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

  1. Gareth67

    Gareth67 Bench

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    Big Luc , please tell me that's padding you have around your middle ? We need you to lose all the puppy fat for what could be the beginning of a very successful career in 1st grade .
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]
    NRL NEWS

    Aitken hoping Hunt helps Red V right edge
    Author
    Chris Kennedy
    Timestamp
    Wed 7 Feb 2018, 09:12 AM


    St George Illawarra Dragons centre Euan Aitken says he is relishing the chance to start working on a combination with star recruit Ben Hunt, with the pair set to spend plenty of time alongside each other on the team's right edge.

    With just one dominant half in Gareth Widdop, who favoured the left edge, the Dragons scored a whopping 55 of their tries on the left channel and left edge last season compared to just 25 on the right channel and right edge, according to NRL.com Stats.

    Aitken managed just 12 games due to hamstring and shoulder injuries but was responsible for six of those 25 right side tries.

    With Hunt coming on board and expected to share the playmaking load 50-50 with Widdop, Aitken – who is also hoping to put his injury woes behind him – is looking to get more involved in attack with Hunt next to him this season.

    "So far it looks like Benny Hunt will be on the right and Gaz will be on the left which suits me, they're both quality players," Aitken told NRL.com.

    "I feel suited more to the right and it's good Benny Hunt's there so we can have a bit more consistency. There's been a fair few halves on the right side of the field [in the past two years] – Drew Hutchison, Benji Marshall, Josh McCrone to name a few so [it's about] just getting a bit of consistency there.

    "Last year because Gareth Widdop was the dominant half so there was a lot more ball down the left but now we've got two players that are high calibre that are both going to look up and use their eyes and take it on.

    "Benny's here for the next four or five years so it should be good to work with him over that time. I'm here for at least another three so I can reckon we can really gel together.

    "We've got 'Friz' (right side back-rower Tyson Frizell) there who's going to be there for a long time as well so our right side is pretty much nailed down which is a good thing. When you get that consistency together I feel like we can be a dominant side."

    [​IMG]
    Dragons centre Euan Aitken. :copyright:Scott Davis/NRL Photos
    Aitken praised Hunt's incisive running game. "You need a halfback who's not scared to take on the line and it's only going to make the side better," he said.

    Hunt told NRL.com that while both he and Widdop would have a licence to roam, he expected to spend the majority of his time on the right edge, where he will also defend next to Aitken.

    "He's a good player Euey, I know playing against him he's one of the strongest guys to play against and he runs some really good lines," Hunt said.

    "Between him, Friz and I think we'll have Nighty (Jason Nightingale) on our side as well so the more time we can spend together at training and practising our combinations the better it will be."

    Aitken also provided an update on the epidural he had to try and manage an ongoing hamstring injury, as reported by NRL.com in December.

    I want to establish myself as one of the best centres in the comp.

    Euan Aitken
    "It was beneficial. I got improvements in my flexibility which is a good thing," said Aitken, who remains confident of playing a full season of NRL and featuring in the upcoming trials.

    "We're still trying to tinker with a few things and get a system down with a bit of consistency and I think that will help my body.

    "There's been a lot of changes in programs in the last two years with [Dragons head of athletic performance] Nathan Pickworth taking over. We've been doing a lot more speed and intensity and shorter durations with rests. My body's changing, it's getting my body used to the different training loads and hopefully once we've got that locked in the body will be sweet.

    "It's more adjusting to speed spikes, if I have a higher week of speed the next week is probably a danger area for me.

    "It's not a simple equation, there's all these different components going into the hamstring. It's a bit of a curse for me in a sense because I have to keep on top of every one of them and if one is out of whack it can cause problems."

    Aitken admitted it was frustrating having the constant cloud over his preparation while teammates are able to throw themselves straight into a field session without having to worry.

    "I like to put a lot of effort into training ... I'm pretty diligent on doing my rehab and primer and getting my body ready to run. It is frustrating seeing the other guys just be able to go straight on the field no problems but it's to do with my genetic make-up. I'm all about power [which puts] my hamstring under tension," he said.

    Aitken believes once he has adjusted to a new training regime he will get some consistent time on field.

    "I feel like there's a lot of untapped potential in my body, I just have to get some consistency," he said.

    "The last six to eight months I missed a lot of footy so I'm itching to get back out there. I want to establish myself as one of the best centres in the comp."

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/02/07/euan-aitken-hoping-ben-hunt-helps-red-v-right-edge/
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    NRL NEWS

    Double boost for Ben Hunt at Dragons
    Author
    Chris Kennedy
    Timestamp
    Mon 5 Feb 2018, 02:32 PM

    Hunt rubbishes talk of Munster stoush

    Star Dragons recruit Ben Hunt says he is enjoying his football at the Dragons after a disrupted final season at Brisbane, with the added bonus of coming off a triumphant World Cup campaign.

