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

  1. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    If I see those out the back pre-line block plays again next year, I will f**k Mary's nostrils
     
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  2. Dennis Papaioannou

    Dennis Papaioannou Juniors

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    Don't knock it.
    It worked a treat when he was Head coach of the Western Suburbs Red Devils in the Illawarra comp.
     
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  3. Coffs dragon

    Coffs dragon Juniors

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    Copied direct from the Bennett Dragons era of 2009-10, except our players now have only half the speed and are less than half as good which renders it useless.
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Dragons Team Store's 12 Days of Christmas
    Wed 6th December, 10:00AM
    A A

    [​IMG]

    As the festive season approaches, the Dragons Team Store are pleased to launch their 12 Days of Christmas initiative. Each day there will be a new promotion available online for members and fans.

    To celebrate the first day, simply head to @dragonsteamstore on Instagram, like today's image and tag a friend to be in the chance to win a $250 Dragons Team Store voucher!

    Make sure you follow the Dragons social media channels and shop.dragons.com.au every day for a special offer or new product release just in time for Christmas!

    Dragons members, also keep an eye out for member bonus days as a thank you for renewing for the 2018 season! Stay tuned.

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/06/dragons_team_store_s.html
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Dragons confirm interest in women's competition
    Wed 6th December, 05:00PM
    A A

    [​IMG]

    St George Illawarra CEO Peter Doust has confirmed the Dragons' interest in securing a license for the 2018 women's rugby league competition that was announced on Wednesday.

    “St George Illawarra and particularly Illawarra Rugby League have been instrumental in the development of interest in women’s rugby league over many years now, and we have certainly expressed our interest already to the NRL about having a St George Illawarra Dragons team as part of the inaugural Women’s Premiership," Doust said.

    "Given the support and structure that we already have within our region for women’s rugby league, we believe it is logical and appropriate that the Dragons are included.”

    NRL CEO Todd Greenberg on Wednesday announced a six-team competition featuring 40 centrally-contracted Jillaroos stars and match payments for all other players as the centre point of a 2018 women's program.

    There will also be a stand-alone State of Origin and Pacific and trans-Tasman Tests.

    With most Telstra Premiership clubs having indicated an interest in entering teams in the new women's competition - which will be played as double-headers in the lead up to and during the NRL finals series - Greenberg said a tender process would commence in January.

    "It is going to create some tension, that is for sure," Greenberg said of the competition for licences.

    "I would imagine that almost every one of our NRL clubs would be interested in how they obtain a franchise in year one. That is a good thing as it will add some competition.

    "We met with all of our NRL CEOs yesterday and there was huge support for this program and a real appetite for it."

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/06/dragons_confirm_inte.html
     
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  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    St George Illawarra eyeing a place in NRL women's league
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    LOOKING AHEAD: Jillaroos stars and Dragons ambassadors Sam Bremner and Kezie Apps at WIN Stadium. Picture: Robert Peet
    ST GEORGE Illawarra CEO Peter Doust says the Dragons will make a strong push for inclusion when the NRL establishes it's first ever women’s competition in 2018.

    NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg confirmed on Wednesday that the groundbreaking women’s league will feature six NRL-affiliated teams and be run in conjunction with next year’s finals series.

    It will see 40 players receive Jillaroos contracts that entitle them to fully funded high performance camps and match payments for appearances in the competition and at rep level.

    Greenberg said all NRL clubs will be invited to bid for entry into the new competition, saying he expected the process to be “serious and competitive.”

    The Illawarra Rugby League has made huge strides in the development of the women’s game since establishing it’s women’s competition in 2011.

    Current Jillaroos Kezie Apps, Sam Bremner, Corban McGregor, Ruan Sims and Maddie Studdon have all featured in the league since it’s inception.

    A side made up of Illawarra league players also represented the joint-venture in its watershed Nines clash with Cronulla in 2016 – the first time women had ever turned out for NRL clubs.

