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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Dragons secure Jillaroos trio for Women's Premiership
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 5 Jun 2018, 01:25 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons are delighted to announce Jillaroos trio Kezie Apps, Sam Bremner and Talesha Quinn as their initial marquee signings ahead of the inaugural NRL Holden Women's Premiership season.

    Since being granted a license in March to participate in the inaugural elite Women's Premiership, key staff including women's coach Daniel Lacey, Executive Manager - Football Ben Haran, Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward and recruitment manager Richard Agar have led the development of the inaugural Dragons women's program and playing roster.

    A list of 60 marquee players identified by the NRL has been provided to the competing four clubs and a recruitment window is currently in place to contract these players until June 11, which will be followed then by a free agency window.

    The Dragons have a long history with female rugby league, particularly the development of the game where we now have over 14,000 girls and women competing in our region across tackle, tag and touch football," Agar said.

    "An NRL team really completes our rugby league pathway and has already generated great interest and excitement. As a development club, it has always been our intention to ensure that we have a strong local presence within our team across the squad. Players in our region can be confident that they will have every opportunity to be a part of the Dragons NRL team both in 2018 and beyond.

    "We are delighted today to announce Jillaroos Kezie Apps, Talesha Quinn and Sam Bremner as our initial marquee player signings and there will be more to follow in the coming weeks," Agar added

    "They are the foundation upon which our team will be built for not only their on-field skills, but so too for their leadership, and the positive influence on both the squad and aspiring female players within our region."

    Apps and Bremner – who are both Dragons ambassadors and Helensburgh Tigers players – were instrumental in the club's inclusion in the NRL Holden Women's Premiership; the duo helped push the Red V's bid throughout the tender process and beyond.

    The 2016 Dally M Women's Player of the Year Apps will lead the Dragons up front as she looks to balance her fantastic off-field work in Dragons Community with the first NRL women's season.

    "It's really exciting and something that I never thought I'd be able to ever achieve. I can't believe it's actually happening that I'll be playing for an NRL club," Apps said.

    "The Dragons have helped me so much personally so it's very exciting to represent them on the field as well as off the field."

    Fullback Bremner is another key acquisition for the Dragons ahead of the inaugural season.

    Despite her wretched run with injuries throughout 2017, Bremner was crucial in Country NSW's National Championships win over the weekend where she was named 'Player of the Carnival'.

    "It's a big day for women's rugby league and me personally. It feels like yesterday I was trying to get my friends to learn and play with me back in 2010 for Helensburgh," Bremner said.

    "Now I'm signing one of the first NRL women's contracts. It's crazy to think how far the women's game has come. It gives me goosebumps. I'm really excited and looking forward to playing for the Dragons."

    Quinn caps off the Dragons' maiden signings for the NRL Holden Women's Premiership season.

    Having previously studied at the University of Wollongong, Quinn is no stranger to the Dragons' catchment areas having previously played for the Berkeley Eagles in the Illawarra Women's competition.

    Through her work with the Army and its elite sports program, Quinn quickly earned New South Wales and Jillaroos jerseys with the latter coming just prior to Australia's successful Women's Rugby League World Cup campaign last year.

    "I wanted to play where I was comfortable and obviously playing where footy started for me was a great opportunity. To go back to Wollongong, to have Sammy and Kezie there and to play around good people was a massive factor in my decision," Quinn said.

    "Sam and Kezie have been involved at the Dragons for a while, and the club has been so good with the promotion of the women's game.

    "Hopefully me being at the Dragons now, I can be a mentor to the young girls coming through as well following the recent success of the club's Tarsha Gale Cup sides."

    Apps and Bremner's acquisitions leave 19 spots to be filled in the Dragons' inaugural women's playing roster, with the full squad to be finalised.

    The Dragons have also established a female high performance program involving specialist coaching and education similar to the established men’s program, for 20 identified development female players from within the club's region which will commence next week.