    Hunt was unceremoniously shunted to the bench last year by Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett before a late-season injury to hooker Andrew McCullough allowed Hunt to dominate the closing stages of the NRL season with the No.9 jersey on his back.

    That reminder of his all-round utility value arguably worked in his favour as he nabbed a utility role for Mal Meninga's Kangaroos in what was an unbeaten World Cup campaign.

    Hunt only had limited minutes on field in the tournament – coming off the bench against Lebanon in his only appearance – but said the lift gained from six weeks in camp with the best players in Australia only added to his motivation heading into 2018.

    "It definitely gives you a real buzz and excitement around your footy, being around a successful team and such great players," Hunt told NRL.com.

    "It really excites you about what you're doing and makes you really passionate to get back that next year and play some good footy again. I know I'm at a new club which is exciting in itself but coming out of a World Cup as well has got me really excited to play.

    "I only played a few minutes in the World Cup so I haven't had much footy for a while. I'm eager to get out there and play with my new teammates. Body's feeling good and eager to get going."

    The more I can really concentrate on doing my job and getting the ball to him when he needs it the better it will be for the team.

    Ben Hunt on Gareth Widdop
    Hunt also brushed off a reported altercation with Kangaroos teammate Cameron Munster.

    "Nah mate we're all good," Hunt laughed.

    "Honestly nothing happened between us at all, he actually messaged me after it and said 'I don't know what's going on mate, are we all good?' and I said 'yeah mate, we're fine'."

    The Dragons' impressive forward pack and the chance to work alongside England Test pivot Gareth Widdop also have Hunt champing at the bit to get involved in the club's upcoming trials.

    "I obviously only returned in January and the boys had a couple of months of training before Christmas so they were all primed and ready to go. It was good to finally get here and meet everyone and start making some combinations and playing some footy," he said.

    "I think [the partnership with Widdop] will work really well, it feels like we're working really well so far. He's obviously an excellent player, Gaz, he got five-eighth of the year last year. The more I can really concentrate on doing my job and getting the ball to him when he needs it the better it will be for the team."

    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt in pre-season training. :copyright:dragons.com.au
    Having such an accomplished player alongside him in the halves will allow Hunt to focus more on his own game as well.

    "It's 50-50 out there between us. He's such a good player, I don't have to worry about anything he's going to do or what he wants to do, he does what he does and I only have to worry about myself," Hunt said.

    "The more we can help each other out the less pressure it's going to be on both sides of the field."

    The move away from Brisbane was about more than just football, Hunt added, with the fishbowl existence of a one-team town now behind him.

    "It's been really good so far; I'm living up near Cronulla, it doesn't seem that footy crazy compared to Brisbane," he said.

    "It's a bit more coasty and laid back and not crazy busy, which I like, and I'm really enjoying it at the moment.

    "You get around Brissy, all you see is Broncs gear, shirts and hats. You get down here and it's more a mixture of everything.

    "I think [the move to Dragons] will build my game. We've got a great forward pack down here which always helps for a half. Playing with Gaz is definitely going to help as well but just a change of scenery as well, learning some new things, playing with some new people, it gives me a bit of a buzz and gets me excited about playing again.

    "It's not all just about footy, it's about my family and looking after them. In the end I think it was the best decision for us long-term coming down here."

    Hunt said he and fellow senior recruit James Graham will be tasked with helping ensure the team does not start strong then slip away late in the season, as has been the case in recent years.

    "Hopefully we can help that. I've seen it happen to a lot of teams, it happened at the Broncos at stages around that Origin period," Hunt said.

    "You can't really put your finger on what's going wrong, it just seems to happen. We need to start the year really strong and once we get through the Origin period set myself up for that back end of the year and knuckle down and play some good footy leading into the finals."

    Widdop excited about Dragons recruits

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/02/05/double-boost-for-ben-hunt-at-dragons/
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Nene Macdonald’s touching plan to honour ‘brother’ Kato Ottio
    Dragons
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Nene Macdonald's Instagram tribute to Kato Ottio.Source: Instagram
    WHEN St George Illawarra winger Nene Macdonald scores his first try of the NRL season, be sure to pay close attention to what he does immediately afterwards.

    His celebration will be a tribute to his “brother” Kato Ottio.

    Ottio’s death in a Port Moresby hospital shook the rugby league community to the core after he collapsed during a training run last month.

    He was 23 years old.