    Helensburgh pair Apps and Bremner are current Dragons ambassadors as the club looks to develop it’s female development pathways, while the Illawarra Steelers reached the semi-finals of the inaugural under 18s Tarsha Gale 9s competition this year.

    Doust said the club’s efforts will ensure the Dragons make a compelling case to be one of the competition’s foundations teams.

    “St George Illawarra and particularly the Illawarra Rugby League have been instrumental in the development of the interest in women’s rugby league over many years now,” Doust said.

    “We have certainly expressed our interest already to the NRL about having a St George Illawarra Dragons team as part of the inaugural women’s premiership.

    “Given the support and structure that we already have within our region for women’s rugby league, we believe it is logical and appropriate that the Dragons are included.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/...ch-for-inclusion-in-nrl-womens-league/?cs=302
     
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  7. Dennis Papaioannou

    Dennis Papaioannou Juniors

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    Doust suddenly appears out of thin air to champion this popular initiative on behalf of the club.
    Typical politician taking the opportunity to claim credit for this fast growing part of the game.
    Where's the accountability for the NRL team and an explanation for 2017?
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    McInnes re-signs with the Red V
    Thu 7th December, 06:00AM
    A A



    St George Illawarra have announced that Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes has extended his stay with the club for a further three seasons.

    McInnes, who was off-contract at the end of 2018, will now remain at the Dragons until at least the end of the 2021 Telstra Premiership season.

    With skipper Gareth Widdop locked away until 2021 and incoming recruit Ben Hunt signed until at least the 2022 season, McInnes's retention brings further stability to the Dragons' spine for the years to come.

    "Cameron had an outstanding season in 2017. A lot of people don't see what he does away from the playing field. He's one of our best trainers and a future leader of our club," Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward said.

    "2017 was his first full season in the top grade, playing 80 minutes every week too, and he's acknowledged there are areas of his game that he wants to continue to improve.

    "With Cameron at hooker, and Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop in the halves, we're in a position now where we are very settled with world class players."

    McInnes joined the club ahead of the 2017 season and has found a home at the Dragons over the past year.

    The 23-year-old has so far played 63 NRL games and made his representative debut for City Origin earlier this year. The Botany Rams junior also topped the tackle count (1155) competition-wide in 2017.

    "I've only been here for 12 months but it's been the best year of my footy life. It was a no-brainer for me and I wanted to stay for as long as I could. It's going to be good moving forward knowing that I have that stability," McInnes said.

    "This is just the beginning. I really want to work harder towards bigger and better things. For us I think the top four is in reach for us so I just need to keep playing the best footy I can."

    The re-signing of McInnes is another boost for Red V following the signings of Hunt, James Graham, Jeremy Latimore, Mitch Allgood and Darren Nicholls for the 2018 season.

    It the follows the likes of Widdop, Euan Aitken, Jack de Belin, Paul Vaughan, Tim Lafai, Kurt Mann, Jason Nightingale, Jai Field, Jacob Host, Blake Lawrie and Luciano Leilua who have extended their deals with the Dragons over the past 12 months.

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/07/mcinnes_re_signs_wit.html
     
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  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Frizell thankful to finish on a high
    Fri 8th December, 09:00AM
    A A



    By Joel Gould - NRL.com Queensland Reporter

    After the disappointments of the NSW Origin campaign and the Dragons' failure to reach the finals Tyson Frizell admits he didn’t dare to dream he would be part of a World Cup final win for the Kangaroos.

    A valued member of the Australian bench, the 26-year-old former Welsh international now has played 10 Tests for the Kangaroos with a 100 per cent winning strike rate.

    While savouring the 6-0 win over England in the sheds Frizell, who conceded it was the toughest game he had played in his life, spoke of the stellar end to his topsy turvy 2017.

    "To be able to finish the year on a high like this alongside such great players is something I will remember forever, after what was a bit of a rollercoaster year for me," Frizell said.

    "People say you dream of these things, but winning a World Cup final isn’t something I thought I’d ever be a part of.

    "Mal [Meninga] showed great faith in me and I was able to get an opportunity in the Four Nations last year.

