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Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by getsmarty, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Good news for injured Jillaroo
    Sun 13th August, 12:00PM
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    By Martin Gabor - NRL.com National Correspondent

    The Jillaroos have received a huge boost 100 days out from the Rugby League World Cup with star fullback Sam Bremner said to be recovering well from the high ankle sprain that forced her from the field during the Women's Interstate Challenge.

    The 2013 World Cup Player of the Tournament had to be carried off WIN Stadium during New South Wales' 22-6 win over Queensland after aggravating an injury she'd picked up in the first half.

    Bremner said she heard two pops just before she collapsed to the turf in agony, sparking fears the champion fullback could miss the World Cup starting on November 16.

    However, Bremner's teammates are confident she will overcome the high ankle sprain and play a key role as the Aussies look to defend their title on home soil.

    "I think it's been downgraded a little bit so she's obviously done all the right things after the game," Blues teammate Kezie Apps said at a media call on Cronulla Beach.

    "I think she's only out for about four weeks before she can start her rehab again with running and stuff. She's in really good spirits."

    Jillaroos skipper Ruan Sims added Bremner's love of fitness and wellbeing played a big part in her recovery.

    "I think that has a lot do with the fact Sam does a lot of rehab work so she might have got a few sessions in before the physio saw her. She's always on top of stuff like that," Sims said.

    "Sammy brings a lot of fun and excitement and a big skill set to the team. On and off the field she has a huge amount of value and she'll definitely be there at the end of the year."

    The news is equally positive for Apps who claimed Player of the Match honours in the Interstate Challenge in what was her third game back from a debilitating broken leg suffered at the Auckland Nines.

    While she's still experiencing moments of pain, the barnstorming back-rower is confident she'll be good to go come the tournament opener.

    "I was really sore actually," she said when asked how she'd pulled up from the game.

    "It was my first big game back since my injury – I'd only had two club games under my belt – and I struggled a little bit out there but I pushed through and I had my teammates there to encourage me and keep pushing me along. I'm still recovering from it – my foot's a bit sore – but it'll be right."

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/13/good_news_for_injure.html
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    ann grabs chance to steer Dragons finals ship

    Mitch Jennings@@Mitch_Jenno

    13 Aug 2017, 2:30 p.m.
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    STEPPING UP: Kurt Mann. Picture: AAP

    HE’S been the Dragons’ Mr Fixit throughout their 2017 campaign, but bench utility-cum-halfback Kurt Mann could prove the spark to reignite his side’s finals hopes if his performance against Gold Coast on Saturday is any guide.

    Mann was thrust into the play-making hot-seat after regular No. 7 Josh McCrone succumbed to a niggling groin injury, scoring two tries and linking seamlessly with skipper Gareth Widdop as the Dragons re-found their attacking groove.

    Coach Paul McGregor offered a succinct “yes” when asked if the 24-year-old had done enough to keep the gig this week against Brisbane, after labeling his side’s first half their best of the season.

    “Josh has had groin trouble on both sides for about a month and a half,” McGregor said.

    “He couldn’t really run earlier in the week and he was struggling to get through a full 80 minutes so, with Kurt there, we made the change.

    “He’s got speed in attack and defence, he’s aggressive and he likes to carry the footy so he’s a running threat as well. He worked hard through the week and his performance was very solid.”

    Mann has started four games in the halves this season only to be shifted mid-game to cover injuries and said having a week to prepare was a big confidence-booster.

    “Mary [McGregor] told me at the start of the week [that I’d be playing] and that really helped me,” Mann said.

    “The last time I played there we were on a short turnaround and I had one training session there and that was my first game with Gaz [Widdop] as well.

    I think everyone wants to be in the starting side and that’s what I want to do, I want to be in the starting side. - Kurt Mann

    “This time, having a better week at training and being my second game with him, we gelled a bit better.

    “I was just trying to help set up his game. When he plays well, we usually win so I was just trying to lay out our points and give him a platform to play off.

    “He ended up doing the same thing for me so it worked out well.”

    Having played every position in the back-line at some stage this season, Mann said he’d like to nail down the No. 7 jumper in the three games the Dragons have left to push their top eight claims.

    “I think everyone wants to be in the starting side and that’s what I want to do, I want to be in the starting side,” Mann said.

    “The stuff that’s happened before, no one can control or predict that. That’s out of my hands with injuries and, me being versatile, I’ve ended up getting shifted around.

    “That’s my role, it’s what the team needed, but it was definitely good to get 80 minutes out in the halves.”

    Brisbane promise to provide a much sterner test of the Dragons finals credentials this week with Mann admitting every match is now must-win for his side.

    “We’ve backed ourselves into a corner so we haven’t really given ourselves much option,” Mann said.

