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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: Robson ready to step up to fill rep void
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Reece Robson is embraced by James Graham on his debut. Picture: AAP

    DRAGONS young gun Reece Robson is confident he can continue his step up to NRL level as coach Paul McGregor prepares to navigate a demanding rep schedule for his squad.

    Robson made his debut from the bench in the Dragons win over Melbourne last week as part of a broader plan to blood the next generation into the NRL ranks.

    With Cam McInnes the favourite to claim the NSW No. 9 jumper, Robson said he's ready to fill the void if required.

    “Obviously I'm hoping for Cam to get picked for his sake,” Robson said.

    “It would also obviously help me a little bit to get my start and hopefully cement a spot on the bench there.

    “Certainly it was part of the reason why I did get my start on the weekend, to get those few first game nerves out of the way so if [McInnes] does get picked I'll be ready for it. I'm trying to do the best I can in NSW Cup and prepare myself in the gym and on the training paddock so when I do get my opportunity I'll be right to take it.


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5395441/rookie-robson-ready-to-step-up/?cs=3713
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons' Kurt is the Mann for all occasions
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    Kurt Mann has already asked St George Illawarra Dragons coach Paul McGregor about ordering a smaller No.8 jersey for the when the joint venture are inevitably hit by the Origin player drain.

    No one better reflects the term ''utility player'' more than Mann, who has now played every single position in the NRL.

    On Sunday, he will wear No.15 and spend time at back row and in the middle against South Sydney's monster pack.

    A five-eighth by trade, Mann said his dream was to wear the front-row jersey, which could happen if Paul Vaughan gets called up for the Blues and James Graham struggles to back up in round 16 after the Denver Test for England.

    "I've played everywhere now, you name it I've played it,'' Mann told Fairfax Media. "I've never actually worn the No.9 jersey, but when I was in Melbourne, Slade Griffin went off for a HIA and I got pushed in there for about 15 minutes.

    "I've also played front row, and carted the ball back from a dropout against the Knights. Hopefully around the Origin period I've told then I want to wear the No. 8. The boys have been joking about me wearing it. It might be a few sizes too big for me.''

    At just 89kg, Mann could be the lightest front-rower in the game. Starting the year at 84kg, the Mann for all occasions plans to bulk up to 94kg.

    Mann wore the No. 1 jersey and had a ''shocker'' against Cronulla a tick over 12 months ago, which left McGregor little choice but to give him a short spell back in reserve grade.

    He returned to the top flight on the wing where he finished the year, then spent time in the centres and halves during the Dragons' first trial this year, only for a calf injury to rule him out of the Charity Shield.

    That was when McGregor sat him down and discussed his plan to move him into the forwards, something the 25-year-old has accepted with enthusiasm and ease.

    "He said I'd be starting off the bench and I could end up in the middle or a few other positions,'' Mann said. "During the Origin period he said he wanted me to step up with big Lesson [Ah Mau] as well.

    "If I could pick anywhere, five-eighth would be my preferred position. Utilities are a crucial part of every team, and if someone goes down you need that player who cover a few positions. It's only been this year I've been able to cover the forward positions.''

    Vaughan, who has Mann easily covered in the height and weight department, said he was keen to face off against the Burgess brothers and Souths and continue his Origin audition.

    Vaughan was an outside chance last year and was worried he may be forced to miss his best mate's wedding in Hawaii if picked for Origin I. Vaughan quipped the groom enjoyed plenty of free publicity ahead of his own big day in paradise.

    Vaughan, one of five players in the Dragons starting forward pack pushing for a Blues berth, said: "I wasn't ready last year, it was about getting my career back on track and cementing my position in the team, but with the team going so well, it puts players in a good position to [push] for representative honours.''


    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/dragons-kurt-is-the-mann-for-all-positions-20180512-p4zexm.html
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Casualty Ward: Round 11 - Dragons duo cleared of serious injury

    St George Illawarra Dragons

    Dragons coach Paul McGregor said his team was battling a few niggling injuries. Ben Hunt played through a corked leg against Souths but should be fine next week. Jack de Belin has been battling a hip pointer all week and was limited at training. McGregor was optimistic he'd be fine next week against the Raiders.