    Player biographies

    Kezie Apps

    • 2016 Dally M Female Player of the Year
    • Country New South Wales (2018)
    • New South Wales Origin (2014-17)
    • Australian Jillaroos (2014-17)
    • 2017 Women's Rugby League World Cup winner
    • Women's All Stars (2013-17)
    Coach Daniel Lacey said: "Kezie has a passion for the Dragons already," he said.

    "I think she's the best back-rower in the world for female rugby league and she's a great ambassador for the club."

    Sam Bremner

    • Country New South Wales (2018)
    • Country NSW co-captain (2018)
    • National Championships MVP (2018)
    • New South Wales Origin (2011-17)
    • Australian Jillaroos (2012-17)
    • 2013 and 2017 Women's Rugby League World Cup winner
    • Women's All Stars (2011-17)
    Coach Daniel Lacey said: "A lot of people would know who Sam is already and what she can do. I'm one of those people. She has a connection to the area – which is part of my direction for the club – so to sign these high profile players is ideal for the Dragons."

    Talesha Quinn

    • New South Wales Origin (2017)
    • Australian Jillaroos (2017)
    • 2017 Defence Force Rugby League World Cup winner
    • 2017 Female Rugby League World Cup winner
    Coach Daniel Lacey said: "Talesha is a massive signing for the Dragons. From the initial meetings we had about recruitment, we were keen to pair her up with Kezie to form a strong back row," he said.

    "We put a lot of work into recruiting Talesha. A lot of clubs were after her so the idea that she's put us first is massive for the Dragons moving forward."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/05/dragons-secure-jillaroos-trio-for-womens-premiership/
     
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  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    St George Illawarra Dragons star Jack de Belin achieves his State of Origin dream with NSW
    • Dragon's Den
      [​IMG]
      My time: Dragons back-rower Jack de Belin will make his State of Origin debut for NSW on Wednesday night. Picture: Brendon Thorne/AAP Images

      When Jack de Belin found out he had been chosen to make his State of Origin debut, he was just as happy for St George Illawarra teammate Paul Vaughan.

      It is easy to see why new NSW coach Brad Fittler is such a big fan of de Belin and wanted him as part of his first squad. De Belin’s attitude sums up the ‘team first’ mentality Fittler has tried to instill in his first NSW team.

      De Belin is one of four Dragons players who have been rewarded for their own outstanding personal form and St George Illawarra’s excellent start to the season. Blues De Belin, Vaughan and Tyson Frizell will be out to stop Ben Hunt and Queensland from winning a 12th series out of the last 13.

      Like many before him, his phone call giving him the good news arrived when he was relaxing at home. In de Belin’s case, playing Fortnite on his gaming console. He then shared the good news immediately with his family.

      It hasn’t been an easy road to representative football for de Belin. He was the Blues’ 18th man for all three games last season but wasn’t called upon to make his debut.

      When he runs out wearing the sky blue jersey at the MCG on Wednesday night he will have come a long way from the first Origin game he ever went to – as part of the St Gregory’s College Campbelltown choir at ANZ Stadium during the 2008 series.

      The 27-year-old has been consistently excellent for the Dragons for the last two years. De Belin, who will be one of 11 debutants for NSW, admitted if he hadn’t been selected this year he would have given up on his dream.

      [​IMG]
      De Belin as part of the St Gregory's College choir in 2008. Picture: NRL Photos

      “I kind of had the assumption that it’s my year. If I didn’t make it this year I was probably never going to make it,” he said.

      “I’ve been on the verge for a couple of years. Obviously my name has been tossed up for a while now. Last year, actually being in the camp as 18th man, they didn’t change the side. They were one to 17 every game.

      If I didn’t make it this year I was probably never going to make it.

      Jack de Belin
      “So I didn’t get to play which was unfortunate. But I got a lot of experience out of it. It made me a lot hungrier to finally get my crack.