    “It’s pretty tragic because he was young, fit. One thing I’ll take out of it is to be a bit more grateful for everything, like what we’re doing now,” an emotional Macdonald told foxsports.com.au.

    “He was fine, like us sitting here, nothing was wrong and then he just drops like that.

    “It’s something that is pretty tough and I feel very sad for his mother.


    “When we play, if I get a try in the first round, or whenever I do (score) is going to be for him. A few of the other (Papua New Guinea) boys will be doing the same.”

    Macdonald was one person left devastated by the sudden death of Ottio.

    It came barely a month after they had shared a football field together when representing PNG at the World Cup.

    While they were the same age, and both born on the island, the pair didn’t meet until a few years ago, when rugby league brought them together.

    But the “brotherhood” of the Kumuls is a bond stronger than most. The PNG players have been supporting each other in the weeks since Ottio’s passing.

    “Once you join the Kumuls everyone is very close to each other. Losing him was like losing a brother, so everyone was pretty devastated,” Macdonald said.

    “I flew up for the service, and going back and seeing everyone was pretty hard. It was good to catch up and see everyone and say my goodbyes, see his mother.

    [​IMG]
    Kato Ottio for Papua New Guinea lays a tackle during the World Cup.Source: AAP
    “It was a pretty tough time. There were 6000 or 7000 people at the service, so many people.”

    Before making the emotional trip to PNG to farewell his good friend, Macdonald asked his Dragons teammates to sign a jersey.

    He presented the gift to Ottio’s mother.

    “She loved it. It was good,” he said.

    Ottio’s sudden death sent shockwaves through the rugby league world.

    His former club Canberra, and the club he was due to join this year, Widnes Vikings, have started a fundraising campaign.

    The aim is to fulfil Ottio’s dream of buying his mother a house. You can learn more and donate here.

    The Raiders are also considering establishing a scholarship in Ottio’s name for promising PNG footballers.


    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...o/news-story/118760eedb916417fc50c54ab72869e8
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS

    Dragons ISP Draw Released
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Wed 7 Feb 2018, 04:23 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons' Intrust Super Premiership draw has been released for the upcoming 2018 season.

    This season will be the first time in a decade that this team will compete in this competition as St George Illawarra, as per the recently announced re-developed pathways structure.

    "I'm really excited to have the reserve grade team known as the St George Illawarra Dragons. I think it's a big thing for the club," ISP coach Mat Head said.

    "I think the jumper you wear on your back will play a little part in the squad's motivation, no matter who you're selected for because we'll all be wearing that same jumper.

    "It is early days but we want to go as far as we can in 2018," Head added.

    "We deserved what we achieved last year by making the second week of the finals and to have a similar squad go around again for another 12 months, I'd like to think we'll go a lot further into the finals."

    For those Dragons members, partners and fans unable to make ISP fixtures, over half of the ISP Dragons' games on television, with seven fixtures scheduled to be broadcasted live on Channel Nine and a further five to be shown on Fox League.

    The ISP Dragons will also play their part in the Round 11 Magic Round, with triple-headers scheduled for Henson Park and North Sydney Oval. The Dragons will take their home game against the New Zealand Warriors to Henson Park as a result.

    There are only two games scheduled to be played at Kogarah's Jubilee Oval presently, due to the venue unavailability as advised by Georges River Council. However the Council have suggested that this may change as the season progresses and all parties will advise accordingly.

    Dragons Intrust Super Premiership draw:

    Rd 1 v Mounties March 10, 1pm WIN Stadium Live on Nine

    Rd 2 v Newtown March 17, 3pm WIN Stadium

    Rd 3 v North Sydney March 24, 2pm Ron Costello Oval, Shellharbour

    Rd 4 v Knights April 1, 1:45pm WIN Stadium

    Rd 5 v Newtown April 7, 3pm Henson Park

    Rd 6 v Wyong April 14, 3pm WIN Stadium

    Rd 7 v Warriors April 21, 1pm Mt Smart Stadium

    Rd 8 v Panthers April 28, 1pm WIN Stadium Live on Nine

    Rd 9 v Wests May 6, 11:45am Jubilee Oval Live on Fox League

    Rd 10 v Bulldogs May 12, 3pm Belmore Sportsground

    Rd 11 v Warriors May 19, 1pm Henson Park Live on Nine

    Rd 12 v Knights May 27, 11:45am McDonald Jones Stadium Live on Fox League

    Rd 13 v North Sydney June 2, 1pm North Sydney Oval Live on Nine

    Rd 14 v Wentworthville June 10, 3pm Ringrose Park

    Rd 15 v Blacktown June 16, 3:15pm WIN Stadium Live on Nine

    Rd 16 v Wests July 1, 11:45am Leichhardt Oval Live on Fox League

    Rd 17 v Panthers July 7, 1pm Panthers Stadium Live on Nine

    Rd 18 v Wentworthville July 15, 3pm Jubilee Oval

    Rd 19 v BYE

    Rd 20 v Wyong July 29, 1:55pm Allianz Stadium

    Rd 21 v Bulldogs August 4, 12:45pm WIN Stadium Live on Fox League

    Rd 22 v BYE

    Rd 23 v Blacktown August 18, 1pm Campbelltown Stadium Live on Nine

    Rd 24 v Mounties August 25, 11:45am GIO Stadium Live on Fox League

    Dragons 2018 home game schedule:

    R1 v Broncos Jubilee Oval Thursday 7:50pm, March 8th NRL only

    R4 v Knights WIN Stadium Sunday 4pm, April 1st (Easter) NRL + ISP
    (Junior Reps and Under-20s on the Saturday in Wollongong – members free entry)

    R5 v Souths Jubilee Oval Friday 8pm, April 6th NRL only

    R6 v Sharks WIN Stadium Friday 8pm, April 13th NRL only

    R8 v Roosters Allianz Wednesday 4pm, April 25th NRL + Defence Force

    R9 v Storm Jubilee Oval Sunday 2pm, May 6th NRL + ISP

    R11 v Raiders Mudgee Sunday 2pm, May 20th NRL + Women's

    R15 v Manly WIN Stadium Saturday 5:30pm, June 16th NRL + ISP

    R16 v Eels WIN Stadium Thursday 7:50pm, June 28th NRL only

    R18 v Tigers Jubilee Oval Sunday 4pm, July 15th NRL + ISP

    R21 v Warriors WIN Stadium Saturday 3pm, August 4th NRL + ISP

    R24 v Bulldogs Jubilee Oval Sunday 4pm, August 26th NRL + TBC

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/02/07/dragons-isp-draw-released/
     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Heart-to-heart with McGregor has Group Seven product eyeing NRL start
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    THINKING BIG: South Coast product Reuben Garrick is eyeing an NRL debut this season. PICTURE: Adam McLean

    ONE object has been at the forefront of Reuben Garrick’s mind during his second preseason with St George Illawarra.

    That is securing his debut first grade Dragons jersey – an accomplishment the Gerringong product hopes will happen sooner rather than later.

    “Making my first grade debut is 100 per cent my goal for 2018,” Garrick said.

    “I’d love to play first grade – it’s been a dream of mine since primary school.

    “I can still remember the buzz I got from pulling on the Red V for the first time in under 20s and so to get a first grade jersey would mean the absolute world to me.

    “It would be amazing to be given a crack this season – it’s a realistic goal I think can achieve this year.

    “But I know it’s dependant on me making the most of my opportunity and grab it with both hands, if and when it comes my way.”

    At the end of 2017, Garrick, who played for the NSW under 20s side last season, sat down with head coach Paul McGregor and the coaching staff to discuss their plans.

    “When I sat down with Mary [McGregor], we set out some goals for myself, which we have been continually re-evaluating and will continue to do so this season going forward,” he said.

    “We both know how important it is to stay focused and keep on track. The training load is very similar to last season but I feel I am coping a lot better with it all mentally.

    “With me knowing what to expect, I’ve been able to tackle it head on the best I can, from the word go.

    “I haven’t left anything in the tank either, because I know exactly how long it goes for while taking care of my recovery – a year’s experience in the pre-season is massive.”

    Garrick said he’s sought to embrace every challenge set out for him this preseason.

    “Obviously the fitness as been extremely tough but the hardest part would have to be the contact and wrestle sessions,” he said.

    “Every Tuesday and Friday are mainly fitness while the other days involve ball work and those contact and wrestle sessions.

    “It’s especially tough when we are asked to take on some of the bigger boys in our squad like James Graham and Paul Vaughan.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5215675/mcgregor-chat-has-garrick-eyeing-debut/?cs=3713
     
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  7. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Juniors

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    Good luck with that, son.
     
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  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]




    Best of Both Worlds a big success

    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Thu 8 Feb 2018, 05:00 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons on Thursday travelled throughout the Illawarra and South Coast regions for their annual community blitz.

    In 2018 however, the Dragons were joined by the Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and members of the World Cup winning Jillaroos for the 'Best of Both Worlds' community day.

    Together the players combined for a total of 39 school visits which culminated with fan engagement days at Wollongong's Lang Park and Kiama's Black Beach.