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/24/nrl-casualty-ward-and-late-mail/
     
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  5. Bests Golden Boots

    Bests Golden Boots Juniors

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    I thought Hunts injury seemed a lot more than a cork, he went down in the second half with what looked to be a sternum complaint.
    JDB shouldn’t have played, obviously
     
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  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    St George Illawarra Dragons coach Paul McGregor keeps things in perspective after 24-10 loss to South Sydney
    • Dragon's Den
      [​IMG]
      Ouch: Dragons halfback Ben Hunt battled on with a badly corked leg in his side's loss to South Sydney on Sunday. Picture: AAP Images
      When you’re top of the NRL table you can afford to keep your sense of humour in defeat.

      “They’re the benchmark,” Dragons coach Paul McGregor quipped after his side were beaten 24-10 by South Sydney on Sunday.

      A week after Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy had labelled his side the NRL’s best team, McGregor saw the Dragons turn in a poor performance against the resurgent Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.

      The Dragons were flat and lacked their usual bite in defence. They were punished for a sleepy start and were behind 12-0 inside six minutes.

      The red V battled back and enjoyed decent stretches of possession and field position but were unable to get back within striking distance.

      “They’re a good side. We knew before the game we were playing some quality opposition. They’ve got some big powerful forwards and speed out wide and experience through their whole side,” McGregor said.

      “They’ve won six of their last eight games now. For us we knew what was coming. We played them four weeks ago and certainly took something out of that game. We thought we could do better today but we just didn’t manage. Statistically we probably looked alright but as I said to the boys there’s no statistic for intent or effort. They out enthused us a touch.”

      McGregor said the lack of intensity was a blip rather than a concern given his side’s outstanding start to the season.

      The Dragons remain top of the NRL table after 10 rounds and make the trip to Mudgee to face Canberra on Sunday. They then travel to Penrith before they enjoy their only bye of the season the weekend before State of Origin I in Melbourne on June 6.

      “If [a lack of intensity] consistently happens it will [concern me] but it hasn’t happened before so not right now, no,” McGregor said.

      “And we weren’t down that much we were just down a touch. And they scored a couple of quick tries on us and I thought we wrestled it back at different stages too. It wasn’t the full 80 minutes, I thought we won the fightback but we didn’t score that try that we needed.”

      Dragons captain Gareth Widdop said the loss was a lesson his side needed to learn.

      “It’s obviously a big challenge to be up each and every week,” he said.

      “We got out enthused and [lacked] energy. They were more physical than us from the get go. It’s a big learning curve for us each and every week.

      “We need to be switched on week to week and playing with energy and intent. So we’ll obviously review that but we’ll certainly move on.”

      Ben Hunt is expected to play against Canberra despite suffering a bad cork to his leg, while Jack de Belin could be a doubt after failing to train last week.
    https://www.theleader.com.au/story/5399480/dragons-keep-perspective-after-loss/?cs=3833
     
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    GAME DAY


    Dragons ready for Mudgee return
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 15 May 2018, 03:12 PM

    St George Illawarra's Round 11 clash against the Canberra Raiders at Mudgee's Glen Willow Stadium on Sunday, May 20 is quickly approaching.

    The Dragons can't wait to get back to Mudgee following the success of February's Westfund Charity Shield against South Sydney.

    The Red V returns to the Central West of New South Wales atop the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership and will come up against a desperate Raiders outfit.

    Plenty of fantastic tickets remain available via Ticketek; with families able to enter the game for just $55.

    St George Illawarra forward Tariq Sims can't wait to get back out to the Central West.

    "Having spent almost a week in the Central West earlier in the year, the boys are keen to get back out there and play in front of another packed out Mudgee crowd against the Raiders," Sims said.

    "With more Dragons games to come out that way over the next 18 months, we have made Mudgee our home away from home.

    "There are plenty of great tickets still available and the team and I hope to see the Dragons faithful in full force at Glen Willow Stadium."