    “Finals have started for us. Our head’s on the chopping block from now on and that’s the way we’ve got to play.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4851074/cometh-the-mann/?cs=3713
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Dugan puts NSW Origin controversy behind him

    Mitch Jennings@@Mitch_Jenno

    14 Aug 2017, 4 p.m.
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    MOVING ON: Dragons star Josh Dugan has turned his attention to club duty after a controversial Origin campaign with NSW. Picture: AAP


    ST GEORGE Illawarra star Josh Dugan says he has put the furore surrounding his pre-Origin drinking session with NSW teammate Blake Ferguson behind him as he looks to finish his time with the Dragons on a positive note.

    Dugan and Ferguson found themselves at the centre of a post-Origin storm after it was revealed the pair spent a day off in NSW camp at the Lennox Point Tavern just six days out from the Blues heavy game-three defeat.

    A subsequent review by the NSW Rugby League found that neither had broken any team rules but coach Laurie Daley has expressed disappointment with the duo’s decision following the fourth series defeat of his five-year tenure.

    Dugan has been tight-lipped on the matter in the wash-up and had little to add when quizzed on the matter on Monday other than to say he’s moved on.

    “I think it’s all been said,” Dugan said.

    “I was obviously [cleared] of any wrongdoing but, if I had my time over again, I would have done things differently. It was an error in judgement. I’ve learned from it and it won’t happen again.”

    Asked if his actions would have attracted the same scrutiny had NSW won the match Dugan said: “Defnitely not.”

    The drama has been one of a number of distractions for the incumbent Test centre, who endured a stand-off with the Dragons over his positional future before ultimately signing with arch-rivals Cronulla from next season.

    He’s also battled a string of injuries including an ankle sprain that almost ruled him out of Saturday’s win over the Titans.

    “It was pretty touch and go,” Dugan said.

    “I probably should’ve missed a week but I was up til two-three o’clock on the Friday and Saturday night after the Souths game icing it and it pulled up a lot better than the physios thought it would on the Monday.

    “We got the scans and they just said ‘let’s see how we go day by day’ and I just did all the right things. I daresay this week will be pretty much the same.

    “The body’s feeling it a bit but I don’t think there’d be a player out there that doesn’t have a niggle at this time of the year.”

    Saturday’s big win over the Titans was an important one as the Dragons continue to walk the top eight tightrope.

    They’ll face a tougher challenge against the second-placed Broncos on Friday night with Dugan labeling his side’s three remaining games as “must-win.”

    “It’s very bunched in the top eight, there’s four points between fifth and ninth and there’s three teams stuck there on the same points,” Dugan said.

    “We’re treating every game as a must-win to give ourselves the best opportunity to play finals footy. I think on the weekend we went out there with that attitude and that passion again.

    “We’re back on the right track and hopefully we can take it up to Brisbane.

    “We’re going to have to be at the top of our game to go up there to Suncorp and dust them but I think we’re up for the challenge.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4853165/dugan-moving-past-origin-booze-drama/?cs=3713
     
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  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Return of the running 'Mac'
    Wed 16th August, 09:00AM
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    By Martin Gabor, National Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

    His defence has been the stuff of legend in 2017, and now Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes wants to take his running game to new heights heading into the business end of the season.

    The crafty No.9 leads the league with 1007 tackles – 133 clear of the next best – with his tireless work around the ruck a key reason behind St George Illawarra's stingy defence in 2017.

    While he's been happy with his defensive output this season, the 23-year-old wants to increase his workload in attack after he ran for just 50 metres in a five-game stretch that culminated with no running stats in the Round 21 loss to the Knights.

    That slump seems to be over after he ran for 74 metres and scored two tries during Saturday's 42-16 win over the Gold Coast Titans, and McInnes told NRL.com that we can expect more of the same in the coming weeks.

    "I was running a lot more which is something I need to do a bit more of for the team," he said.

    "I always pride myself on my defence and that's been strong all year, but the more of a threat around the ruck that I can be, the further we'll go as a team.

    "Mary (Dragons coach Paul McGregor) has given me the freedom to run the ball if I see something around the ruck, and while I'm a good ball runner, I probably haven't done enough of it in the past."

    Since coming across from the Rabbitohs in the off-season, the biggest change in McInnes' game has been his minutes, with the workhorse hooker pushing himself more than ever before.

    McInnes has missed just seven minutes this season and has played unchanged in 20 of 21 matches; an incredible feat given he only played the full 80 minutes on six occasions during his 38-game career at South Sydney.

    "I pride myself on working hard and training hard and I had a big pre-season so I think it's starting to show because I'm feeling really good out there. Touch wood I can keep going and the body holds up, but at the moment I'm feeling great," he said.

    "The more footy you play the more comfortable you get. I've always been fit but it's hard to get 'footy fit' and used to playing 80 minutes unless you're playing 80 minutes on a weekly basis. For Mary to have faith in me and let me do that every week, I can't thank him enough for that."

    McGregor was quick to praise McInnes in the post-match media conference for his tireless contributions in his first 20+ game season.

    "He's been a big part of our year. This is the first time in his career that he's played every game – and 80 minute games – at nine," McGregor said.

    "Nothing seems to worry him. He just gets on with it each week, turns up at training and works as hard as anyone else there, he stays behind and does extras all the time and he'll do nothing different this week."