    Players and staff were joined by NRL Game Development Officers in delivering the Dragons Wellbeing Program to local students, with lessons including interactive activities together.

    The Dragons participated in education lessons with students, focusing on the importance of nutrition, belonging, respect and overall their wellbeing.

    [​IMG]
    Gallery: Best of Both Worlds



    [​IMG]

    Gallery: Best of Both Worlds


    [​IMG]
    Gallery: Best of Both Worlds


    Dragons, New South Wales and Australian back-rower Tyson Frizell had the chance to visit his old primary school St Columbkille's Catholic during the Best of Worlds day.

    "My junior club Corrimal Cougars was just down the road and I only lived five minutes away from St Columbkille's so this is where rugby league all started for me," Frizell said.

    "I hoped to show these kids that any of them could get to where I am today. I was just a local kid here and had the same upbringing as them. If they want to achieve anything in their life then I'm confident they can achieve it."

    "It definitely brings back memories of growing up. My little brother attends here still so it was good to see the school and some familiar faces again."

    Wigan Warriors wrecking ball Frank-Paul Nuuausala enjoyed the change of scenery the Best of Both Worlds provided for his team and Hull FC.

    "I've always enjoyed talking to the kids about respect and the nutrition side of things," Nuuausala said.

    "I really enjoy encouraging kids to get into sport especially kids nowadays who prefer to be on their iPads or watching TV.

    "Living in England you learn to appreciate the weather and being active because it's usually always cold, so that's what I enjoy the most about these community visits."

    Wigan will play Hull FC this Saturday evening (February 10) at WIN Stadium, Wollongong in the first-ever Super League game to be played outside of Europe.

    The following week (February 17) the Dragons will play Hull FC, and the Warriors will play South Sydney, in a double header at ANZ Stadium.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/02/08/best-of-both-worlds-a-big-success/
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    February 8 2018 - 1:41PM
    Frizell backs global ambition
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    ALL FOR IT: Tyson Frizell says he would back moves to showcase NRL games on the global stage. Picture John Veage


    DRAGONS forward Tyson Frizell says he would back moves to take NRL games abroad as Super League giants Wigan and Hull prepare to do battle in Wollongong on Saturday.

    The old rivals will fight it out for the Kenny-Sterling Shield at WIN Stadium in the first regular season Super League game played outside Europe.

    Moves to take an NRL match abroad have been touted in the past, with the USA and Asia possible destinations, but are yet to come to fruition.

    St George Illawarra floated the possibility of an international fixture in finalising it’s schedule for 2018 but ultimately decided to take their round 11 clash with Canberra to Mudgee.

    Frizell said he would jump at the chance to take the game to a new international audience.

    “I’m all for it. Preseason’s a long time, you’e doing a lot of training,” Frizell said.

    “To break that up and maybe expand the game and play footy somewhere where rugby league is not as well known would only be good for us as players and also the game. It’s something to look at down the track.”

    Including Test and Origin appearances, Frizell played 31 games in 2017 – for the most part carrying torn rib cartilage – and said player welfare would need to be taken into a account.

    “It depends on the scheduling,” he said.

    “You’d probably have to allow two weeks to travel back, depending on where the game is.

    “If the scheduling was right, and player welfare was taken care of, I guess there wouldn’t be too much trouble with that.”

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5217170/frizell-backs-global-ambition/?cs=3713
     
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    McInnes ready to be part of Origin chat

    Cameron McInnes believes another year as an 80-minute player alongside two representative halves at St George Illawarra can put him back in the Origin debate.

    Updated Updated 8 hours ago

    Cameron McInnes says he's ready to be a part of the serious conversation around the NSW State of Origin hooking role.

    The 24-year-old was a revelation at St George Illawarra in 2017, becoming an 80-minute player as they climbed to the top of the ladder early in the year before a late-season fade out.

    It led to him being selected for City's Origin squad last year, before Laurie Daley opted to give the No.9 jumper to Nathan Peats ahead of Robbie Farah when Peter Wallace was injured.

    But McInnes said a second season as an 80-minute player and now alongside the all-representative halves pairing of Gareth Widdop and Ben Hunt meant he could play a bigger part in the debate if he played at his best.

    "I feel like I've got a lot fitter this pre-season," he told AAP.

    "Certain times last season there might have been something on but I was just gassed from making tackles. This year I'm looking forward to being able to push myself further.

    "I have no doubt, if we play the way we're capable of as a Dragons squad, that's when you get individual success when the team is going well.

    "If I'm doing my job right and playing good footy my name might be tossed up again."

    Last year's transition to the Dragons from childhood club South Sydney reaped immediate rewards for McInnes.