    Another option for those living out in the Central West is to purchase a Mudgee Faithful membership.

    At just $85 for an adult or $235 for a family, the Mudgee Faithful membership will gain you access to the Dragons' clash against the Raiders as well as a membership pack which includes a cap, wall flag, lanyard, sticker, key ring and member's card.

    On top of that, you'll also gain exclusive member merchandise discounts and access to the Mudgee member event slated for Saturday, May 19 at Glen Willow Stadium (time TBA).

    The member's event will provide an opportunity to mix and mingle with the Dragons players as well as watch their final training session before they face the Raiders.

    Be sure to register your attendance by Thursday, May 17 by emailing your name and member number to [email protected]

    The Dragons merchandise truck will be available for you to purchase all your official gear at both the member's event and during the game the following day.

    Dragons Community will also arrive in the Central West on Thursday, May 17 (along with NRL development officers) to engage with schools in Mudgee and Lithgow regions.

    They will deliver assemblies on wellbeing, mental wellness, physical activity, nutrition and positive relationships.

    Let's turn Mudgee red and white once again! Make sure you get out to Glen Willow Stadium this Sunday.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/05/15/dragons-ready-for-mudgee-return/
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    Frizell puts his best foot forward
    Author
    Tanisha Stanton
    Timestamp
    Mon 14 May 2018, 12:49 PM

    Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell's hopes of keeping his spot in the Blues team for the 2018 Holden State of Origin series were enhanced on Sunday despite St George Illawarra suffering their second loss of the season.

    The 26-year-old's efforts didn't go unnoticed in their 24-10 loss to the Rabbitohs. He bagged the Dragons only two tries and ran for the most metres in the game (208m).

    His long-range try in the second half showed a good deal of speed, especially for someone more used to the physical side of the game.

    Frizell says his dedication to the week-in, week-out grind isn't only to give himself the best opportunity to snare a Blues jersey - he also wants to help his Dragons teammates win selection for the June 6 series opener at the MCG.

    "It's a clean slate and I need to be playing good footy here and getting our team the most wins as possible to give myself and the other boys opportunity to get a jersey,'' he said.

    'It's a wake-up call' - Aitken on Dragons' second loss

    "I've been more consistent this start to the year compared to previous years. I've found a role in the back row and playing long minutes, where in the past I was changing from back row to middle.

    "The guys that have been getting tossed around have been playing really well in previous years and they've kicked off the season really well so it will be nice to see hopefully a few boys there in a couple of week."

    Both Origin teams will be announced in two weeks. In preparation for the expected absences, Dragons coach Paul McGregor has started preparing youngsters including Reece Robson and Zac Lomax for the challenges they are expected to face.

    Frizell says the rookies have earned their call-up into the side.

    "Leading into the rep season some of these young guys are going to get the opportunity to play, so it's nice to give them a taste of first grade now so when they do get the opportunity to play it's not a big shock to them and they can play well for us," he said.

    "Reece and Zac are well deserving of their call up, people haven't seen too much of them and the effort they put in in training.

    "They done well in the junior ranks and have been training outstanding for us."

    The Dragons are in for another challenge this Sunday as they head to Glen Willow Stadium in Mudgee to face the Raiders in which Frizell says a win will be crucial for the side.

    "Going down to Mudgee next week and really looking forward to it. We love going down to country towns," he said.

    "We've had a pretty bad run with the Raiders in the past but the only way to turn this around is by winning. Winning fixes everything."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/05/15/frizell-puts-his-best-foot-forward/
     
  9. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Juniors

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    True that.
     
  10. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Juniors

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    So why the fudge doesn't he give him the week off.
    It won't do him any harm but playing him will.
    This is one part of McGregor that sh!ts me.

    Both JDB & Hunt should be rested.
    It give McGregor the chance to show we have depth and to put the onus of some other players but no, he won't..................... He'll be in the same category as Smith .................. lacking any balls.
     