      “I’ve always kind of said that and believed that [my game is suited to Origin]. It was just a matter of letting the selectors see that and this year I stepped it up a bit in a couple of aspects of my game that are suited to Origin like team-first actions and being a defensive-minded player helps being such a physical game that Origin is.”

      [​IMG]
      De Belin meets the fans at Woolloomooloo PCYC last Tuesday night. Picture: AAP Images

      Valentine Holmes will be Cronulla’s sole Origin representative in Melbourne, keeping his place on the wing for Queensland after his heroics in game three last year.

    • https://www.theleader.com.au/story/5446390/de-belin-to-finally-realise-his-origin-dream/?cs=3833

    Last edited: A moment ago
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]


    STATE OF ORIGIN


    Hunt ready for biggest test alongside former teammate
    Author
    Joel Gould
    Timestamp
    Tue 5 Jun 2018, 02:01 PM

    When Ben Hunt first met Andrew McCullough he was worried sick that he would beat him to a Queensland representative five-eighth jersey.

    That was 16 years ago and it was mate against mate. State of Origin footy is often billed that way, but on Wednesday night it will be mate alongside mate when 28-year-old blood brothers Hunt and McCullough line up for Queensland against NSW at the MCG in the halfback and hooker positions.

    It was in 2002 that Hunt and his now close friend were representing their regions in the same position when the competitive juices in both of them flowed.

    "I remember clearly that I was playing for Capricornia and Macca was playing for Darling Downs and we were both playing five-eighth for our regions at a carnival," Hunt told NRL.com.

    "He played really well and I thought he was going to get picked for Queensland at five-eighth. I was feeling shattered. Then they ended up picking both of us – him at fullback and me at five-eighth. So we ended up playing our first game together as 12-year-olds for Queensland.

    "[Now Australian batsman] Chris Lynn was the halfback, so it was an interesting little team. He was a very handy footy player and ended up choosing cricket, and that has worked out pretty well for him."

    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough in action for the Broncos in 2012. :copyright:NRL Photos
    It worked out pretty well for McCullough and Hunt too. They were snapped up by the Broncos and played together for a decade before Hunt linked with the Dragons this year on a multimillion-dollar deal.

    Cameron Smith passed the ball to Cooper Cronk on more occasions in modern times than any other hooker/half combination in a liaison that won countless games for Melbourne, Queensland and Australia. Hunt's long-standing relationship with McCullough has him convinced that union will also reap rewards on Wednesday night.

    "It is a massive boost for both of us,” Hunt said.

    "We are both very new coming into Origin, so the confidence we have in our combination after playing together for 10 years is going to be a key.

    "He is a great talker and one thing we've learned over the years is that we are willing to give each other a spray and tell each other what we want if we need something. We will go to each other and have a crack if one of us is not doing their job."

    And "doing his job" is something Hunt said McCullough would most definitely do for the Maroons. He has blazed a trail behind the scenes that Hunt has tried to emulate.

    "We lived together for a number of years and he is one of the most dedicated and hard-working blokes that I have ever come across," Hunt said.

    "We'd have fun together off the field but when it came to training - whether it be ice baths, stretching and all the little things that make a difference - he didn't miss a beat.

    "I wasn't as strict. The older I got the better I got with it, but he was always like that from the get-go. He really helped me out with all that. I saw him doing the hard yards… and getting results, and that helped me get mine."

    Why McCullough won't copy Smith

    The duo played with and against each other in school and rep sides as youths and were two of the last players brought to the Broncos by master recruiter Cyril Connell, a fact Hunt reflects on with gratitude and pride.

    "It is pretty special and I am forever grateful to Cyril for that," Hunt said.

    "The first time I met Cyril was out at Blackwater [in Central Queensland] when he watched me play out there.

    "I was a Broncos supporter and to have someone telling you they want you to be part of the club as a 14- or 15-year-old is special.

    "Cyril was getting on [in] years and when I'd come down to Brisbane he'd pick me up at the airport and we'd drive over a few gutters on the way to Red Hill, but we never had too many bad crashes."