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/16/return_of_the_runnin.html
     
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  5. Dragsters

    Dragsters Juniors

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    Mcinnes had been huge for us this season.

    I had some concerns with his defense behind the ruck in the trial matches but he fixed that early on and is now very solid.

    Respect.
     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Player Transition Appreciation Day
    Thu 17th August, 10:00AM
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    St George Illawarra showed their appreciation to a group of unsung heroes that have helped shaped many young Dragons, with the hope of one day becoming future NRL players.

    The Dragons – including Chairman Brian Johnston – hosted several guests of honour including player employers, university tutors, school teachers, host families and real estate agents at an appreciation day last Saturday at St George Leagues Club.

    "The support that these people provide is vital for the development of our players and greatly appreciated by the club," Johnston said.

    Mr Johnston – who played 167 games for the Dragons and represented Australia and NSW – spoke of how he came to the Dragons as a young player from Dunedoo and the assistance he received when relocating.

    "Players needed to look at developing holistically, which includes gaining new skills and interests outside their football to prepare them for life after their time in the game," Johnston said.

    "The people here help these young players and the Dragons as a club are appreciative of their contribution."

    A number of the Dragons NYC team enjoyed lunch after their 36-12 win over the Titans with their employers and tutors, for example apprentice plumber Brayden Gallagher was joined by his employer Angelo Garcia from Lake South Plumbing.

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/17/player_transitioners.html
     
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Hunt dummy-half switch no concern for McGregor

    Mitch Jennings@@Mitch_Jenno

    17 Aug 2017, 8 p.m.
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    GENUINE HALFBACK: Ben Hunt. Picture: AAP


    ST GEORGE Illawarra coach Paul McGregor believes incoming halfback Ben Hunt is still a “genuine number seven” despite the 27-year-old’s emergence as a Broncos finals X factor at dummy-half.

    Hunt will shift to Wollongong next season after the Dragons lured him south with a six-year $6 million deal to partner skipper Gareth Widdop in halves.

    Hunt agreed to the lucrative and lengthy deal prior to the start of the season but has endured a patchy 2017 campaign that saw him dropped to the Ipswich Jets by coach Wayne Bennett.

    He’s since made his way back into the top grade through injuries to Bennett’s first-choice halves combination of Kodi Nikorima and Anthony Milford.

    With Nikorima and Milford now both fit, Hunt has experienced a late-season form resurgence in the No. 9 jumper after regular hooker Andrew McCulloch suffered a season-ending ACL injury in round 21.

    He also made his Origin debut in Queensland’s game three victory as a bench utility, but McGregor insists he’s had no cause to doubt his quality as genuine No. 7.

    “[Hunt] was certainly someone I Iooked upon that could take the club in a new direction and I haven’t changed my opinion there,” McGregor said.

    “I haven’t coached him yet but I like how he competes, I like how he takes the line on, I certainly like his enthusiasm. He’s a genuine halfback who likes to take control.

    “He’s played for his country, he’s playing for Queensland at the moment and and he’s at the top end of the halfbacks going around.”

    Asked about his shift to dummy-half for the Broncos McGregor said: “He’s done what’s needed for their team.

    “They lost a quality player McCulloch and obviously the coach has asked him to do a job there for him.

    “He’s been shifted to the interchange, coming on after 20 minutes and held his own and played some really good footy out there.”

    Hunt suffered an injury scare at training this week but Bennett confirmed on Thursday that he will play against his future club, with McGregor promising no favours.

    “For us this week, he’s just another player in a jumper for the opposition,” McGregor said.

    “He’s going to do his best for the opposition and we’ve got to do our best to stop him.”

    The Dragons have been dealt some late injury concerns of their own with four players struck down by illness and injury, though Nene Macdonald (knee) was the only player left out of the revised squad released on Thursday night.

    “We’ve had an eventful morning, two guys stayed in bed this because they were ill with flu and we lost two at training today,” McGregor said on Thursday.

    “We came up a day early on Wednesday thinking we would get the jump but a couple of guys woke up under the weather and now this [injuries].”

    The disruptions could not have come at a worse time with the Dragons walking a finals tight-rope over the final three rounds.

    “It’s a big game, as was last week and next week,” McGregor said.

    “We’ve put ourselves in this position. We’ve lost a couple of games we shouldn’t have but they’re gone now.

    “We can only focus on what happens next. We’ve got to win two of our last three and this is the first one.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4862850/mcgregor-backs-hunt-as-long-term-halfback/?cs=3713
     
  8. dragon thomo

    dragon thomo Juniors

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    The Broncos form was a bit patchy earlier in the season because of there forwards not Hunt. What I like about him is that he puts his body on the line in defence and also his running game. Also the only reason he was droped to reserve grade is that Bennett had the shits he signed with us.
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Gold Coast a wasteland, as NRL heartlands continue to suffer
    TIM BARROW
    17 Aug 2017, 8:14 p.m.
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    Held back: Dragons forward Jack de Belin is tackled by Gold Coast's marquee man Jarryd Hayne. Picture: AAP Image/Craig Golding


    Take a moment to consider the heavy artillery thrown at saving sport on the Gold Coast.