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  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Origin hopefuls De Belin, Hunt named for Dragons against Raiders
    Dragons Den News
    Coach Paul McGregor has backed workhorse forward Jack de Belin to prove his fitness, with two weeks left to secure a spot in the NSW State of Origin team.

    [​IMG]
    Crunch: Dragons forward Jack de Belin has been named to take on the Dragons. Picture: AAP Image/Craig Golding

    De Belin struggled with a hip injury in the loss to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Sunday, just the ladder-leading Dragons’ second of the season.

    Afterward, McGregor admitted he risked playing de Belin, who was not fully-fit.

    “Jack was one of them guys that didn’t train all week and played pretty much no minutes,” McGregor said after the Rabbitohs loss.

    “We used two interchanges on it. It’s a bit of a lesson there.”

    It was a tough afternoon for the high-flying Dragons.

    Kurt Mann also failed to finish the game because of concussion, while likely Queensland halfback Ben Hunt struggled with a corked leg.

    However, McGregor named all three in a 21-man squad to take on Canberra at Mudgee on Sunday.

    The Dragons meet the Raiders and then Penrith before new NSW coach Brad Fittler names the team for game one in Melbourne on June 6.

    De Belin, second-rower Tariq Sims, hooker Cameron McInnes, centre Euan Aitken and prop Paul Vaughan are all under NSW consideration, while forward Tyson Frizell is expected to be chosen.

    Frizell said the loss to Souths was a wake-up call after an outstanding start to the season, which still sees them one-game clear of the Panthers at the top of the ladder.

    “It’s good for us if teams want to bring their A-game every week to play us,” Frizell said. “Leading into the back end of the season, playing a tough game every week is quite good. You’d like to win them all, you’d like to be up for every game. I guess they wanted it more today.

    “It’s a massive learning curve for us but we’ll be better next week. We’re disappointed but we know we need to move on. We’ll get through this quite quickly.”

    Hunt, as the form halfback in the competition is now eyeing a leadership role in the Queensland camp, following the retirement of hooker Cameron Smith and playmakers Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

    However last month, Fittler declared he was prepared to have Sims shut Hunt down, as the left-sided second-rower, in what would be an extraordinary sub-plot to a new era of Origin.

    McGregor named powerful forward Blake Lawrie in the Dragons’ 17, which would see him make his NRL debut against the Raiders.

    Lawrie has played for the junior Kangaroos and NSW under 20s representative teams.

    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5401221/dragons-back-fitness-of-origin-contenders/?cs=3713
     
  12. Bests Golden Boots

    Bests Golden Boots Juniors

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    Wow, Blake Lawrie.
    Hope he enjoys his 5 miniutes for fame.
     
  13. dragonssamy61

    dragonssamy61 Bench

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    It's a bad cork.
     
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  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Graham takes back seat to in-form Dragons forwards, but still in for extra training
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    The sight of James Graham completing sprint drills long after training was a reminder of why St George Illawarra got it so right signing him - and Canterbury's previous board got it so wrong letting him go.

    The powerhouse Englishman has quickly been praised for his professionalism to training and game days at the Dragons.

    On Wednesday teammate Hame Sele volunteered to complete of series of sprint drills out the back of WIN Stadium with Graham.

    To prove how well the Dragons pack have been performing, Graham has almost taken a back seat to his five fellow forwards - Jack de Belin, Tariq Sims, Tyson Frizell, Cam McInnes and Paul Vaughan - who are all in NSW contention.

    Graham did not want a fuss made about him putting in extras after a session that featured halfback Ben Hunt and de Belin as bystanders.

    Their respective corked thigh and hip pointer injuries are not expected to prevent them playing against Canberra in Mudgee on Sunday.

    Graham was happy to back his fellow forwards for higher honours as they prepare to use the next fortnight to keep the Dragons on top of the ladder as well as complete their own Origin auditions.

    "I've been delighted for my teammates to be spoken about in such high regard, and it's all deserved as well,'' Graham said.

    "I've been so impressed with how everyone is going about their business.

    "I'm fully behind each and every one of their campaigns to get selected [for NSW], and if they keep doing the 'team-first' actions, it will go a long way in the next two weeks.