    You don't see Hunt have too many "bad crashes" on the field these days either. As he prepares to start in a Queensland jersey for the first time it will be as a complete halfback. He's taken the best advice from those he respects to mould his game, including Dragons halves partner Gareth Widdop and his Maroons coach Kevin Walters.

    "I have gotten lucky that Kevvie likes me so much and is around as Queensland coach at this time in my career," Hunt said.

    "It goes back to my time at the Broncos when he coached me and I always felt he got the best out of me as a player and gave me the right directions. He thinks I have a great running game and encourages me to do that."

    It is the decision-making nous of Widdop that Hunt said he had adapted to his own play and hoped to bring to the table on Wednesday night.

    "He's a special player Gareth and I definitely think he's helped my game," Hunt said.

    "I have played with a lot of great players but he is up at the top. He has a knack for knowing when to get the ball and what play to put on."

    Maroons roomies put Kangaroos stoush behind them

    Twelve months ago almost to the day Hunt was dropped by the Broncos to play Intrust Super Cup with Ipswich.

    “It has been a strange but exciting 12 months, from going back to Ipswich to getting the opportunity to play for Australia," Hunt reflected.

    "It is definitely a year I am not going to forget in a hurry.

    "I am ready for Origin. With that Queensland team it is harder to get into than get out of at times. Once you get in there and do a job for Queensland they like to show faith and stick with their players. I've had to wait my turn, play some good footy and now I have my opportunity. It is all on me now."



    Witness Australia's greatest sporting rivalry when Origin comes to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, June 6. Bronze tickets available from $49 here.



    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/05/hunt-ready-for-biggest-test-alongside-former-teammate/
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Bremner, Apps, Quinn overcome the odds to sign with St George Illawarra for NRL Women's Premiership
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Marquee signings: St George Illawarra Dragons players (from left) Sam Bremner, Kezie Apps and Talesha Quinn. Picture: Chris Lane

    Jillaroos star Sam Bremner admits there were times when she almost gave the sport of rugby league away.

    The Helensburgh representative endured two years of injury hardship, with a stress fracture forcing her out of last year’s World Cup final, all while trying to juggle her training load with full-time work commitments.

    Bremner was announced on Tuesday as one of the St George Illawarra Dragons initial three signings for this season’s inaugural NRL Women’s competition and she admits the years of struggles were worth it.

    The signing comes after Bremner made a successful return to the field at last weekend’s National Championships, where she led NSW Country to victory and was named player of the carnival.

    “I’ve had such a tough run in the last twelve months and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think it would’ve been easier if I did just stop playing,” Bremner said.

    “There was a lot of heartache and a lot of goals and dreams were shattered last year.

    “I just kept having to think of what was going to happen this year and I had to get myself healthy so that I could really have a good crack and take on the opportunities that the Dragons and the NRL have presented us girls.

    “I’m so happy that I followed my dreams and didn’t give up and I was resilient because standing here today off the back of a carnival feeling healthy and really happy and looking forward to the next few months is exactly where I want to be.”

    Bremner’s signing was announced alongside that of fellow Dragons ambassador Kezie Apps and former Berkeley Eagle Talesha Quinn.

    Apps has endured hardship of her own on her journey to an NRL Women’s contract, forced to drive the four and a half hour journey from Bega to Wollongong to play for Helensburgh for more than three years.

    Given the lack of options for women wishing to play rugby league in NSW when she first took up the sport, Apps admits she never anticipated the NRL would have a professional women’s competition set up in her playing days.

    “I didn’t think the NRL competition would ever happen in my playing career,” Apps said.

    “For all those long drives and all that dedication that I’ve gone through for me to be at this point today, obviously it’s all worth it and it’s all exciting and I just can’t wait for the future and to finally play for the Dragons and hopefully inspire other girls from the far south coast that anything’s possible.”

    Like Bremner, Quinn was one of the first women to step foot on a football field in the Illawarra competition back in 2011, and while she’s travelled quite the journey since then, she couldn’t be happier to be returning to St George Illawarra.