    "I went OK and I was just hoping I’d get another opportunity, but I wasn’t too sure how things would pan out after Origin and the season that we had [at the Dragons].

    "So winning a final like this is something you feel like you might watch but that you’d never achieve. It felt like it was too hard to reach, but I am part of it now and it does feel surreal."

    Australia’s bench throughout the World Cup, and including the final, was outstanding.

    Frizell, Wade Graham, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Jordan McLean all felt a heavy responsibility to continue the work of the starters.

    "That is something that Mal has spoken about, making a difference when we come off the bench, and we spoke about it as a collective," Frizell said.

    "It is not something that I am used to and it is tough sitting there when you just want to get on and have an impact.

    "Reagan and Macca have been outstanding, as has Wade who was playing a different kind of utility role."

    Cameron Smith said the final was among the five toughest games of rugby league he had played in his career and Frizell, one of the game’s more imposing physical presences, couldn’t recall anything like it.

    "I can’t remember the last time I have been in such a physical and grinding style of a game," he said.

    "I didn’t know it was going to be that tough.

    "We knew they’d come out swinging and they wouldn’t give up right until the end.

    "The last 10 minutes felt like hours, but we hung on.

    "We prided ourselves on our defence the whole campaign and keeping them to zero is what got us the win."

    Frizell has been one of the Dragons best forwards for several years and had a wonderful Origin debut in a beaten NSW side in 2016. While the teams he has been playing for haven’t fired, Meninga did not forget what he had to offer

    "I was part of this team in the Anzac Test and I think that if you can play some decent footy and show Mal you can play well and want to be a part of this team then he will repay you," Frizell said.

    "When you get in these kind of rep teams all you need is someone to give you belief. Mal and his staff give us the game plan but Mal is the one who makes us want to work hard for each other. He drives our standards on and off the field."

    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/08/frizell_thankful_to_.html
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Gareth or me: Red V young gun’s big spine play for 2018 NRL season
    Dragons
    [​IMG]
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    Kurt Mann is congratulated by Dragons teammates after scoring a try.Source: Getty Images
    GARETH Widdop will wear either the No.6 or the No.1 jersey for St George Illawarra next season.

    And whichever one he doesn’t wear, Kurt Mann wants.

    The 24-year-old utility ball runner has put his hand up high in the race for the final spine position ahead of the 2018 NRL season.

    Cameron McInnes will play hooker, Ben Hunt is the halfback, and Widdop will occupy one of the remaining two spots in the Red V spine.

    Mann — who has experience playing in the halves and everywhere in the back five — has told coach Paul McGregor he can fill whichever role Widdop doesn’t take.

    “I spoke to Mary (McGregor) in the off-season about it, and at the end of season reviews last year as well,” Mann said on Thursday.

    “I won’t really know much more until I get closer to the trial period.

    “I like playing 6 or 1 ... I’ve spent a bit of time at centres in Melbourne and on the wing here as well.”

    2018 TEAMS: Your NRL club’s predicted round one line-up

    RED V SPINE: Last big question mark over Dragons rebuild

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    Kurt Mann of the Dragons makes a break.Source: Getty Images
    During the 2017 season Mann started from the bench, on the wing, at centre, five-eighth, and halfback in his 21 games for the Dragons.

    He was used by McGregor as the resident Mr Fix It, and fulfilled each role with aplomb.

    His ability to run the ball as well as throw a pass makes him a viable option for the fullback position, but that will depend on where Widdop lines up.

    Widdop has played in the halves ever since moving to Wollongong from Melbourne, but his recent soujurn at fullback for England at the World Cup has cast a cloud over his 2018 position for the Dragons.

    He’s previously played as an NRL fullback at the Storm and can easily slot into either position.

    It’s now up to coach McGregor where he wants to use Widdop in the spine.

    For Mann, he admits he doesn’t want to spend another season playing the utility role.

    “I do and I don’t (want to be a utility),” he said.

    “It’s a good thing but it’s sort of an Achilles heal as well.