    "I was well aware of the capabilities of this team when I spoke to Paul [McGregor] and [recruitment boss] Ian Millward before I came here, so obviously I realised there was a lot of potential.

    "This group has learned a lot from the past couple of seasons, and I hope we continue to keep learning and challenging closer to the top of the ladder."

    Graham said he was happy with his own form, and like a top-line thoroughbred, wanted to peak for August and September, "and maybe early October".

    One thing that was not lost on Graham was the representative retirement of Cameron Smith, whose decision made him available for the Storm's round-17 clash down south against the Dragons.

    "I was a bit shocked, but the bad thing for us is we play Melbourne without their Origin players, so unfortunately he's put his hand up for that,'' Graham said.

    "What a tremendous career. Can we say he's the best of the best?

    "You can be very fixed on the present and it's easy to forget about the past, but in past, in the history of our game, are there any players more decorated?

    "With his Origin and Australia and Melbourne, it's hard to think anyone would come close to that.


    Raiders
    Williams back, Austin named as Raiders prepare for Dragons task
    "He's like the conductor of an orchestra, he just knows if he needs to turn something up here and turn something down there.

    "It will be strange watching the Origin game and he's not out there in the No. 9 for the Maroons.

    "It makes Melbourne stronger more than anything, and it will make everyone else's job in clubland more difficult.''

    The Dragons were out-enthused against Souths last Sunday, and were on the back foot from the first set.

    Graham was not too bothered and knew the players would bounce back in front of a big bush crowd against the Raiders.

    As so many Dragons have one eye on Origin, Graham will be part of England's Denver Test next month, and along with teammate Gareth Widdop will only have a few days to back up against Parramatta.


    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/gr...ll-in-for-extra-training-20180516-p4zfpc.html
     
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: Graham backs Blues hopefuls
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    James Graham has backed his teammates NSW aspirations. Picture: AAP

    DRAGONS prop James Graham says he has no problem with his teammates publicly stating their Origin intentions as the selection battle prepares to go into overdrive.

    The Dragons have as many as six stars in contention, including the entire starting forward pack other than the English hardman himself.

    The likes of Jack de Belin and Tariq Sims have been vocal in their pitch for the Blues and its with the full backing of Graham.

    “I don't have a problem at all if individuals want to play it down or if they want to say 'hey I'm ready’,” Graham said.

    “I don't think they'd be the first people to say that.

    "I have been delighted for my teammates to be spoken about in such high regard and it is all deserved as well.

    "I have been so impressed about how everyone has gone about their business, it is a credit to them. I am fully behind each and every one of their campaigns to get selected.

    "I think if they keep doing the team-first actions that will go a long way these next two weeks."


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5405699/graham-backs-blues-hopefuls/?cs=302
     
  16. slippery5

    slippery5 Juniors

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    Check out the photo of him holding his sternum in getsmarty's post, because I also saw him clutching it.
     
  17. Dragons 09

    Dragons 09 Juniors

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    Yeah, he copped a forearm/elbow to the chest when making a tackle and came out of the tackle holding and rubbing his chest. But he had already been hobbling around and was clearly restricted by the cork for quite a while before that incident happened.
     
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Storm more formidable following Smith rep retirement: Widdop
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    TOUGH FORECAST: Gareth Widdop at Dragons training. Picture: Adam McLean

    DRAGONS skipper Gareth Widdop believes Melbourne have become an even bigger premiership threat following the surprise representative retirement of Queensland and Australian Test skipper Cameron Smith earlier this week.

    Smith stunned the game on Tuesday with his stunning decision to quit representative scene just weeks out from this year's State of Origin series.

    It leaves Maroons coach Kevin Walters scrambling to find a replacement before game one, but no doubt drew a smile form Storm coach Craig Bellamy having watched the perennial toll the rep season has taken on his skipper.

    The Dragons firmed into premiership favouritism with their 34-14 win over the Storm two weeks ago at Kogarah, with Bellamy labeling them the benchmark in the aftermath.