    The Centre of Excellence. Graham Annesley, the referee, turned NSW MP, turned rugby league powerbroker and now club administrator, sticking his fingers in as many holes on this sinking ship as possible.

    The Penrith premiership player John Cartwright took the Titans to a preliminary final, then Neil Henry has tried and failed.

    Jarryd Hayne followed one of his lucid sporting dreams all the way to the gates of Sea World. The NRL’s strategic desperation is only matched by the other codes.

    The AFL’s expansion and plans for unlikely world domination started with trying to annex western Sydney and the even wilder, supposedly lucrative glitter strip and its surrounds.

    West Coast premiership player Guy McKenna took the reins, then the veteran Rodney Eade.

    While the GWS Giants are now a premiership force, the Suns are such a basket case – even with the great Gary Ablett involved – the AFL sent their own man Mark Evans to take control and save the day, like Jaime Lannister confronting a fully-grown dragon.

    Every favour possible. For what? When you consider all the cash and resources – and the decades of failure with the Gold Coast Giants, Seagulls, Chargers and the South Queensland Crushers, before the Titans – surely this great expansion area of sport is running out of time. This is all without even considering Clive Palmer’s A-League effort Gold Coast United. The same Clive Palmer, former federal MP, now most famous for the barely comprehensible rhymes posted on Twitter.

    What does the Gold Coast have to with the Illawarra?

    Well, despite private investment, both are in debt, effectively wards of the NRL state.

    Yet we, as an NRL heartland, are offered four games a year and the tourist precinct all the resources in the known sporting world.

    The comparison says a lot things, including the dangers of expansion.

    NRL heavyweights like Phil Gound talk about not wanting to move into the Perth market, as if doing so would reduce their slice of the pie, rather than expand the economic pastry. And yet here we are, tolerating the ongoing failures of an area which has less history than the Steelers, let alone the Illawarra’s ongoing contribution to rugby league.

    If the Gold Coast were an American franchise, they’d long since have been moved, like the Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis.

    And yet, Australian sporting administrators keep ‘fishing where the fish’ are, as Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop coined.

    All that glitters is not gold.

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4863658/why-weight-of-gold-is-dragging-us-all-down/?cs=3713
     
    Old Kogarah Boy 1 likes this.
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    NRL: St George Illawarra reliant on results and must win final games after 24-12 loss to Brisbane
    LAINE CLARK, AAP
    August 19, 2017 7:41am
    WHERE there’s life, there’s hope. And coach Paul McGregor reckons an illness-hit St George Illawarra still have plenty of both despite their finals fate being taken away from them by Brisbane’s 24-12 NRL win on Friday night.

    The Dragons must win their final two games and hope other results go their way to remain in the finals mix after suffering their 10th straight loss at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.

    It is a mighty fall since their 6-1 season start.

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    Leeson Ah Mau on the defence. Pic: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
    But McGregor said he saw enough in their gutsy effort against the second-placed Broncos to convince him they were still in the finals hunt.

    “Yeah I did. We know what we need to do, we just need to go out there and do it,” he said.

    “It is still up to us. If we finish with 30 points our for and against is good — we just have to win, that’s the truth of it.”

    St George Illawarra cut the deficit to 20-12 in the 57th minute despite nine players nursing the flu and losing another two before kick-off — winger Nene Macdonald (knee) and bench forward Hame Sele (illness).

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    Paul Vaughan scored a try. Pic: AAP
    NSW back-rower Tyson Frizell was battling an ankle complaint suffered at training while Euan Aitken went down with a season-ending shoulder injury near full-time.

    Two-try hero Alex Glenn and five-eighth Anthony Milford ensured Brisbane nabbed their third straight win.

    “We’ve got nine blokes in there crook. There’s no excuses but their effort can’t be questioned,” McGregor said.

    “We lost Nene at training, ‘Friz’ limped off at training but played tonight.

    “Brisbane were just too good a side tonight — they are up there with the best.”

    The Dragons finish their season against a high-flying Penrith (away) and lowly Canterbury (home).

    They will also hope fellow top-eight rivals North Queensland, Manly, the Panthers and Canberra stumble in their run home.

    “Penrith are a quality team and Canterbury have had a disappointing year but they will get up for their last game,” McGregor said.

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    Cameron McInnes does his best to try to pick up some more metres. Pic: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
    “But we have a nine-day turnaround so that is going to help the guys who are crook so we should be OK.”

    The Dragons’ current luck was summed up in the first 11 minutes when Josh Dugan — switched from centre to wing — gifted Glenn his first try when he knocked on in-goal before dropping the ball over the line to bomb a certain four points at the other end moments later.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sp...e/news-story/a0784ff151605db6e4b80d7250080ff4
     
  11. thebigredv

    thebigredv Juniors

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    St George Illawarra Dragons to file racism complaint against Brisbane Broncos

    ST GEORGE Illawarra management will allege a Brisbane under-20s player racially vilified one of their players on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.