    He set up six tries and had seven line-break assists, categories in which he failed to trouble the statisticians in his final two years at the Rabbitohs.

    The brief flirtation with Origin selection conversation served as a validation of his own skills.

    "It was almost like I know I have the ability, so it was more comforting for me that I'm putting out on the park what I know I can produce," McInnes said.

    "As a footballer if you're doing your best and you're not good enough then it is what it is.

    "But if you know you're a much better player than what you're producing on the park then that's very frustrating."

    McInnes already has a big year ahead of him, with he and fiancee Rachel expecting their first baby boy in May.

    He will also have the chance to gel with Hunt and Widdop in what he claims is the best halves combination in the NRL.

    "If I make the wrong decision and go the wrong way I'm still giving it to an international," he said.

    "Hunty is so sharp and is a great runner of the football which is great. I know I can give him the ball and make things happen.

    "I can play off the back of that too when he gets quick ones."

    Source: AAP


    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/mcinnes-ready-to-be-part-of-origin-chat
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]
    NRL NEWS

    Clubs warned: Shape up or risk extinction
    Author
    Michael Chammas Chief Reporter
    Timestamp
    Thu 8 Feb 2018, 09:00 PM

    The NRL has announced it expects a $37.5 million surplus over the next five-year $1.8 billion broadcast cycle, but CEO Todd Greenberg has warned clubs the governing body is no longer in a position to bail them out should they struggle financially.

    The NRL, which on Thursday confirmed a $3.7 million shortfall for 2017, will significantly boost club funding over the 2018-2022 period after protracted negotiations last year.

    As a result of the increased funding to the clubs, the NRL is now no longer in a position to aid cash-stricken clubs like they have recently done with the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans.

    “It won’t happen, and the reason it won’t happen is because it can’t happen,” NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said when asked about the potential of the governing body helping keep clubs afloat.

    “Because we don’t have money put aside to prop a club up … If you look at the numbers, what the numbers tell you is that they’ve now got enough money to sustain themselves. So if they run smart, effective and efficient business models, we should have 16 strong clubs.

    “But that’s now in the hands of clubs to run their businesses smartly with good people and good governance to turn them into good clubs. They’re now being funded from the centre better than ever before so they have their best shot.”

    The NRL announced an average $10.5m surplus throughout each of the past five years in the 2013-2017 broadcast rights cycle. In the first two years there was a $66.1m surplus alone, however the past three years there has been a combined $14.4m shortfall.

    The governing body originally budgeted for a $20m shortfall in 2017 alone, however a range of cost-cutting measures over the past 12 months meant that was limited to just $3.7m.

    It was always expected the final years of the broadcast cycle would be in contrast with the opening couple of years, a pattern the code envisages continuing in the 2018-2022 cycle.

    The NRL believes it will experience a $40m surplus in 2018. It is considerably less than the $45.3m surplus from the opening year (2013) of the last broadcast cycle despite a $700m increase in broadcast revenue this time around.

    That is because of the large investment the NRL will make in providing clubs with increased funding to sustain and manage its own operation.

    However, the NRL has set up a distressed clubs fund to help prop up teams on the brink of extinction.

    [​IMG]
    The 2017 Gold Coast Titans. :copyright:NRL Photos
    That fund will be made up of a combined $3m each year split between all 16 clubs, and will be distributed equally back to the clubs at the end of the broadcast rights cycle should it remain untouched.

    “So when we pay out to all the clubs, they’re going to pay back an amount each on an annual basis and it goes back into a fund,” Greenberg said.

    “That’s their insurance fund, if you like. It’s a distressed club fund, so if one of them falls over, they can apply to that fund to help them. We won’t be helping them because we don’t have money in the centre to club the props up again. It will be a very different conversation next time around if a club gets into financial trouble. And that’s been well communicated.”

    What is the expected NRL revenue in 2018?

    “We’ll break a half a billion dollars in revenue this year. What that tells you is the game is heading in the right direction,” Greenberg said.

    What is the estimated surplus in the next broadcast cycle?

    The NRL has estimated an average $7.5 million surplus each year ($37.5 million combined). “We’re trying to plan for a small surplus every year, or to at least break even at the outer years,” Greenberg said.

    [​IMG]
    The 2017 Newcastle Knights finished with the wooden spoon. :copyright:NRL Photos
    What largely contributed to the $3.7 million shortfall in 2017 compared to the $2.6 million shortfall in 2016?

    The major factor was an additional $2.7 million spent on clubs, states and development compared to the corresponding period 12 months prior.

    How has the non-broadcast revenue tracked over the past broadcast rights cycle?

