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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dugan back for Sharks in Dragons battle at WIN Stadium
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Centre of attention: Josh Dugan has been named for the Sharks.

    After pulling out with a groin injury in the 28-10 loss to the Roosters, the former Dragons fullback has been named in the centres for Cronulla to take on St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium on Friday night.

    With a number of fullback options at the club, Matt Moylan has been named in the No.1 jersey, with Dugan in the centres and Valentine Holmes on the wing.

    James Segeyaro, after receiving a bad head knock in the loss to the Roosters, will miss the match, meaning local junior Kurt Dillon has been named to make his NRL debut in jersey No.15.

    Dugan played 84 games for the Dragons, but left after an ongoing dispute of salary and his position, believing his future at the club was a fullback.

    The Dragons 14-4 down at half-time to beat the Sharks 20-16 with a stiff breeze at their backs in round two.

    Dugan is the State of Origin incumbent for NSW, but there are a number of contenders for this season, including Dragons’ rival Euan Aitken.

    http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5335274/dugan-back-for-dragons-battle/?cs=3713
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons making me a better player: Hunt
    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt says playing with the Dragons has made him a more complete player. (AAP)


    Ben Hunt has helped turn St George-Illawarra into undefeated NRL ladder leaders, but he says the club has made him a more complete player too.

    Updated Updated 7 hours ago

    Queensland State of Origin hopeful Ben Hunt believes his move to St George-Illawarra has made him a more complete player after guiding the Dragons to their undefeated start.

    Hunt's immediate influence on the Dragons has easily made him one of the best buys of the NRL season.

    Captain Gareth Widdop has grown another leg with Hunt alongside him, while the Dragons' attacking capabilities have virtually doubled with Hunt providing a true alternative option.

    Largely forgotten among the myriad of high-profile off-season signings that followed his across the league, Hunt has taken the Dragons to the best attacking record in the competition following their 5-0 start.

    But the 28-year-old believes the improvements haven't just been one way, insisting the Dragons' structure has made him a better player than the one who left Brisbane last year.

    "I think I've taken a fair while to get to where I am in my career and working on all the little things when I've needed to," he told reporters on Tuesday.

    "And coming here I feel like the team dynamic we've got with Gaz and the forwards, I can just play my game now and just worry about what I need to do.

    "I think it's completed the way I play my footy."

    Hunt played halfback for Queensland in last year's series-winning decider, but Maroons coach Kevin Walters confirmed Cameron Munster and Michael Morgan were the frontrunners to replace Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk as first-choice playmakers this year.

    However Hunt could hardly have done more to impress Walters over the opening month of the season.

    The ex-Bronco has set up seven tries and four linebreaks for the Dragons, as well as scoring one four-pointer of his own.

    "I feel like I have to be in the area," Hunt said.

    "There are a few halfbacks going around at the moment who are playing some really good footy, so I just have to leave that up to Kevvie and the selectors."

    Source: AAP


    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/dragons-making-me-a-better-player-hunt
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]
    NRL NEWS

    Dragons seeking investor after WIN Corporation withdrawal
    Author
    Brad Walter Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 10 Apr 2018, 07:28 PM

    St George Illawarra officials remain confident of selling a 50 per cent stake in the joint venture this year after WIN Corporation withdrew from negotiations.

    The Dragons are seeking an investor to take over the Illawarra Steelers equity in the club and have received interest from a number of potential buyers.

    However, WIN Corporation had been offered first option due to the Wollongong-based company’s long standing relationship with the Steelers and Dragons.

    The Dragons first floated the idea of partial privatisation in late 2014 and had been in discussion with WIN Corporation for three years but they have now officially ended.

    WIN Corporation advised the Dragons they would continue their sponsorship and association with the club but were no longer interested in becoming a 50 per cent shareholder.

    The Dragons said in a statement that they were now actively pursuing other options and alternatives with a number of other interested parties who had expressed interest during the period that discussions were being held with WIN Corporation.

    “The Dragons board remains committed to ensuring they identify the right partner for the long-term, and are confident that the 50 per cent sale will be completed this year,” the statement said.

    With NRL clubs having secured an annual grant guaranteed to exceed the salary cap by $3 million per year until 2022 and football department spending capped at $5.7 million, the Dragons are confident of finding a private investor.

    [​IMG]
    Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell. :copyright:Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos
    The team is flying high, undefeated at the top of the NRL ladder after the opening five rounds and crowds have been strong at WIN Stadium and Jubilee Oval.

