning, more than 48 hours before kick-off in the Battle of the West.
10.30am AEDT: Cronulla Sharks veteran Luke Lewis is set to miss tonight's game against the North Queensland Cowboys after injuring his ankle in the captain's run.
10am AEDT: Tanisha Stanton reports in from Ivan Cleary's press conference at ANZ Stadium ... Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary confirms Benji Marshall will definitely be running out against the Roosters, with his calf injury not a concern.
9.45am AEDT: Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett has no doubt Lachlan Croker will hold his own at pivot versus the Newcastle Knights tonight.
Barrett gives Croker Green light
9.15am AEDT: Newcastle Knights co-captain Jamie Buhrer is bracing himself for an old fashioned arm wrestle against the Manly Sea Eagles tonight.
8.45am AEDT: St George Illawarra Dragons coach Paul McGregor was a happy man following last night's 34-12 victory against the Brisbane Broncos.
Dragons press conference
8.15am AEDT: Sydney Roosters rising star Joseph Manu is relishing the poise of teammate Cooper Cronk.
7.45am AEDT: Canberra Raiders second-rower Joseph Tapine is looking to cement his starting spot in the lime green jersey
7.30am AEDT: Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen is in no mood for sentiment ahead of Johnathan Thurston's 300th NRL game tonight.
7am AEDT: Dragons coach Paul McGregor and English international Gareth Widdop were unsurprisingly happy with how last night's match transpired.
7am AEDT: The Broncos were far from happy with how they played against the Dragons. Coach Wayne Bennett knows they've got a lot of work ahead of them.
7am AEDT: It was a masterclass from the St George Illawarra Dragons last night as they were far too good for a tepid Brisbane Broncos outfit, recording a comfortable 34-12 win.
7am AEDT: Here are the video highlights from the win. Watch out for Jason Nightingale's early contender for try of the year.
Match Highlights: Dragons v Broncos - Round 1; 2018
7am AEDT: NRL.com senior writer Brad Walter was at UOW Jubilee Oval. Here is his take on the match.
7am: Here is the video preview from the first of tonight's matches. Log on to NRL.com from 6pm for all the action as it happens.
Knights v Sea Eagles