    It has increased from $99 million in 2013 to $147.9 million in 2017. Greenberg said it is expected next season the NRL will surpass the $150 million mark for the first time in the game’s history.

    What financial position is the NRL in as it approaches a new broadcast cycle?

    “When I hear certain headlines and media commentary about the game is broke, it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

    How much does the game invest in its football operations?

    The NRL spent $20.1 million in 2017. That has increased significantly from 2013 ($9.6 million). It has spiked significantly over the past couple of years as a result of the investment in the bunker, concussion protocols, statistics and referees.

    How much does the game spend on the integrity unit and salary cap auditing?

    In 2012 only two salary cap auditors comprised of the $500,000 investment in the game’s integrity. That has increased to $3.7 million in 2017. The integrity unit now comprises of 17 staff members.


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/02/08...xtinction-if-they-mismanage-financial-grants/
     
  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Every NRL club’s predicted round 1 line-up
    NRL Premiership
    • February 8, 2018 4:23pm
    • by Staff Writers
    • Source: FOX SPORTS
    [​IMG]
    Your NRL club's predicted round 1 line-up.Source: FOX SPORTS
    DON’T fret, rugby league fans.

    Another off-season is about to come to a close, and we’re just four weeks away from the new NRL season kicking off.

    So foxsports.com.au has jumped the gun and predicted all 16 clubs’ round one line-ups, complete with injuries and unavailabilities.

    Fingers crossed we haven’t put the mock on anyone.

    THURSDAY, MARCH 8

    St George Illawarra Dragons v Brisbane Broncos at Jubilee Oval, 7:50pm (AEDT)

    Dragons

    1. Matt Dufty

    2. Jason Nightingale

    3. Euan Aitken

    4. Tim Lafai

    5. Nene Macdonald

    6. Gareth Widdop (c)

    7. Ben Hunt

    8. Paul Vaughan

    9. Cameron McInnes

    10. James Graham

    11. Tyson Frizell

    12. Tariq Sims

    13. Jack De Belin

    14. Kurt Mann

    15. Leeson Ah Mau

    16. Jacob Host

    17. Luciano Leilua

    Unavailable: Nil

    Dragons notes: The Dragons should have a full fit squad for their blockbuster season opener with Matt Dufty set to win the No. 1 jumper. Tariq Sims is considered the frontrummer for the back row spot vacated by Joel Thompson, while Luciano Leilua is tipped to win a bench spot after impressing in pre-season.

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...p/news-story/6dcae9d48488d87ae459d79060067f46
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    DRAGONS

    Nene Macdonald is confident he’ll be fit and firing for round one after overcoming a niggling knee issue.

    Macdonald was confined to the bike during training sessions just a couple of weeks ago, after inflaming a tendon around his patella during the World Cup.

    But on Monday he told foxsports.com.au he is back to full training and on track to feature in the trials.


    [​IMG]
    Widdop staying at No.6

    0:44
    “The last game against England I hurt it ... it sort of carried on from last year. It’s healed up now so I’m back full time training,” Macdonald said.

    “It was just a little tear in my patella. It was just an annoying thing ... the tendons take a lot longer to recover so you’ve got to be careful with it.”

    Macdonald knows he can’t afford to miss any game time this year, with a tense battle for backline positions in full swing at the Red V.


    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...y/news-story/6e4346f2fcf84475eaff60318f05eac7
     
  16. Dragsters

    Dragsters Juniors

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    This squad is predictable but that said I would not be too miffed if we started with this side.

    It's a vast improvement on last year's line up with the inclusions of Hunt, Graham and Leilua on the bench.

    Mann cannot be left out imo and if Aitken is fit, Mary will likely pick him, though I would give Mann first crack at right centre.

    Flo back on the right edge, Nene on the left outside Lafai should see him with more opportunities in attack...
     
  17. dragonssamy61

    dragonssamy61 Bench

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    The team barring injuries will be like above.
    If Aitken not ready mann in and sele to the bench
     
    getsmarty and Dragsters like this.
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    CLUB NEWS

    2018 CEO Business Update
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Fri 9 Feb 2018, 03:30 PM

    By Peter Doust - St George Illawarra Dragons Chief Executive

    As we head into the 2018 season, I thought it timely to provide members and partners with an update on some key strategic matters and business priorities.

    Governance

    High-level talks are ongoing with WIN Television and other interested parties in relation to the sale of the Steelers' 50 per cent shareholding in the St George Illawarra Dragons which the board and management are looking to finalise during 2018.

    Whilst it is acknowledged that the discussions and negotiations have taken some time, it is a reflection of the enormity and complexity of the decision that will shape the future of the business and brand.