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    Dragons under-20s player T.J. Uele.Source:Supplied

    The Dragons have lodged a formal complaint to the NRL.

    “Yes, we will be follow the correct process path with the NRL,’’ a club official said.

    Broncos officials have also been notified that St George Illawarra have escalated to the incident.

    It will be alleged rookie Dragons forward TJ Uele was called a “black c...’’ by a Broncos bench player before halftime.

    The ugly claim coincides with a push-and-shove at the time of the alleged slur, which resulted in Uele reacting angrily and being sin-binned by the referee.

    The NRL wouldn’t comment on the incident but confirmed last night they have received a formal complaint from the Dragons.

    Originally published as Dragons file racism complaint against Broncos
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Sims' vow to Dragons fans, for better or worse
    Sun 20 Aug, 2017, 7:30am
    By Tony Webeck, Chief Queensland Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com
    @TonyWebeck


    [​IMG]
    A Gerringong junior who returned to his native home 12 months ago, Tariq Sims knows what the fluctuating fortunes of their footy team mean to the people of the NSW South Coast.

    The allegiance of the Illawarra with the powerhouse St George club almost 20 years ago created one of the largest supporter bases in rugby league and they ride every high and feel the depth of every low with those who represent them.

    When the 2017 Dragons defied wooden spoon predictions to win six of their first seven games of the season, the Princes Highway that links Wollongong with Sydney's south looked for all the world like a path to the finals series. But with two rounds remaining those September celebrations have been temporarily put on hold.

    Friday night's 24-12 loss to the Broncos in Brisbane has put the Dragons in sudden-death territory two weeks early with next Sunday's clash with the Panthers shaping as a defining one in determining the final make-up of the top eight.

    Given their team has only qualified for the finals once in the past five years – they finished eighth two years ago – it's 80 minutes St George Illawarra diehards may struggle to sit through… and Sims wouldn't have it any other way.


    ‌"We're a massive club, have a huge fan base and the fans are unreal, I love them," said Sims.

    "Whether it be negative comments or positive comments, they're always there. Even if the comments are negative, it's out of frustration because they are so passionate about the club.

    "We're just as passionate. We're the ones out there putting our bodies on the line and trying our best. It's not like we go out there to let tries in.

    "It's part and parcel of the game these days with social media. You guys pump out all that information and the fans take it how they want to take it but it's on us to turn it around and make sure we put in an 80-minute performance."

    Currently sitting in ninth position but with a superior points differential to the six teams immediately ahead of them, wins over the Panthers and Bulldogs in their final two games should almost certainly be enough for St George Illawarra to squeeze into the top eight.

    Wins however have been hard to come by in recent times with just three victories in their past nine matches but Sims says that their remains a confidence within the group that they can do what is required to give their fans a late-season thrill.

    "We've got two weeks to go. We need to win both of those games and win them well," said Sims.

    "We've got a pretty good for-and-against so we can launch up the ladder a little bit. Unfortunately there are other results so we have to sit on our hands and wait a bit and see if they go our way.

    "Confidence isn't a problem. It's just through our games we have five or 10-minute periods where we clock off and in the NRL you can't do that.

    "Even the lower-tier teams can get you. It's up to us to make sure we do the best we can for 80 minutes.

    "We've lost two or three golden points, games by two points but that doesn't show on the ladder.

    "If we can really [win] these last two games, we can shoot up the ladder and gain some momentum going into the finals."

    http://www.nrl.com/sims-vow-to-drag...-worse/tabid/10874/newsid/111221/default.aspx
     
  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Differential keeping Dragons afloat

    Mitch Jennings@@Mitch_Jenno

    20 Aug 2017, 6 p.m.
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    Gareth Widdop. Picture: AAP


    IT’S the life vest keeping the Dragons finals hopes afloat.

    While their fifth loss in their past seven games to Brisbane on Friday night made the top eight mountain a little steeper to climb, big wins over Manly and Gold Coast could still prove telling for the Dragons down the straight.

    The 24-12 loss to the Broncos put slight dent in what remains a handy for and against of +87 despite running ninth on the ladder. Only top two sides Melbourne (181) and Brisbane (172) have scored more points than the Dragons and boast a better differential.

    Most importantly, they have handy buffer on the Penrith (63) and Canberra (69) following the Panthers win over the Raiders on Sunday.

    They also boast a much healthier differential than Manly (23) after their shock loss to Canterbury on Sunday, and the Cowboys (26), who fell to Cronulla 26-16 on Saturday.

    The strong for and against highlights the chasm that exists between the Dragons best and worst performances this season, and will be entirely inconsequential should they drop either of their final two games to Penrith and Canterbury.

    Both are winnable, but ensure sudden-death football will comes two weeks early for Paul McGregor’s men when they take on the Panthers on Sunday.

    “We know what we have to do, we just need to go out there and do it,” McGregor said.

    “Penrith are a quality team and Canterbury have obviously had a disappointing year but it’s the last game of the year for them so they’re going to get up.