    Despite the possibility of a new shareholder, the Dragons are preparing for the retirement of CEO Peter Doust at the end of the season and a search company will be engaged to help find his successor.

    There have also been recent changes to the Dragons board, with Club great Craig Young replacing Warren Lockwood, who has retired after stepping down as chairman midway through last year.

    Young, who is chairman of the St George District Rugby League, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Dragons board as a player, coach and administrator across all levels of the game – local, club, state and national.

    He joins John Brannon, who replaced Bob Millward as a Steelers nominee to the board of the Dragons at the end of last year, as two new directors of the St George Illawarra Dragons board in 2018.


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/10/dragons-ownership-up-for-grabs-after-win-corporation-withdrawal/
     
  4. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

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    Cheers for sharing. It'll be interesting to see what unfolds.
     
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  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons forward Tariq Sims to stake claim for State of Origin berth
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Breaking through: Tariq Sims will aim to get one over his Origin rivals against the Sharks on Friday night. Picture: Adam McLean.

    St George Illawarra Dragons forward Tariq Sims has made no secret of his desire to play State of Origin and he views Friday’s clash with Cronulla as a key opportunity to stake his claim.

    Sims has entered a rich vein of form of late, with the back rower playing a key role in the Dragons unbeaten start to the season.

    He will line up on Friday night opposite current Blue Wade Graham, former Blues captain Paul Gallen and prop Andrew Fifita, who has recently declared his intent to represent Tonga above NSW.

    Sims is determined to put on a performance that impresses NSW coach Brad Fittler’s eye.

    “I’m making no bones about it,” Sims said. “I want to be in that team, I want to be in that squad, I want to be a part of the Blues. There’s a lot of things I need to do to show Brad Fittler before I hopefully get picked.

    “No doubt [this is an opportunity to impress]. Wade Graham, he’s been a great footballer for a long time. He’s a big, strong, aggressive bloke that can also ball play.

    “It’s no secret what I need to do, I need to make sure I’m getting my reps in at training, making sure I’m focusing on the little things for our team and we can score points on the back of that.”

    Sims is one of a host of Dragons forwards pressing their claims for Origin selection, with Paul Vaughan, Cameron McInnes and Jack de Belin looking to join Tyson Frizell in a Blues jumper.

    The key to Sims’ chances, he believes, is his ability to play multiple positions.

    “I just need to continue being a consistent footballer. I can play in the middle, I can play on the edge, back row, it’s not like it’s a foreign thing to me. I can play left side, I can play right side, so it’s up to me to keep playing good, solid, strong football to impress Brad.”

    Heading into the season, Sims was no certainty to start for the Dragons, with Luciano Leilua leading a host of back rowers pushing for selection. It’s this competition for positions that Sims believes has triggered the impressive run of form.

    “We’ve got some great depth here and a lot of players that could easily step into a starting role if needed. I think that pressure of trying to keep that starting spot is definitely motivating me.”

    The Dragons defeated Cronulla in round two in a scrappy affair and Sims knows the Dragons forwards must lay the platform for victory by nullifying the Sharks big pack.

    “They have a strong pack, obviously they’ve got big Fifita and he moves like an edge back rower. We’ve got to make sure we’re putting pressure on him and, pretty much all their forwards. They’ve been doing a really good job and keeping a very mobile pack together. It’s up to us to take the fight to them.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5336059/origin-audition-for-sims/?cs=3713
     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Ben Hunt firms in race for Maroons jersey
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Best of enemies: Ben Hunt and Paul Vaughan are in the frame for Queensland and NSW State of Origin selection. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Munoz.

    After leading the St George Illawarra Dragons to an unbeaten start to the NRL season, the calls are growing louder for Ben Hunt to step into the vacant Queensland no. seven jersey.

    The representative retirement of Cooper Cronk has opened the door for one of a number of emerging Queenslanders to claim the halfback position and while Daly Cherry-Evans and Michael Morgan were expected to lead the race for the spot, it’s been Hunt who has outplayed his rivals.

    Hunt has been in sublime form for the Dragons in the first five rounds, guiding the team around the park and controlling matches with his kicking game. His play has been so impressive that Dragons teammate James Graham and Queensland legend Wally Lewis have thrown their support behind the 28-year-old.

    “It makes you feel pretty good,” Hunt said of the endorsements. “Obviously everyone knows what Wally’s done in his career and to have someone like that give you a bit of a rap, it gives you goosebumps.