    As such, the decision and detail needs to be absolutely right to ensure that the history, heritage and values of the club are maintained and further details will be provided when and where appropriate, within the 'commercially in confidence' parameters.

    Dragons board

    Following the retirement of Bob Millward from the Dragons board in October 2017, the Steelers nomination, and new addition to the Dragons board is John Brannon.

    John was previously the General Manager/CEO of Port Kembla Coal Terminal and is a company director and chairman who works across government, commercial and not for profit boards in industries such as finance, mining, tourism, education and sports administration.

    CEO transition

    It has already been communicated that I have decided that this season will be my last at the Dragons. I will retire at the end of the year.

    The St George Illawarra Board of Directors, led by Chairman Brian Johnston, will actively recruit for a new CEO in the coming months.

    I have, and will continue to thoroughly enjoy my time in the role, and am very proud to represent the Dragons as CEO. This is a lifestyle decision that will provide me with the time and opportunity to pursue other interests.

    Club sustainability

    Club sustainability continues to be a key priority for the NRL, particularly as in 2017 when only one club made a profit.

    This year marks the first year of the new five-year broadcast funding cycle and new club license agreements that will cover the cost of the football salary cap for the first time ever.

    Our commercial loan from the NRL was set-up to provide "working capital" from 2013-2018 and the repayment is factored into our business planning strategies as required.

    Noting however, that the Dragons are not the only club who have individual finance arrangements with the NRL or other stakeholders.

    Membership

    Over 19,100 Red V Members joined our program in 2017 – up from 17,884 in 2016. As at the beginning of February 2018, revenue from Red V Membership is up 17 per cent on the same period last year and is on track for another year of growth.

    Thank you to all our loyal Red V Members for joining our team for 2018.

    Corporate partnerships

    Sponsorship is on track to deliver a record revenue return in 2018 and will achieve double digit growth. We are delighted to extend our relationship with St.George Bank into almost 40 years and we are in the process of finalising all sponsor apparel assets that will see our kit as one of the most valuable in the NRL. Special mention and welcome to new partners XBlades and Westfund Health Insurance.

    Women's licence bid

    Late last year the NRL announced plans to establish an NRL elite women’s competition in 2018. The inaugural competition is planned to run over a six-week period through August and September in conjunction with the final two rounds of the Telstra Premiership and four weeks of the finals series.

    The NRL has indicated that there will be only six licences available initially for a five-year period and as a club, we are presently in the process of developing our submission to be included in this competition.

    We have a strong history and association with the development of women's rugby league across our region, particularly in the Illawarra, where we established pathways and competitions in 2001. In fact, the first women’s rugby league game in our region was played in 1991, the Wollongong Wildcats v Dapto Daredevils.

    Submissions are due mid this month with the NRL to confirm franchises to clubs in March 2018. The NRL have already stated that geography, location, resources, pathways and programs will be key assessment criteria.

    Dragons Ambassadors and Jillaroos stars Kezie Apps and Sam Bremner are actively involved and supporting us in the development of our submission.

    Centre of Excellence

    We are actively continuing to pursue opportunities to develop a world class training, administration and community facility for the Dragons as a key strategic objective for the organisation. We have been working closely with specific partners on a planning process over the last 12 months and our plans are well advanced.

    In regard to the New South Wales State Government's recent investment into the development of certain Centres of Excellence facilities across multiple clubs, our discussions with government representatives it became apparent that this investment fund would not have provided the Dragons with sufficient capital to develop the quality facility we require and have planned, which is why we have been pursuing alternate options. We hope to be in a position to make these plans public in 2018.

    It should also be noted that the Dragons were successful in receiving $60 million in government funding over recent years for our WIN Stadium and Jubilee Oval facilities.

    Graeme Langlands Public Tribute

    As announced on January 30, we plan to hold a public tribute to Immortal Graeme Langlands ahead of our Round 1 match against the Brisbane Broncos at Jubilee Oval on Thursday, March 8.

    The exact details are still being finalised in conjunction with Graeme's family and the NRL, but Red V Members and fans can expect an event similar to what was held for Reg Gasnier ahead of the NRL match against the Newcastle Knights at Kogarah on Sunday, August 2, 2014.

    Details will be provided once finalised closer to the event, but we would encourage all Dragons fans to attend this special event.

    For those without Red V Membership seats at Kogarah, the NRL is due to release tickets for Round 1 to club members on Monday, February 12 and the general public on Tuesday, February 13.

    Overall, 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year both on and off the field.

    Go the Dragons!

    Peter Doust
    CEO



    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/02/09/2018-ceo-business-update/
     
  19. getsmarty

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    getsmarty Coach

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