    “I didn’t even think that there would be an NRL competition, it was meant to be in 2020, I was probably going to be retired in 2020,” Quinn said. “I’m getting a lot older now, to be a part of the first NRL Premiership is just amazing.”

    The competition will commence in September.


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...-turns-corner-after-difficult-season/?cs=3713
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    St George Illawarra Dragons announce inaugural marquee trio - Sam Bremner, Kezie Apps and Talesha Quinn - for women's NRL
    • Dragon's Den
      [​IMG]
      Marching in: (From left) Kezie Apps, Sam Bremner and Talesha Quinn have signed with St George Illawarra for the inaugural NRL women's premiership. Picture: Chris Lane

    • St George Illawarra have struck the first recruitment blow for the inaugural women’s NRL competition, announcing the signing of former Cronulla player Talesha Quinn.

      The Dragons unveiled Jillaroos trio Quinn, Kezie Apps and Sam Bremner as their initial marquee signings at St George Leagues Club on Tuesday.

      St George Illawarra won a licence for the inaugural competition in March alongside the Sydney Roosters, Brisbane and the New Zealand Warriors. Of the six bids, South Sydney and Cronulla were unsuccessful for geographical reasons, with the Dragons’ ability to cover Sydney’s south as well as Illawarra giving them an edge.

      Sharks CEO Barry Russell said at the time he was extremely disappointed and dumbfounded by the decision to omit the Sharks who are widely regarded as pioneers of women’s rugby league.

      Quinn, a NSW representative who helped Australia win the World Cup in December, joined the Sharks after taking part in open trials with the club in November, 2016.

      She moved to Sydney from Townsville where she had been posted with the army and began playing in the women’s nine-a-side series with Cronulla last season. Quinn also plays for Cronulla Caringbah in the NSWRL Women’s Premiership.

      @NRL_Dragons announce first marquee signings for women’s premiership. Talesha Quinn, Sam Bremner and Kezie Apps @theleadernewspic.twitter.com/IecjJgd1Z5

      — Andrew Parkinson (@andy_parko) June 5, 2018
      “At the start when Sharks missed out I was a little bit like ‘what happens if no one wants me to play’. I was kind of freaking out. But I was fortunate enough to get contacted by three clubs – Dragons, Roosters and Broncos,” Quinn said.

      “I didn’t even think about any other clubs. Obviously Cronulla have done a lot for the women’s game and having the World Cup there. They’ve got a Tarsha Gale [Cup] side. They were the first ones to sign players last year under the Cronulla nines and I was part of that squad. So I kind of felt like I owed them in a way, they’ve given me a lot so I thought I’d definitely play there. But I’ve always wanted to be a part of the Dragons and it’s finally here.

      “For me it was really overwhelming. At a point I kind of just wanted one club to contact me so I didn’t have to make that decision. Because I didn’t want to have to say no to anyone, obviously this is a massive thing. To be asked to play in it is huge in itself let alone having three different clubs contact you.

      “But my decision came down to Kezie is here. She’s one of my best friends. I played with [Illawarra women’s competition club] Berkeley Eagles back in 2012 and that’s where my rep footy started before I moved up to Townsville with the defence force. It’s only fitting I come back to where it all started.

      “I think every club is doing a one-year contract. Hopefully it builds next year. If it doesn’t I’ll obviously stay at Dragons. But at the moment I’m just concentrating on this year. I don’t know what’s going to happen if Cronulla get a bid next year. If Dragons go really well I’d be pretty silly to leave. So I’m just taking it one day at a time and just see what happens next year.”

      Cronulla had Quinn, Corban McGregor, Jessica Sergis, Ruan Sims and Shontelle Stowers named in the NRL’s elite women’s squad in March alongside shire girl Maddie Studdon who is aligned with South Sydney through playing with Redfern.

      A list of 60 marquee players identified by the NRL have been provided to the clubs with a recruitment window open to contract those players until June 11. The marquee window will be followed by a free agency window.