    “I sort of feel like I have to be in the area, there’s a few halfbacks going around playing some pretty good footy, I just have to leave that up to Kevvy [Maroons coach Kevin Walters] and the selectors.”

    Hunt made his debut off the bench in Origin III last year and it’s an experience he feels helped him develop.

    “Just being in camp, that’s what benefits you the most. Being around players that have been there for a long time and you see the things they do and how they train and how hard they work, the effort they put in to get that win.

    Many were quick to criticise the Dragons after they signed the former Broncos half to a five-year, $6 million contract, but he has silenced the doubters.

    “It’s taken a fair while to get to where I am in my career, working on a lot of different things when I needed to. Coming here, the team dynamic that we’ve got with Gaz [Gareth Widdop] and our forwards, I can just play my game now and worry about what I need to do. I think it’s completed the way I like to play my footy.”

    While in the midst of career-best form, Hunt recognises he still has areas to improve as the Dragons prepare to face Cronulla.

    “Game management is definitely something I’m trying to bring here. It’s an aspect of my game I’ve been trying to work on for quite a while now, that kicking game and really managing it well.

    “That’s something in the Souths game I thought I didn’t do well. In that second half I was pretty disappointed with my kicking game and how we managed that back end. It’s something I’m trying to bring in to my game.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5333867/sublime-start-places-hunt-in-origin-frame/?cs=3713
     
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons steeled for WIN Stadium scrap with arch-rivals
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    WAR: Andrew Fifita comes to grips with the Dragons defence in round two. Picture: AAP

    DRAGONS coach Paul McGregor has torn up the script from his side’s round-two victory over Cronulla, expecting Friday night’s return clash in Wollongong to be a different beast.

    He’s not planning on being 14-0 down for starters, but the Sharks line-up the Dragons face on Friday will have a very different look to it despite the sides having met just three weeks ago.

    A combination of form and injury troubles has seen Sharks coach Shane Flanagan struggle to settle on solid spine in a 2-3 start to the season. Friday’s derby will see more changes with the return from injury former Dragon Josh Dugan in the centres.

    Dugan played at fullback in round two with Matt Moylan at five-eighth, though Moylan switched back to his customary fullback role in last week’s loss to the Roosters. His performance caught the eye of McGregor despite the heavy defeat.

    “Moylan played fullback last week and he played quite well so we had a bit of a look at him and what he did,” McGregor said.

    They’ve had some distractions and changes in their back-line. I think they’ve had eight in the first five rounds, some of that’s out of necessity or finding the right balance.

    “As a coach you put a player where he’s the best fit for the football team. Josh played centre for me in 2014 and again last year because it was the best fit for our footy team at the time. The Sharks obviously feel the best fit for Josh is right centre.

    “Hodko’s [Trent Hodkinson] an experienced player there on the left edge, they’ve brought in a new winger in [Edrick] Lee so they’ve made a few changes but it’s really about focusing on us and what we need to do.”

    The Dragons will be gunning for a sixth straight win on home soil but, with only four points separating the fierce rivals across their last three meetings, McGregor said his side will need to be up for a scrap.

    “There’s no doubt when the two sides come together it’s physical. It’s always going to be that,” he said.

    [​IMG]
    SHIFTY: Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has struggled to find a permanent home for Matt Moylan this season. Picture: NRL Photos

    “Cronulla are a quality side right across the board. They’ve finished fifth twice in the last three years and they’ve won a premiership.

    ‘”They play with a lot of passion, a lot of resilience and they’re very physical so we’ve got to make sure when our character’s tested where up for it. It’s won in a few small areas because they’re always close contests.

    “You know what’s coming and they’ll know what’s coming, we’ll meet in the middle and see who comes out the other side.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...r-win-stadium-scrap-with-arch-rivals/?cs=3713
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Player welfare chief concern for McGregor ahead of busy rep season
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    TEST STAR: Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop will pull on the England jumper for June's Test clash with New Zealand in Denver. Picture: AAP

    DRAGONS coach Paul McGregor says he would never stand in the way of any player representing his country despite player welfare concerns ahead June’s Test clash between England and New Zealand in Denver.

    Players from both nations have given vocal support to the match, but clubs, the NRL and the NRL Players’ Association have voiced concerns around insurance provisions, travel and the altitude the match will be played at.

    The parties met on Tuesday to discuss the issues with the NZRL who are the official hosts of the RLIF sanctioned match.

    McGregor has plenty at stake with key men James Graham and Gareth Widdop certain to turn out for England if fit, while Jason Nightingale is also a likely starter for New Zealand.