    Melbourne have since leapfrogged them back into top spot with the punters and Widdop, who won the 2012 premiership alongside Smith in Melbourne, was not surprised to hear they'd firmed on the back of Smith's decision.

    "No doubt,” Widdop said when asked if Melbourne were a bigger premiership threat.

    “You take Cameron Smith out of any team there's a big difference so to have him there week in, week out, is obviously a positive for Melbourne. I'm sure Cam will be better [at club level] for not playing [Origin] so they'll be happy and Craig will be happy.

    “You could say [retirement] was a little bit of a shock. I'm just shocked as everyone else but, he's obviously got his reasons and he's made the right decision for his family.

    "With what he's done in the game, and the character he is, he's got every right too make the decision when he feels most comfortable.

    “It's disappointing because, as a spectator I like watching Origin and him go out there an play for Queensland but he's got his future to think about.”

    Having spent the first four years of his career playing alongside Queensland's old firm of Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Greg Inglis, Widdop is well aware of the how tough navigating the rep season can be.

    He'll get another crash course in 2018 with a host of his Dragons teammates in line for rep call-ups.

    “I've seen it, especially down in Melbourne we had a lot of Queenslanders within the team,” Widdop said.

    “It must be very difficult being away from family, in hotels week after week, playing on Wednesdays and not being able to train for six weeks. It certainly takes a toll on the body but, in saying that, it's Origin it's a great spectacle and no doubt the boys will be representing their state.

    “When you're playing good people get rewarded but I like to think the boys are just worrying about the Dragons first and foremost and we'll deal with that who, if and when selected.

    "We've got a squad of 35 that all live up to the same standards and know what we're doing. Whoever's in, or whoever's not there, we're expected to do a job. It's still a few weeks away yet so we'll wait and see.”

    NSW forward Tyson Frizell was equally stunned by Smith's decision to hang up the rep boots, but he wasn't as disappointed as Widdop to see them go up, though he warned against Blues fans rejoicing.

    “I wasn't stunned I was kind of glad,” Frizell joked.

    “Obviously it came out of nowhere people might say but he's been in the game for so long and done great things for Queensland and Australia. He's had an enjoyable ride and obviously thought it was the right time to call it quits.

    “Being a NSW fan you're glad to see a great player like that playing but they've got a good squad no matter who they bring in.

    "That's why they've been dominant for so many years so I wouldn't be going off to early as a NSW fan. It's still a three-game series and it's going to be a tough test.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...ollowing-smith-rep-retirement-widdop/?cs=3713
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: Lawrie left shocked by loss of former classmate Brunning
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    HITTING HOME: Blake Lawrie says the loss of former Steelers teammate Tory Brunning has brought plenty of perspective. Picture: Blake Edwards

    DRAGONS young-gun Blake Lawrie says he's been hit with a huge dose of perspective this week following the death of former team and classmate Tory Brunning last week.

    The Illawarra League community was left shocked by the sudden death of Brunning following Dapto's reserve grade clash with Wests at Dapto Showground last Saturday.

    Lawrie played alongside Brunning with the Steelers junior reps when the pair were teenagers and said the loss of his former Illawarra Sports High School classmate hit him square between the eyes.

    “When I first heard I was in the car coming back from our NSW Cup game and it sent shivers down my spine,” Lawrie said.

    “I spoke to my old man in the car and I just didn't think it was real.

    “I played Harold Matts and SG Ball with him and played with him all through our school years. He was one of my good mates.

    “We went our separate ways a bit after school as you do but every time I saw him I'd go up and say g'day.

    “I only saw him a month ago at the Farmer's Market in Shellharbour. A month later he's no longer with us and that's shattering. I just feel so much for his family and all his mates because he was a kind young bloke.”

    Brunning was selected in the Australian Combined High Schools under 15s team in 2011 and formed a formidable front-row combination with Lawrie at schoolboy level and with the Steelers.

    The 21-year-old Shellharbour product couldn't speak highly enough of Brunning, on and off the park.

    “I went to [Illawarra Sports High] in year eight and he came that same year in the year above me,” Lawrie said.