    “It’s still up to us. If we finish on 30 points are for and against is pretty good. We’ve just got to win. That’s the truth of it.”

    A nine-day turnaround into the clash is also favourable after a flu virus swept through the Dragons camp in Brisbane.

    It will also give the likes of Nene Macdonald, who was a late withdrawal from the Broncos clash, and Tyson Frizell time to recover from injuries sustained in last Thursday’s captain’s run.

    “The nine day turn will help those guys with injuries and certainly help the guys that are crook at the moment,’ McGregor said.

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4866098/differential-keeping-dragons-afloat/?cs=3713
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Illawarra narrowly defeated by ISP Sea Eagles
    By Blake Edwards

    Sun 20th August, 12:00PM
    A A

    [​IMG]

    Illawarra suffered a disappointing 24-22 loss against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles on Saturday afternoon at WIN Stadium, Wollongong.

    Illawarra were bolstered by the return of rake Siliva Havili and centre Taane Milne. Additionally, Will Matthews and Blake Lawrie backed up after featuring for the Dragons in their NRL loss to the Broncos less than 24 hours prior.

    It looked promising early for Illawarra who scored two tries within the first 10 minutes courtesy of young guns Jai Field and Pat Herbert.

    Blacktown's Peter Schuster found his way over the line midway through the first half before some inspiring play allowed Kalifa Faifai Loa to score and extend Illawarra's lead to 16-6.

    Repeat sets in the shadows of half-time saw Jordan Hall crash over for Blacktown to narrow the deficit to 16-12.

    Illawarra's ill-discipline was cause for Blacktown's first try of the second half courtesy of experienced campaigner Jonathan Wright in the 53rd minute.

    Herbert bagged his double a short while later to put his side back in front. However that lead didn’t last long as Sea Eagle Joey Lussick scored the visitors fourth try.

    The final 15 minutes was less than pretty from both sides, with a host of penalties and errors from both sides. Illawarra were gifted plenty of opportunities to score points but came up two points short in the end.

    Illawarra now need to defeat the Bulldogs next weekend at WIN Stadium to secure their place in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW finals series.

    Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 24 (Peter Schuster, Jordan Hall, Jonathan Wright, Joey Lussick tries; Jackson Hastings 4 goals) defeated Illawarra 22 (Patrick Herbert 2, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Jai Field tries; Jai Field 3 goals) at WIN Stadium, Wollongong. Half-time: Illawarra 16-12.

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/20/illawarra_narrowly_d.html
     
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Mann: Flu not an excuse
    Wed 23rd August, 12:00PM
    A A



    By Martin Gabor - NRL.com National Correspondent

    His side might have been struck down by a vicious case of the flu last week but Dragons halfback Kurt Mann has refused to use that as an excuse for St George Illawarra's 24-12 loss to the Broncos on Friday night.

    Dragons coach Paul McGregor hinted in his pre-match media conference that there were four players in serious doubt for the Round 24 clash, and his fears were justified as Nene Macdonald (knee) and Hame Sele (illness) were both ruled out.

    While it would be easy to blame the loss on his side's disrupted preparation, Mann refused to take the easy way out.

    "We had big Friz (Tyson Frizell) roll his ankle at training, Nene hurt his knee as well and then a couple of boys missed out because of the sickness going around so it wasn't ideal preparation. That's footy and everyone gets sick so you've just got to deal with it," he said.

    "I think you could say about 80 per cent of the team had it (the flu) and everyone's on the mend. There are a couple of boys who aren't here today because of it but they should be alright by the weekend.

    "It shouldn't have really affected us that much. We've still got a game to play no matter if people get sick. I think our doctor was on top of it as well at the time so it didn't make a whole lot of difference.

    "Brisbane are a good side, we went up there and we created a lot of opportunities – we played a pretty good game of footy in attack – and just our defence sort of let us down. It's hard to go up to Brisbane and beat them at their home stadium in front of their fans."

    Despite the setbacks, the Red V tested the Broncos for long periods of the match, finishing the game with three line breaks, 16 offloads and slightly more running metres than their opponents.

    However, their execution wasn't as crisp as we've seen in recent weeks and the 12-point loss leaves them in ninth spot, a win behind the eighth-placed Sea Eagles.

    Given their impressive for and against, the finals equation is fairly simple for the Dragons; beat the Panthers and Bulldogs in their remaining fixtures and hope Manly or the Cowboys slip up in the next two weeks.

    Even one win could be enough if results go their way, but Mann doesn't want to take any chances leading into this Sunday's trip to Penrith.

    "I wouldn't say it makes it easier, but it makes it a lot clearer. There are no ifs or buts; if that's what you've got to do then you've got to do it," he said.

    "This weekend, we know what we've got to do. We haven't really got an option now so we've got to win the next two games so hopefully our attack will come to light."