    “Being able to play a few different positions, it doesn’t nail me down to one spot.


    [​IMG]
    'This club gave me a chance'

    2:46
    “What I’d like to be doing is sticking to one position and getting a bit of consistency there.

    “Then again it helps me get picked in the side every week.”

    Mann has been training in the halves and at fullback already during the pre-season.

    Hooker McInnes claimed on Thursday young gun Matt Dufty should be given first crack at the fullback spot.

    “That fullback spot is up for grabs but the way Matt Dufty played there ... , he deserves his shot but that will be the coach’s decision,” McInnes said

    If McGregor does go with the younger Dufty for the No.1 role, Mann will be pushed to the outside backs or even the bench.


    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...n/news-story/77a9e2853d522634388a3c4da1bbcd2d
     
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    NRL Confidential: Anthony Mundine’s NRL comeback still on, Knights’ stunning gift to fan
    NRL Premiership
    • December 8, 2017 6:00am
    • by Staff writers
    • Source: FOX SPORTS
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    Anthony Mundine in action for the Dragons in 1998.Source: Getty Images
    COLOURFUL character Anthony Mundine isn’t giving up hope of returning to top flight rugby league again at some stage.

    The 42-year-old league star-turned boxer has long spoken of his desire to return to the NRL, singling out St George Illawarra as his club of choice if he was to make a comeback.

    It’s unlikely to actually happen, but the man called Choc refuses to let the dream die.

    “It could be, you don’t know. Anything is possible with me,” he told Fox Sports News.

    “I feel that good I could do anything.”

    For now, Mundine is focused on extending his boxing career by one more fight.

    He’s hoping to get back in the ring with old foe Danny Green, or Australia’s world champion newbie Jeff Horn in the coming 12 months.

    He says he’ll retire from the sport at the end of next year unless he gets an offer for a big fight.

    “One more year (in the ring) ... one more year unless everything goes to plan and I get a massive fight in 2019. That’s the only reason I’d stay on,” Mundine said.

    “Otherwise next year is my final year.”

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...n/news-story/937ea09ffbee079a85a831873a330998
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Jack de Belin says St George Illawarra Dragons must improve mentally ahead of 2018 season
    • Dragon's Den
      [​IMG]
      Must improve: St George Illawarra back-rower Jack de Belin says the Dragons need to become stronger mentally. Picture: John Veage
      Jack de Belin believes a lack of mental strength cost St George Illawarra last season – a problem that won’t be repeated in 2018.

      De Belin has returned to pre-season training with the Dragons as the club look to get off to another fast start to the season in their quest to play finals football.

      St George Illawarra started the 2017 campaign roaring, sitting on top of the table after seven rounds. But a mid-season slump and a poor finish to the year saw them miss the finals.

      But rather than any physical or tactical problems, de Belin is adamant the mental side of the game is what hurt the Dragons the most during their slide.

      “I suppose it is how you deal with adversity and that’s probably a big area where a lot of players could probably improve is the mental aspect,” he told the Leader.

      “Being able to handle all the criticism week in, week out of rugby league.

      [​IMG]
      Jack de Belin is tackled at Dragons training on Thursday. Picture: Adam McLean

      “I don’t know what you could pin it to but just when we needed to turn up and perform we didn’t. I feel like it’s not because we weren’t fit enough or strong enough because we definitely were and we showed that. I feel like it was the mental department that let us down there.

      “I don’t know if it was us not wanting the moment enough or seeing the importance in the situation it’s just we’ve got to push through and get the win when we need to.”

      What hurt even more for de Belin was the fact that he had enjoyed arguably the best season of his career personally. His strong early season form even had him in State of Origin calculations for NSW before eventually missing out.

      The 26-year-old described last season as a missed opportunity. But the heartache of not playing finals football is all the motivation the new-look Dragons squad need to return to the post-season.

      The signings of Ben Hunt and James Graham add real quality to a Dragons side already boasting representative stars Tyson Frizell and Gareth Widdop, exciting youngsters Matt Dufty, Jai Field and Euan Aitken and the experienced Jason Nightingale and Joel Thompson.