    "We played Steelers together, we played GIO and All-Schools and all our school footy together. We always worked together as a front-row combination.

    “No one could say a bad word about him, he loved a joke and a laugh, loved being around the boys and he was just such a top bloke.”

    Lawrie will make his first top-grade appearance of the season against the Raiders in Mudgee on Sunday and said he's never been more aware of how privileged he is to take the field in the NRL.

    “It does give you a lot of perspective,” Lawrie said.

    “It's a reminder that you can’t take anything for granted. You never know when you're time could be up.

    “My day could be tomorrow, it could be 10 years from now, it could be 50 years time. You just never know.

    “That's what I've tried to take into this week and these last few days, take each day as it comes, cherish the moment, cherish your loved ones. That's what you've got to try and take out of it.”

    The Dapto Canaries will hold a memorial service for Brunning at Dapto Leagues Club at 2pm on Friday for those who wish to pay their respects.

    Brunning’s family in his hometown of Waitara in New Zealand have also started a fund in an effort to bring Tory home to be laid to rest with donors having already contributed almost $25,000.

    People can donate at: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/bring-tory-brunning-home-to-waitara#


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5407429/lawrie-left-shocked-by-loss-of-classmate/?cs=3713
     
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  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    DRAGONS


    McGregor rev-up gets fringe Dragons motoring
    Author
    Brad Walter Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Thu 17 May 2018, 04:40 PM

    A dressing down of St George Illawarra's fringe first-graders by coach Paul McGregor has primed the Telstra Premiership leaders to cope with the upcoming representative period.

    With his starting line-up unaffected by injuries in the opening 10 rounds, McGregor has been preparing for the loss of up to seven stars on Holden State of Origin duty by using players from their Intrust Super Premiership team on the interchange in recent games.

    Hame Sele has made two NRL appearances while Jacob Host, Reece Robson and Zac Lomax have each played a game from the bench and this Sunday in Mudgee against Canberra it will be boom prop Blake Lawrie's turn.

    McGregor made sure the players were aware he hasn’t implemented a rotation policy when he addressed them three weeks ago after back-to-back losses by the ISP team.

    "He called us in about three weeks ago and said you need to step up, which a lot of us have done," Lawrie said.

    "Our standards weren’t up to his standards and he said you need to step up because I am not looking for those standards you have played in NSW Cup."

    Since the rev-up, the second-tier team has thrashed Western Suburbs 42-12 and beaten second-placed Canterbury 21-20 to climb into equal third place.

    Dragons v Raiders - Round 11

    "When the first-grade coach talks, it hits home a bit more," ISP coach Mathew Head said.

    "It was all based around our defensive principles and our efforts, and all of those kind of things. When things aren’t going great at reserve-grade level you still have to keep your standards and keep delivering on what you promised you would deliver on.

    "If you keep doing those things, that is going to give you the best chance of playing first grade and then when you get to first grade those are the things that are going to make sure you play at a reasonable standard when you get there."

    Lawrie is expected to deputise for Paul Vaughan if he selected for the Blues, while Sele, Host and Luciano Leilua, who returned from a five-week layoff in the ISP last week, would be replacements for Tyson Frizell, Jack de Belin and Tariq Sims.

    Robson is the back-up for hooker Cameron McInnes and Lomax is an option to cover Euan Aitken at right centre.

    "It's very pleasing to get a taste of it now," Lawrie said. "If a couple of boys do get selected for Origin you are not just getting thrown into the deep end."

    Head said Lawrie had responded to the pep talk from McGregor and deserved his opportunity against the Raiders.

    Peking Duk to perform at MCG State of Origin

    "He has had some different areas of his game he has had to fix up but in the last month he has certainly done that," Head said.

    "We’ve got a pretty good environment where we are starting to push each other along and when someone gets promoted to first grade we see it as a collective job that one of the group can get there.

    "If we can keep driving that level and pushing each other, hopefully we can only make our first-grade squad better."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/05/17/mcgregor-rev-up-gets-fringe-dragons-motoring/
     

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