    The Dragons have a Thursday night game against Parramatta just five days after the June 23 Test but McGregor his decision on whether they back up will come down to player welfare.

    “That’s there Origin isn’t it,” McGregor said.

    “For international players who aren’t fortunate enough to be a Queenslander or a New South Welshman, that’s there Origin period and they want to play that game.

    “My only concern around anything when it comes to rep football is the welfare of the player. If it goes ahead and they get selected, the welfare of my players will be at the forefront of my thoughts.

    “If I can make sure we do everything possible to help them out in any way we will.

    “If the boys are healthy and they get selected and they go over to Denver, I’ve got a high performance management [team] who’ll work really hard around how we can best treat those guys.

    “As a coach I’ll gauge on the outcome of the game and how everyone pulls up.”

    It’s a concern that extends to the State of Origin period, with as many as six players in the selection frame.

    Jack de Belin, Paul Vaughan and Cam McInnes are in line for Origin debuts while Ben Hunt and Tyson Frizell are incumbents.

    McGregor said it’s vital his unbeaten side continue to put wins in the bank to navigate that tough period of the season, and hasn’t ruled out resting players if required.

    “For me it’s important to win games now as it is for every coach,’ McGregor said.

    “The more wins you get now, and Melbourne’s been doing it for years, you can rest players at the right time and that’s important to finish strong.

    “Representative football does come at an important time of the year, around the halfway mark, and you lose them for six weeks pretty well.

    “At the time it’s a disruption but as a player you get a lot out of playing those game and any experience you bring back to club land.

    “It’s about the guys who do get selected, if and when, that they have a professional attitude around what they’re there for and what they need to come back to.

    “When you’ve got a healthy roster and you’re winning games, when you do get some distractions around rep footy you have that choice to rest guys.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5337489/player-welfare-chief-concern-for-mcgregor/?cs=3713
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    KICKOFF: Dragons rep hopefuls calling their shot
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    HONEST CALL: Jack de Belin has openly stated his desire to win an Origin debut this season. Picture: NRL Photos

    THERE’S been a mixed reaction to Dragons players openly pushing their case for Origin selection.

    Jack de Belin has led the charge, stating his belief that he’s “made for Origin,” while Tariq Sims has been equally vocal.

    The likes of Cam McInnes, Paul Vaughan and Euan Aitken have been more measured, but just as firm in their desire to play in that arena.

    Some call it cocky but, as someone who spends a fair chunk of his time wading through tired cliches, it’s nothing short of refreshing.

    One thing’s certain, it’s music to the ears of NSW coach Brad Fittler. What’s also refreshing is Paul McGregor’s attitude to his players open pitch.

    Plenty of coaches would seek the muzzle players on the topic, but he said on Thursday he feels no need to rein his charges in.

    “All players, if they’re honest, will say they want to play Origin,” he said.

    “Certainly, if a player comes out and puts that on the line it means he’s going to go out there and play, and do it on a weekly basis. It’s a player backing his belief in himself and I love that.

    “There’s no doubt my players feel, if they continue their form, they want to be open to selection. There’s six weeks to go and they know that.

    “They’re grounded, they know if their team’s going well they get personal satisfaction and [Origin] selection from that.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5335866/kickoff-dragons-calling-their-rep-shot/?cs=3713
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]
    DRAGONS

    Speed v size: How Dragons balance Dufty's development
    Author
    Dan Walsh
    Timestamp
    Thu 12 Apr 2018, 03:01 PM

    Matt Dufty has spent the first five weeks of 2018 running around defenders with the rarest of rugby league commodities, vindicating the club's call to let Josh Dugan jump the fence to neighbouring Cronulla.

    Dufty's first full-time crack in the red and white No.1 has come up roses thus far, with the 82-kilo youngster packing more pace than predecessor Dugan and sweeping into attacking plays more often and ball-playing as a result.

    The southern Sydney derby rolls around again as the Sharks do the same 'centre v fullback' dance that St George Illawarra two-stepped their way through last year with Dugan, a fine representative custodian in his own right, but a fundamentally different one.

    The Dragons couldn't be happier with Dufty's progress thus far, but there was one moment when Dugan used his extra 20 kilos to smash the 22-year-old back into his in-goal when they last crossed paths in round two.

    Enter Nathan Pickworth, St. George Illawarra's head of high performance charged with keeping Dufty ahead of the roughest contact game in the country, where 110-kilo muscle-bound monsters are out to bury him beneath the turf he's just scorched.