      Dragons recruitment manager Richard Agar said the club could potentially sign more big name players from those clubs that missed out.

      “I don’t want to get into the specifics of Cronulla and Souths other than it’s a shame for them they didn’t get a licence but hopefully in future the competition grows and they’ll be strong players within the competition,” he said.

      “But it probably makes sense for us to see the girls, particularly the local girls who are playing up there, that have got a desire to play in the NRL and hopefully we can give some of those girls an opportunity.

      “But, apart from the girls in our own area, we will look for the right fit of girl who we think can enhance first of all us on the playing field and secondly enhance the group in terms of culture.”
    https://www.theleader.com.au/story/...naugural-marquee-trio-for-womens-nrl/?cs=3833
     
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  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    MEMBERSHIP


    Welcome the team to Melbourne
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Wed 6 Jun 2018, 02:39 PM

    Welcome the team to Melbourne

    Red V Members are exclusively invited to welcome the team to Melbourne ahead of their Round 17 clash against the Storm Storm.

    Wednesday 4 July 2018
    5-6pm
    Pullman on the Park, Melbourne


    Please register your attendance by emailing your full name and member number by Tuesday, July 3rd.

    For other member event information, please click here.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/06/welcome-the-team-to-melbourne/
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons looking to atone for 2017 fade out against Bulldogs
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    BITTER PILL: Dragons players look on as their 2017 finals hopes were dashed in round 26 last year. Picture: AAP

    DRAGONS skipper Gareth Widdop had never tasted a pill so bitter.

    Round 26 last season, St George Illawarra seemingly hurtling towards just their second finals appearance in five seasons, the 12th placed Bulldogs the only thing standing in their way.

    You only need to look back at the footage of coach Paul McGregor throwing a ballpoint at the floor in disgust to recall how that finished – the Dragons surrendering a 20-14 lead to ultimately go down 26-20.

    In reality, it was merely the final nail in their playoffs coffin, completing a slide from third spot in round 13 to ninth at season's end. It was a slide, four wins in their final 12 games, that still puts an asterisk next to their flying start this season in the minds of many.

    It's not something Widdop enjoys thinking about but, as they prepare for their rematch with the Dogs on Monday, it's a reality his side had to face up to in the preseason.

    “Obviously we all play this game to play finals, we haven't played finals for a while and and we had a great opportunity there to play finals,” Widdop said.

    “It was certainly disappointing, we should never have been in that position after the way we played earlier in the year. In some of those games we played really good football.

    "To start the year that way and fall off, then get to a game where we had an opportunity… it was just disappointing the way we played more than anything.

    “One game to get in the finals and we just didn't play as a team, we didn't give everything we had and that's probably most disappointing.”

    The Bulldogs have proven something of a perennial tormentor of the Dragons in recent years, having handed them a golden-point defeat in their only post-season appearance in the past five seasons in 2015.

    Widdop sent the match to golden point with two clutch long range goals before putting an attempted 40-20 out on the full in the first period of extra time.

    It's a moment he'd like to have over again, but he insists those two results won't be driving him on Monday.

    “Each and every year's a new team team so, for me as an individual, no,” he said when asked if he had any added motivation.

    “I obviously remember it. It was a tough game, I went for a 40-20 and put it out on the full then Josh Reynolds kicked the field goal.

    “That's the way it goes, it was really disappointing at the time but it was great to be playing finals football again.

    “[This week's] just another game where I need to go out there and do my job for the team and not think about what's happened in the past.”

    The match may not hold any added significance for Widdop, but winger Nene Macdonald made no secret of his desire for revenge.

    “I'm not sure about the other boys but, personally, I'm pretty excited to play against them this week,” Macdonald said.

    “It was pretty upsetting last year. I love playing finals footy and I've only had one or two chances to do that and we let that one slip.

    “I think we'll have a few thoughts about it and what happened last year before the game.