      “Obviously we had the highs and the lows. But to not be playing in the finals there we underachieved,” de Belin said.

      “Looking back on it and we set ourselves up for pole position there at the start of the year with plenty of wins. We lost our way a bit and couldn’t find the consistency to string performances together. It was bitterly disappointing to not be playing finals footy because we were too good a side to be sitting out watching the other teams play.

      “On paper we had one of the most dominant forward packs and some lethal outside backs. Then again this year I feel like we’ve only upgraded. [We should be aiming for] definitely top four and got to be playing finals.”

    • http://www.theleader.com.au/story/5107394/we-need-to-improve-mentally-de-belin/?cs=3833
     
  13. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    This guy f**king gets it.
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    McInnes repays Dragons faith
    Dragons Den
    [​IMG]
    STAYING PUT: Cameron McInnes. Picture: Adam McLean
    ST GEORGE Illawarra hooker Cameron McInnes said a desire to repay the faith shown in him by the club and coach Paul McGregor was behind his decision to ink a three-year contract extension.

    The deal will keep McInnes at the Dragons until the end of 2021 and comes on the back of a solid debut season with the club in which he missed just seven minutes of action.

    It was a distinct change from his first three seasons in the NRL in which he played as an understudy to Isaac Luke and shared dummy-half duties with Damien Cook.

    The 23-year-old said McGregor’s belief in him as an 80-minute man prompted him to commit to the club long-term.

    “With Mary and Basil [Ian Millward] showing that faith in me to get me over here, I wasn’t going to leave,” McInnes said.

    “I wanted to be loyal and I want to repay that faith so I’m so happy to be at the club for another three years on top of [2018].

    “The new signings are going to be great for us and we have a really great culture here. I came over last preseason and the boys were so welcoming and I just love coming to training every day.

    “We didn’t finish [last] season the way we wanted to but the way we played throughout the season was so addictive and I wanted to be here.

    “I didn’t want to be anywhere else and, with the team we have going forward, it’s an exciting time to be a Dragons player and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

    McInnes forced himself into the NSW Origin selection debate with his early-season form, something he puts down to a fresh approach under McGregor.

    “Mary keeps it simple for me which I enjoy,” McInnes said.

    “He just tells me to relax and play what’s in front of me when I’m in that hooker position. The simpler my focus is the better I play.

    “He's been very supportive and has always had all the confidence in me which makes me confident as well.

    “I don’t think Souths held me back at all, it was myself holding me back. Whether I was overthinking things I’m not sure but coming to the Dragons and getting a fresh start and a new perspective is what’s really sparked me.

    “That’s why I’m so grateful to the club for giving me that opportunity to really enjoy my footy and start to reach my potential. I know I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot more good footy in me.”

    Ben Hunt will arrive on a mammoth six-year deal in 2018 while skipper Gareth Widdop is also locked down for the next four seasons.

    The McInnes deal will give McGregor – who himself inked a two-year extension in June – unprecedented stability in his spine, a welcome change from the contract talks that destabilised his previous two campaigns.

    McInnes, who proposed to fiance Rachel at Sublime Point earlier this year, welcomed the certainty on and off the field.

    “We’ve moved down to Shell Cove and we love it down here, every day’s like a holiday,” he said.

    “I wanted to have this sorted before footy came around next year because I didn’t want anything taking my focus away.

    “There’s a lot of key people in the club signed long-term which is good for the club because there’s that stability.

    “We can all all dig in now and work hard towards a common goal and it’s great to have that collective focus.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5106885/mcinnes-repays-dragons-faith/?cs=3713
     
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  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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  16. Crush

    Crush Juniors

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    Surely the spine will be
    Dufty
    Widdop
    Hunt
    McInnes
    Why are they even talking Kurt Mann in the spine?
    Maybe I could see him at fullback if Dufty didn't work out but not 6.
     