    [​IMG]
    Over the last 18 months Dufty has added four kilos to his frame as he's risen through to first grade, while fellow gun junior Jai Field has packed 10kg onto his playing weight since commencing full time training, up to about 82kg on a good day.

    They've done so without effecting their greatest asset, speed.

    Acceleration off the mark is where the Dragons are focused and both Dufty and Field have since cracked an impressive max velocity of 10 metres per second, typically on show as they zoom round defenders for fun.

    "The key is making sure that the muscle mass you add is functional, any dead weight is almost like a handicap for a horse," Pickworth told NRL.com

    "…The thing with league players, especially Duft as an example, if you take the full 40 metres to reach max velocity, you're not going to get there because someone will tackle you before you're going flat out.

    "What we pay particular attention to is acceleration, reaching top speed with the ball quicker than the defender can, because that means they're more likely to beat their defender.

    "…Side-stepping, palming and being ready for a tackle, trunk strength in manoeuvring through a rugby league game is crucial.

    "Duft's ability to accelerate is probably just as valuable as his actual top speed in terms of assets that make him as a player."

    St George Illawarra's strength and conditioning staff was bolstered last year by the additions of Alex Clarke, who consulted with China's Olympic track and field team in Rio, and Andrew Rondinelli, whose CV includes work with rising Australian tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis and AFL outfit Port Adelaide.

    Twice a week over summer they put the Dragons through specific speed and agility training sessions, while running mechanics are built into a regular training hit-outs in season.

    A teething problem or two has popped up with Field's rather rapid transformation, with his bulking up from 72 kilos bringing on back issues and shin splints.

    Those issues have since cleared up as the 20-year-old continues to come on via reserve grade, and he and Dufty challenge as two of the quickest players in recent memory at the club.

    Dragons v Sharks - Round 6

    As the Dragons play host to Dugan at WIN Stadium, the club's pet project with his successor becomes a fine balance between rugby league's most basic elements; size and speed.

    "It comes down to whether they can do what the coaches want, making sure someone's not too light and getting rag dolled on the park, and maintaining or even increasing their speed at the same time," Pickworth says.

    "The other thing with playing fullback that we can't ignore is the aerobic fitness needed at the back to perform in the role.

    "Add too much mass on them and their fitness drops, they're not going to be as effective at their job, they won't be able to keep up.

    "It's a juggling act between an athlete's weaknesses and their strengths, reducing their weakness and increasing their strengths.

    "From what we've seen so far their speed hasn't dipped with the extra weight we've added to Duft and Fieldy so far."

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/12...arra-dragons-balance-matt-duftys-development/
     
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    NRL Dragons embracing State of Origin hype



    St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor has encouraged his charges to have the confidence to put up their hands for State of Origin selection.

    Updated Updated 4 hours ago

    Paul McGregor has told his high-flying Dragons to embrace the State of Origin hype with several of his St George Illawarra charges on the cusp of representative selection.

    In a sign of the self-assuredness which coach McGregor has instilled in his dressingroom, he has told the Dragons to welcome the Origin challenge head on.

    And at 5-0 heading into Friday's local derby with Cronulla, the Dragons can afford to be confident - a fact which has McGregor smiling.

    In a day and age when most players offer up cliched and rehearsed responses about their Origin ambitions, the likes of Jack de Belin, Paul Vaughan and Cameron McInnes have been anything but shy.

    With NSW coach Brad Fittler declaring all positions open, the Dragons haven't been afraid to make public their representative desires.

    "That's a player backing himself and I like that," McGregor said.

    "If a player comes out and puts it on the line, that means he's got to go out there and play and do that on a weekly basis.

    "There's no doubt my players feel if they continue their form then they'll be open to selection.

    "They're senior players and if they're consistent from now until round 12, they'll put themselves in the picture."

    Ben Hunt and Tyson Frizell are considered locks for Queensland and NSW respectively.

    While Euan Aitken has bolted into contentions for the Blues.

    So with the Dragons possibly providing six Origin players - which would be their biggest contingent since 2011 - there is a challenge fast approaching for McGregor.

    As well, Gareth Widdop, James Graham and Jason Nightingale are likely to be involved in the June 23 Denver Test - five days before they meet Parramatta at WIN Stadium.

    Suddenly the representative window shapes as a danger period for the Dragons, especially given their alarming fade outs over the last several years.

    Last year they led the competition after seven rounds but missed the finals.

    And two years prior they were first after 12 rounds but finished eighth and were knocked out in the first weeks of the finals.