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/23/mann_flu_not_an_excu.html
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Dragons embracing finals pressure cooker

    Mitch Jennings@@Mitch_Jenno

    24 Aug 2017, 3 p.m.
    [​IMG]

    FIRM GRIP: Dragons prop Paul Vaughan. Picture AAP Image/Dan Peled


    IT’S the figure keeping his side’s finals flame ablaze and St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor believes a handy points differential is proof his can mix it with the competition’s best.

    Currently sitting ninth after 24 rounds, the Dragons are facing a pair of must-win clashes to secure a finals berth starting with Sunday’s showdown with Penrith at Pepper Stadium.

    A loss would all but end their finals hopes, but a victory, and plus 87 differential, could see them leapfrog North Queensland and Manly should either lose their round 24 matches.

    The healthy differential, third to only Melbourne Brisbane, also gives McGregor confidence that the Dragons can make an impact in the finals should they get there.

    “It’s up to us, if we manage to get a result in both games we’ll make the finals,” McGregor said.

    “30 [competition] points will get us there and our for-and-against is the third best in the competition.

    “It tells you we’re not far away, it tells you we’ve improved in a lot of areas. We just haven’t got the results that we needed at different times.

    “We’ve lost a few games that we shouldn’t have. We needed to be more resilient in a few games and play for the full 80 minutes.

    “It also shows how much football we’ve got in us to be the third best in for-and-against in the competition.

    “When we get these last two weeks out of the way and we make finals, it proves we can foot it with anyone.”

    Their precarious position on the ladder means the Dragons will be playing with the finals axe hanging over the heads, but McGregor has encouraged his troops to embrace the pressure.

    “I’ve always said pressure is a privilege at this level because it means you’re at the level everyone wants to be at,” McGregor said.

    “The guys have always trained with intensity and purpose but you certainly feel the sense of urgency that they know the importance of where they’re at in the season.

    “They know we’ve worked hard for the last nine months to be in a situation to play finals footy.

    “[Finals] are only a couple of weeks away and that should be exciting for the players.

    “It should be ‘pin your ears back and go for it, leave everything out there’. You don’t want to walk off thinking you could have done a little bit more.

    “It's not time for that, it’s time to get out there, do whatever needs to be done and doing it at your best. The result will look after itself after that.”

    The Dragons preparation for their last-start loss to Brisbane was thrown into chaos after a flu virus swept through the camp in the lead-up to the clash at Suncorp Stadium.

    Tyson Frizell and Nene Macdonald also suffered injuries in last week’s captain’s run but McGregor confirmed both will start on Sunday.

    “Tyson’s good, he’s completed everything this week,” McGregor said.

    “He was little bit ill early in the week so he was isolated but he got through everything. He trained today [Thursday] and got through the full session so he’ll be fine.

    “Nene had his first training session on the park today as well so he’ll be OK. He’s got to get through captain’s run [on Saturday] but I’m sure after getting through everything today he’ll be fine to go.

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/...hold-key-to-own-finals-fate-mcgregor/?cs=3713
     
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  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Men of League Foundation to host luncheon to celebrate 40th anniversary of St George Dragons 1977 premiership
    Andrew Parkinson
    25 Aug 2017, 2:30 p.m.
    [​IMG]

    Never forgotten: Former St George Dragons captain Steve Edge will be at the Men of League luncheon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1977 premiership. Details - 0419 475 465 Picture: Chris Lane


    Four decades on, Steve Edge still describes leading St George to their 1977 premiership as a dream come true.

    A St George junior, still only 25-years-old himself, Edge had the honour of captaining the side that would be remembered as Bath’s Babes.

    The Southern Sydney Committee of the Men of League will host a luncheon on September 8 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that St George Dragons’ 1977 premiership-winning team.

    Captain Edge and a host of players including Ted Goodwin, Craig Young and Rod Reddy will attend the event at St George Leagues Club.

    As well as being remembered as the second-last premiership St George won as a standalone club, the 1977 decider is rememberd as the first to go to a replay.

    [​IMG]
    Former St George Dragons captain Steve Edge. Picture: Chris Lane

    St George took on minor premiers Parramatta at the Sydney Cricket Ground having beaten them two weeks earlier in the semi-final 10-5. An experienced Eels side saw the likes of Ray Price, Geoff Gerard and captain Ray Higgs take on the young Dragons who drew on the experience of their coach, Harry Bath.

    The grand final finished 9-all in front of more than 65,000 fans at the SCG, with St George downing the Eels 22-0 in the replay a week later.

    “We were a very young, very enthusiastic side,” Edge told the Leader.

    “We flew under the radar a little bit because we were so young. We came up against Parramatta who had quite a number of internationals. Great players. I just think with our enthusiasm we caught them a bit by surprise. A lot of our players were underrated in terms of their ability and never got the wraps they deserved.”

    For Edge, leading the Dragons to a premiership was the realisation of a boyhood dream.

    That I got to play first grade and captain the club to a premiership is something I’ll treasure forever. - Steve Edge

    “You’d think about playing for the Dragons, one game in third grade or something would have meant everything. To think I got to play first grade and given the honour to captain the club to a premiership is something I’ll treasure forever,” he said.