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  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    Dragons attend 'Ne Nhier De Piei'
    Sun 10th December, 09:00AM
    A A

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    The St George Illawarra Dragons recently attend the second annual 'Ne Nhier De Piei' (Love of Education) Refugee Family Fun Day hosted by the University of Wollongong (UOW).

    In a similar vein as an immersion program, the refugee families were able to learn lots about UOW in a fun relaxed atmosphere.

    The wonderful UOW early start discovery facilities were on show for the infants of the group and their families, whilst the older group enjoyed a few games of soccer ran by the Wollongong Wolves.

    Club legend and ambassador Matt Cooper was on hand to show his soccer skills before participants all left happy with a Dragons poster and sticker.


    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/10/dragons_attend_ne_nh.html
     
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    2017 Robert Stone Memorial Golf Day
    Mon 11th December, 10:00AM
    A A



    The St George Illawarra Dragons held the annual Robert Stone Memorial Golf Day on Friday, December 8 at Beverley Park Golf Club.

    A day to celebrate the life and times of Stone was attended by a vast number of the Dragons' valued corporate partners as well as club legends such as Ben Hornby, Steve Edge, Dean Young, Shaun Timmins and Graeme Wynn.

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    http://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/11/_2017_robert_stone_m.html
     
    Old Kogarah Boy 1 likes this.
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    St George Illawarra Dragons big losers in Manly’s NRL cap bust
    • Dragon's Den News
      [​IMG]
      Down and out: Josh Dugan reacts after Dragons' loss to the Bulldogs.
      St George Illawarra are the biggest losers in the Manly salary cap scandal, missing out on a finals spot and the estimated $500,000 windfall that comes with it after the Sea Eagles were pinged after the season was completed.

      The Dragons finished the regular season in ninth spot, but could have snuck into the top eight had sixth-placed Manly been sanctioned earlier.

      Fairfax Media revealed five months ago that the Silvertails were under scrutiny after Strike Force Nuralda, the taskforce assembled by NSW police to investigate match-fixing, found evidence of player payments in contravention of NRL rules.

      Rugby League Central issued breach notices to the Sea Eagles and two current club officials on Monday after identifying potential breaches of the salary cap over the past five years. Potential punishments include large fines and the deregistration of the administrators involved.

      The sanctions are cold comfort to the Dragons, who were pipped for a finals spot by a team over the limit.

      "It's inappropriate for us to be making comment about a breach notice and an investigation that doesn't involve us and where we are unaware of the facts," St George Illawarra CEO Peter Doust said.

      Had the NRL identified the issue during the season, it's likely Manly wouldn't have played for points until such time as the club was cap-compliant.

      The situation – faced by Parramatta after their salary cap rorting came to light last year – could have provided the Dragons with an opportunity to contest the finals.

      Such an outcome would have generated about $500,000 in additional revenue when finals prizemoney, merchandise sales, corporate interest, membership take-up, sponsor exposure and other incentives are factored in.

      A play-off appearance would also have taken the pressure off Paul McGregor. The coach was re-signed after a strong start to the year that saw the Red V lead the competition after seven rounds.

      Yet despite having two more years to run on his contract extension, the man dubbed "Mary" will be under huge pressure after missing the finals in successive seasons.

      "Obviously to play finals footy would be great for the club for all those reasons, particularly for the supporters," said Dragons legend Mark Coyne, a member of the club's football performance committee.

      "But it is what it is and it's not the first time that's happened. I don't think the Dragons should be relying on someone cheating the salary cap to get in there.

      "While it would have been good to make the finals, as a player or supporter I wouldn't be saying, 'we've been ripped off because Manly spent a few hundred thousand over the salary cap'.

      "We needed to perform better than what we did to make sure we were in the finals for how we played, not because of what's happened with someone else."

      Historically, the NRL hasn't compensated teams affected by clubs breaching the salary cap.

      When Melbourne was stripped of their 2009 premiership for systemically cheating the system, losing grand-finalists Parramatta weren't crowned premiers.