    "I'm not too concerned about it because if we're getting guys selected then we're in a good position," McGregor said.

    "Our depth around our youth, we're getting them prepared now. They've now all played first-grade, it's getting them ready.

    "Our reserve grade is three from our last three, things are going good there.

    "We're putting some things in place for Origin but it's a long way away."

    Source: AAP

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/nrl-dragons-embracing-state-of-origin-hype
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    MEMBERSHIP

    Dragons reach 19,000 Red V Members
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Thu 12 Apr 2018, 05:34 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons are excited to announce Gary Bewes has signed up as our 19,000th Red V Member for the 2018 Telstra Premiership season.

    Reaching this milestone so early in the season has us set to surpass last year's season total of 19,181 with our post-premiership tally of 20,673 back in 2011 on our radar.

    Gary signed on as a Dragons Faithful member having followed the club since 1963. While he lives in Murwillumbah these days, he still makes sure to see the team whenever they're in Queensland.

    "I went to the 1965 Grand Final and made my own Dragon logo out of wood (pictured)," Gary recalled.

    "I tied it to the front of my FC Holden and about five or six of us went to the game to see the mighty Dragons defeat the Rabbitohs at the Sydney Cricket Ground."

    [​IMG]
    The 2018 Red V Membership program offers a range of flexible and affordable packages offering new and enhanced benefits to our loyal Red V Members.

    Fans are encouraged to join without delay to get the maximum value from the 2018 membership program, with another home game tomorrow night at WIN Stadium Wollongong.

    Secure your tickets to the remaining four home games played at WIN Stadium, Wollongong, the three remaining home games at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah and the traditional Anzac Day match against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium with a Red V membership.

    Make sure you join by Sunday, April 15 to get your card in time for our Anzac Day match!

    Click here to view the 2018 Dragons draw

    For further detail, benefits and comparison, visit www.marchwithus.com.au and make the choice that best suits your needs or simply follow the steps to join.

    You can also contact our team on 1300 DRAGON or via email to: [email protected] and we can help you.



    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/04/12/dragons-reach-19000-red-v-members/
     
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  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons plan to cope with Origin and Test demands
    Author
    Brad Walter Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Thu 12 Apr 2018, 04:43 PM

    St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor is planning to rest his stars during the mid-year representative period, with the Dragons facing the prospect of having up to six players on State of Origin duty and Gareth Widdop and James Graham playing for England in the Denver Test.

    Whereas some coaches view representative football as a disruption to their team’s premiership campaign, McGregor was always keen to play for NSW and Australia and wants his players to have similar aspirations.

    After winning their opening five matches, the Dragons players have not only put themselves in Origin contention but given McGregor an opportunity to consider resting the likes of Ben Hunt, Tyson Frizell, Paul Vaughan, Jack de Belin, Cameron McInnes and Euan Aitken if they are selected.

    With Widdop and Graham only due to return from the United States two days before St George Illawarra’s match against Parramatta, McGregor may rest them as well but he has no objection to them playing for England in the Denver Test on June 23.

    "The more wins you get early in the year, you are then able to rest players at the right time," McGregor said leading into Friday night’s match against Cronulla at WIN Stadium.

    "Melbourne has been doing it for years, and that is important to finish strong.

    Central casting for Dugan

    "As a player, I always wanted to play rep footy and I was lucky and fortunate to do that. As a coach, I like to see my players rewarded for consistency and if they are consistent I will support that.

    "Then we will put some protocols in place where we can to makes sure we can freshen them up a bit."

    Hunt seems certain for Queensland selection, as halfback or interchange utility, while Frizell could be joined in the NSW pack by Vaughan and de Belin. McInnes has been touted as the Blues hooker and Aitken at right centre.

    McGregor isn't concerned about his players publicly declaring their desire to play Origin and believes NSW coach Brad Fittler will choose at least some of them if they continue their early-season form.

    "I think any player if they are honest will say ‘I want to play Origin’, that is a player backing his belief in himself and I love that," McGregor said.

    "If a player comes out and puts it on the line that means he has got to go out there and play on a weekly basis.

    "I feel that if they are consistent from now until round 12, like they have done in the first five weeks, there is no doubt they will put themselves in the picture.

    "Freddy has already said he wants change, but he will only have change if it is warranted around positions. There are current Australian players that some of those guys will have to oust and to replace a player of that level you have to be consistently good."