    “I got to play with two of my all-time heroes in Billy Smith and Graeme Langlands. To be able to play at the SCG once was a dream.

    “Every premiership is a pretty good thing to remember. There are so many guys that don’t actually get to play in one. To win one is just wonderful.”

    Details: 0419 475 465

    http://www.theleader.com.au/story/4873988/dragons-to-celebrate-glorious-day-40-years-on/?cs=3833
     
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  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Illawarra finals-bound following ISP draw
    Blake Edwards

    Mon 28th August, 09:00AM
    A A

    [​IMG]

    Illawarra have secured their position in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership Finals series with a thrilling 28-all draw against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at WIN Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

    There were worrying signs early for the hosts, with the Bulldogs able to charge down a kick to gain possession in handy field position. The risky play paid off when Renouf To’omaga scored the game's first try.

    The visitors continued their strong start by shifting the ball out wide to Reimis Smith, who brushed past Illawarra's defence to extend their lead.

    Illawarra responded through Izaac Thompson who received a quality cut-out pass from playmaker Jack Payne to plant it down in the corner.

    Former Illawarra winger Tom Carr rubbed salt into the wounds of former teammates soon after when he scored. Rod Griffin followed suit for the Bulldogs to give his a 22-6 half-time lead.

    Illawarra debutant Matt Jurd started the second half after Sam Clune was rushed to hospital due to a throat injury suffered in the first 40.

    Jurd's involvement was cruelly cut short however when he was concussed 30 seconds into the second stanza. His head knock followed Will Matthews's earlier blow – leaving Illawarra with one man on the bench for the entire second half.

    Jai Field scored the first try of the second half however which narrowed the deficit to just 10 points.

    Richie Kennar scored a classy try for the Bulldogs midway through the half though to help extend the visitors' lead again.

    Three tries in the final 14 minutes kept Illawarra's season alive and it began when Field had his second after weaving his way through following a scrum.

    Payne kept the comeback going when set up Jacob Hind's 20-metre effort in the final eight minutes.

    The result came down to the final play of the match, where Illawarra chanced their arm. It started with Jake Marketo who goose stepped his way through Bulldogs defenders.

    The Illawarra hooker linked up with Adam Clune out wide, who then threw it out for Patrick Herbert – the Junior Kiwis representative diving over to level the scores at 28.

    Field was unable to convert the try from the sideline but the draw was still sufficient enough to keep Illawarra's finals hopes alive.

    Illawarra will meet the Mounties at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Sunday September 3.

    Illawarra 28 (Jai Field 2, Izaac Thompson, Jacob Hind, Patrick Herbert tries; Jai Field 4 goals) drew with Bulldogs 28 (Renouf To'omaga, Reimis Smith, Thomas Carr, Rod Griffin, Richie Kennar tries; Rhyse Martin 4 goals) at WIN Stadium, Wollongong. Half-time: Bulldogs 22-6.

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/28/illawarra_finals_bou.html
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Off the Record: Episode 7 - Mat Head
    Tue 29th August, 06:00PM
    A A

    [​IMG]

    1707 - Jack Brady and Shaun Timmins are joined by special guest Mat Head to discuss how he wound up in the coaching ranks. Timmins and Brady also talk shop about the Dragons' crucial win over the Penrith Panthers and their huge upcoming game against the Bulldogs.



    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/29/off_the_record_episo.html
     
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Sims lifting at the right end of the season
    Thu 31st August, 11:00AM
    A A



    When Tariq Sims scored his Try of the Year contender last weekend against the Panthers,it was due reward for his building string of form.

    Finding his feet back in the familiar role of back row over the past month, Sims produced his best game as a Dragon in the Red V's two-point win over the Penrith Panthers.

    Dragons teammate Jason Nightingale wasn't surprised by Sims's showing – with his aforementioned try proving crucial with the club's season on the line.

    "Tariq's try was outstanding," Nightingale said of Sims's effort, which included a one-on-one strip on Panther Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and a 40-metre dash to the line.

    "You could just tell he was on. You could see it in his eyes.

    "It wasn’t just that try. He was on for the whole game."

    Nightingale said the critical win over Penrith offered the Dragons plenty of confidence heading into the Members Appreciation Round clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.

    With a win required for the Dragons if they are to play finals football, Nightingale said the team needs to build on last week's performance.

    "We think if we can be a bit more clinical and improve in certain areas, we will put a good performance in," Nightingale said.

    "It will allow us to build on last week and make sure we get further momentum heading into the finals."

    Nightingale said that there won’t be any excuse for not coming away with the win this Sunday despite suffering a 16-12 loss to the Bulldogs earlier in the year.

    "There will be no excuses from us as far as our opponents go," Nightingale said.

    "That [performance against the Bulldogs] was probably an indication of where we were at that time of the season.

    "We defended okay but we weren’t playing with the confidence like we usually do.

    "The fact we couldn’t come through with the win was probably an example of where we were at."

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/08/31/sims_lifting_at_the_.html
     

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