      When the Eels were caught over the limit last year, they were docked 12 competition points and fined $750,000, as well as being stripped of their Nines trophy.
    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/...losers-in-manlys-nrl-salary-cap-bust/?cs=3713
     
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  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty First Grade

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    2018 NRL Fantasy Guide: Dragons
    Author
    Lone Scout
    Timestamp
    Tue 12 Dec 2017, 03:00 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons became one of the most popular teams for NRL Fantasy buys in 2017, thanks largely to one of the most effective packs in the competition.

    Cameron McInnes was the game's busiest defender while Jack de Belin and Paul Vaughan were huge performers up front. James Graham and Ben Hunt are two star signings that have been NRL Fantasy guns while Gareth Widdop could be set for a massive season after a string of dominant displays for England at the World Cup.

    Fantasy gun: Jack de Belin

    Already the kind of tackle-hungry lock that tends to thrive in NRL Fantasy, de Belin took his running game into the elite ranks, joining the game's very best scorers. With a ton of run metres and plenty of offloads, de Belin can pass 50 points in base stats alone and his season average of 58.8 ranked him among the top five Fantasy scorers of the season. He's a potential captaincy option if you don't want to splash the cash on Cameron Smith.

    [​IMG]
    St George Illawarra fullback Jai Field gets a pass away. :copyright:NRL Photos
    Value buy: Jai Field

    Field caught the eye with some spectacular long-range tries at the 2017 NRL Nines, but the Dragons speedster didn't get much of a chance to shine in the Telstra Premiership season with just three games off the bench. He's added plenty of size since then – bulking up from 72kg to 85kg since the start of last season – but will remain a back-up option for now with Matt Dufty likely to secure the fullback spot and Ben Hunt the team's new first-choice halfback.

    Wildcard: Ben Hunt

    Hunt has been an NRL Fantasy gun but his scoring dipped a little in 2017 due to some time spent at dummy-half – usually an 80-minute halfback, Hunt spent time on the bench half a dozen times in his 21 regular-season games for Brisbane last season. He scored less than 40 in four of those games, dragging his season average below 50 (and making him arguably an under-priced player at the start of 2018). How he combines with Dragons five-eighth and England World Cup star Gareth Widdop is the big unknown in NRL Fantasy terms – if they split the playmaking duties evenly then both could score just below the 50 points a game you want from a starting Fantasy half.

    2018 NRL Fantasy player prices

    Jack de Belin: 2RF, $861,000

    Cameron McInnes: HOK, $811,000

    Paul Vaughan: FRF, $799,000

    Ben Hunt: HLF, $688,000

    James Graham: FRF, $671,000

    Joel Thompson: 2RF, $667,000

    Gareth Widdop: HLF, $666,000

    Tyson Frizell: 2RF, $656,000

    Leeson Ah Mau: FRF, $627,000

    Timoteo Lafai: CTR, $603,000

    Euan Aitken: CTR, $567,000

    Tariq Sims: 2RF, $561,000

    Jason Nightingale: WFB, $545,000

    Matthew Dufty: WFB, $525,000

    Nene Macdonald: WFB, CTR, $512,000

    Kurt Mann: WFB, HLF, $510,000

    Jacob Host: FRF, 2RF, $327,000

    Jeremy Latimore: FRF, $303,000

    Hame Sele: 2RF, FRF, $267,000

    Blake Lawrie: FRF, $228,000

    Jai Field: HLF, $228,000

    Luciano Leilua: 2RF, $228,000

    Mitchell Allgood: FRF,2RF, $228,000

    Darren Nicholls: HLF, $212,000

    Josh Kerr: FRF, $212,000

    Patrick Herbert: CTR,WFB, $212,000

    Reece Robson: HOK, $212,000

    Reuben Garrick: CTR, $212,000

    Jordan Pereira: CTR,WFB, $212,000

    Steven Marsters: WFB, $212,000

    Tristan Sailor: WFB,HLF, $212,000

    Zac Lomax: CTR,WFB, $212,000

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2017/12/13/2018-dragons-nrl-fantasy-guide/
     

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