    Dragons v Sharks - Round 6

    McGregor said Dragons head of athletic performance Nathan Pickworth plan to work with the England and New Zealand medical staff to ensure provisions were put in place to assist the recovery of Widdop, Graham, and possibly Kiwis winger Jason Nightingale.

    "For international players who aren’t fortunate enough to be a Queenslander or New South Welshman that is their Origin period and they want to play it,” he said.

    “My only concern about anything around rep football is the welfare of the players. If it goes ahead and our players get selected, the welfare of the players will be at the forefront of my thoughts and if we can do anything possible to help them out in any way we will."


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/12...ns-plan-to-cope-with-origin-and-test-demands/
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Widdop's flying start to the NRL season



    Statistics show that St George-Illawarra five-eighth Gareth Widdop deserves to be spoken about as the form player of the NRL this year.

    Updated Updated 8 hours ago

    His playmaking partner Ben Hunt might be lapping up all the plaudits - but the numbers show St George-Illawarra five-eighth Gareth Widdop deserves to be considered the form player of the NRL.

    Heading into the southern Sydney local derby, Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan made no secret of his side's intention to target the Dragons' in-form halves at WIN Stadium on Friday night.

    The laidback pairing of Hunt and Widdop have hit the ground running to have their side humming at 5-0.

    Hunt has largely been credited for turning around the Dragons' fortunes since his arrival, however statistics show Widdop deserves to be spoken about as the best player in the competition.

    After five rounds the Englishman is not only the equal leader for the Dally M (along with Newcastle's Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga), he leads the league in almost all of the major attacking stats.

    Accord to Fox Sports Stats, he leads the league for points scored (62) and goals (29).

    He's first for try assists (nine) and equal first for linebreak assists (eight).

    In all, Widdop has had a hand in 98 of the Dragons' 154 points in the opening five rounds.

    For comparison's sake, Widdop's 98-point contribution is greater than what eight teams have scored in total so far this season.

    Asked if he planned to send one of his forwards at Widdop and Hunt, Flanagan said: "I'd like to think I've got six of them that go at them.

    "They probably replicate what the Dragons are about at the moment.

    "They're working well with each other. They're confident and when they get the football in their hands, they're dangerous.

    "So we need to counter that, we need to keep the football away from them, we need to put them under pressure and we need to make them make tackles."

    Over the first five weeks, Hunt and Widdop have looked like they're played together for years.

    Not only have has Hunt eased the workload and released Widdop to play his natural game, they've looked dangerous when they both pop up on the same side of the field.

    Coach Paul McGregor described the Dragons' 2018 squad as their best balanced in a long time.

    "We've got a halfback to compliment Gareth, we've got an experienced player, an Australian player (Hunt)," McGregor said.

    "With James (Graham) there, who is all about winning, he knows what it takes.

    "For him to be out there to close out games is very important to us as well, with his leadership and the standards he sets.

    "With the addition of those two guys in addition to what we had last year, experience around (Jack) de Belin, (Paul) Vaughan, (Cameron) McInnes and our edges, they know what it takes to win close games."

    STATS THAT MATTER:

    * The Dragons have started the season 5-0 for the first time in their history as a joint venture. Illawarra never started the season at 5-0, while St George did so four times (1927, 1959, 1985 and 1993).

    * Head to head, St George-Illawarra have won 21 matches, Cronulla 19 with one draw in 2001.

    Source: AAP


    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/widdop-s-flying-start-to-the-nrl-season
     
  15. Rob 351

    Rob 351 Juniors

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  16. hewi

    hewi Juniors

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    dragonssamy61 and getsmarty like this.
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Already allegedly offered to us and we passed..........
     
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  18. dragonssamy61

    dragonssamy61 Bench

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    True you are right Getsmarty
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons thumping adds to Sharks' NRL woes
    By AAP
    an hour ago
    [​IMG]
    St George Illawarra have become the first team in five years to go unbeaten through the opening six rounds of a season, adding insult to Cronulla's horror Friday the 13th in Wollongong.

    The Sharks' 40-20 loss to their local rivals was only one concern, with Andrew Fifita and Paul Gallen sweating on knee scans on Saturday ahead of potentially lengthy stints on the sidelines.

    There is particular concern over Fifita, who had his left knee in a brace amd was on crutches, sparking fears he may have damaged his anterior cruciate ligament putting his season in doubt.

    Wade Graham (hamstring) and Luke Lewis (knee) will join the pair for scans after minor injuries, cutting through their star-studded forward pack and leaving them with an empty bench by fulltime.

    Against the odds Cronulla fought back from a 28-10 deficit before giving the Dragons an almighty scare when Josh Dugan was denied a try that could have brought them back within two.

    But when Jack de Belin and Euan Aitken crossed late for the Dragons, the Sharks were consigned to their fourth loss in six games.

    "If you lose four senior players it's going to drain your depth, but we just need to take stock and take a deep breath," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said.

    "I'm not happy with the way we're playing.


    "Our backs are against the walls now and we're going to have to turn up and win some footy games real quickly."

    Young fullback Matt Dufty and hooker Cameron McInnes were sensational for a Dragons attack that continues to fire, while Gareth Widdop also booted four penalty goals.

    It marks the first time since Melbourne in 2013 that a team has gone through the opening six rounds undefeated.

    The Warriors have a chance to join them on 12 points on Saturday when they take on Brisbane in Auckland before the NRL's form sides meet next week.

    They will need to find a way to stop the fleet-footed Dufty, who stepped his away across for two tries - including the Dragons' opener where he used excellent footwork across both sides of the field before finding a gap.

    McInnes also scored from a long-range effort when he went 50 metres from dummy-half, after he had earlier been sin-binned for a professional foul.

    "We were a little off to start the game in terms of our intent in our defence, but when we needed to find it we did," Dragons coach Paul McGregor said.

    "And some individual brilliance probably got us over the line tonight more than team talent."

    There was plenty to like about the Sharks in attack, after Flanagan made Matt Moylan his full-time fullback during the week and Trent Hodkinson his No.6.

    Hodkinson set up two tries in the loss, while Dugan and Valentine Holmes' combination on the right edge looked dangerous after the NSW centre set up a four-pointer for his winger with a slick offload.


    https://wwos.nine.com.au/2018/04/13/22/10/dragons-thumping-adds-to-sharks-nrl-woes
     
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons ready to embrace NRL rep period
    [​IMG]
    Dragons coach Paul McGregor hopes to see his unbeaten players get the rep nods they deserve. (AAP)


    The representative period destroyed St George Illawarra's season last year, but coach Paul McGregor wants his unbeaten players to be rewarded in 2018.

    Updated Updated 6 hours ago

    St George Illawarra are ready to embrace the representative period that ultimately proved to be their undoing last year.

    The Dragons could have up to six players in the hunt for State of Origin selection, while three more are frontrunners to head to Denver for the mid-year Test between England and New Zealand.

    Undefeated after six rounds, the Dragons find themselves flying at this point in the season for the second year in a row and coach Paul McGregor insists they have learned from last year's collapse.

    But the next three months will determine how far they've come, after they collapsed to drop seven of 10 games through last year's representative season before missing the finals.

    On that occasion they lost Gareth Widdop to injury, while Josh Dugan and Tyson Frizell were their only Origin representatives.

    Those losses could plausibly triple in 2018, with Paul Vaughan, Cameron McInnes, Euan Aitken and Jack de Belin all hopeful of joining Frizell in Blues camp against Queenslander Ben Hunt, while Gareth Widdop, James Graham and Jason Nightingale will likely be Denver-bound.

    Not that McGregor has any qualms.

    "For anyone, to be successful in anything you've got to have a purpose," McGregor said.

    "And if you've got a purpose you've got to have a passion for that purpose. And then you've got to be disciplined around your passion you should.

    "If my players ... are successful because of the passion they are showing and the purpose they've got with it, you've got to reward it."

    But McGregor has a simple message for his players: The only way they'll do that is if the Dragons keep performing.

    "It's about our team, it's got to be we before me, and if they're playing well in four or five weeks time, they'll get rewarded," he said.

    "They've got to replace players who are current Australian players in their position. So to do that it's about playing well for a long period of time."

    McInnes, Vaughan, Aitken and de Belin each did their Origin chances no harm with tries in Friday's 40-20 win over Cronulla.

    McInnes was particularly impressive with his 50-metre dash from dummy-half to score, heating up the race for the NSW No.9 jersey after Damien Cook starred for South Sydney on Thursday night.

    "He's quite quick," McGregor said.

    "Cam is a real person the team needs.

    "If you look at our spine we've got two guys in Gareth and Ben (Hunt) who like to play on the ball.

    "You've got a fullback in (Matt) Dufty that is around the footy. And you've got an unselfish player like Cam to give him and others the ball.

    "So with the balance there no one is fighting over it. And when he sees an opportunity like he did, he finishes them off."

    Source: AAP


    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/dragons-ready-to-embrace-nrl-rep-period
     

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