    “They played well against us last year to knock us out of the finals so I can't wait to get back out there against them.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...e-for-2017-fade-out-against-bulldogs/?cs=3713
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Vaughan credits Raiders exit for Origin debut
    Stephen Marson
    -
    June 6, 2018 - 11:53 am
    Paul Vaughan believes the best decision he made in his career was to leave Canberra.
    https://static.nospam21.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/GettyImages-960292784-696x464.jpg?x86372
    MUDGEE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: Paul Vaughan of the Dragons is tackled during the round 11 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Canberra Raiders at Glen Willow Sporting Complex on May 20, 2018 in Mudgee, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)


    Paul Vaughan has quickly blossomed into one of the game’s premier front-rowers, and has been rewarded for a brilliant 2018 season to date with his first Origin call-up.

    Vaughan will lead a strong forward pack on Wednesday night in his NSW debut, and has credited his move to the Dragons as a career-defining moment.


    The 27-year-old made the switch after he was forced out of the Raiders following 85 first grade games across four seasons, and has since taken his opportunity with both hands at St George Illawarra.

    “The best thing I did in my career was to leave Canberra and go to the Saints,” Vaughan told smh.com.au.

    “I’ve played my best football there and that’s a credit to the coach and the coaching staff they have there. They got the best out of me and obviously I’m reaching new levels in my career which is great.

    “I dreamt of this when I was a young fella, coming up and playing State of Origin. I’m pinching myself every day, just the realisation that that is going to come true on Wednesday. It’s the pinnacle of rugby league I think and I’m very honoured and very privileged to be a part of it.


    SEE ALSO: REPORTS: North Queensland chasing hometown Holmes
    “The only NSW team I made was Residents, that’s reserve grade. That was before a game at Suncorp Stadium. I didn’t make any 16s, 18s or 20s NSW when I was a young fella so it’s pretty cool that I’m making first grade.”

    Vaughan has played every game for the Dragons this season, and is averaging 26.3 tackles and 130.6 running metres per contest.

    The prop is one of four Dragons that will feature on Wednesday night at the MCG, and believes that’s just a by-product of how strongly the Red V have performed so far this season.

    “Obviously we’ve got a great forward pack at the Dragons and some world class players with James Graham, Frizell, de Belin and Simsy there. It’s a stacked side,” Vaughan added.

    SEE ALSO: Rugby League Infinite Files: Round 14
    “It’s just a credit to the Saints, hopefully we can represent the club to the best of our ability and repay the boys that got us there as a team.

    “Because we’re going so well, the team collectively, there’s always going to be individuals that get rep honours if the team is going well. It’s a good thing for the club.

    “I’ve always wanted to be a part of it, it’s pretty cool. It’s obviously a big arena and I’m just looking forward to getting out there.

    “The whole experience, especially at the MCG with the amount of people that are going to be there, I’m just going to take it on board and enjoy the moment.

    “Obviously it is my first ever series so I’m very excited and I just want to take it in.”



    https://www.nospam21.com/vaughan-credits-raiders-exit-for-origin-debut-33675/
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Origin can fire Dragons up in NRL: Widdop
    By Australian Associated Press

    Published: 15:52 AEST, 6 June 2018 | Updated: 15:52 AEST, 6 June 2018


    • e-mail
    St George Illawarra NRL captain Gareth Widdop believes the State of Origin experience gained by the Dragons' representative stars will benefit the team for the big games at the end of the season.

    While Tyson Frizell is an established NSW second-rower, the rest of the Dragons' Origin crew are relatively unexposed to the juggernaut that is the interstate rivalry.

    Queensland halfback Ben Hunt played sparingly off the bench in last year's decider, while NSW forwards Jack de Belin and Paul Vaughan will get their first taste in the series opener.

    With the second-placed Dragons in strong contention to advance to this year's finals, Widdop is banking on the occasion to help the club at the business end of the year.

    "For a lot of them, it's the biggest games of their careers so far. They'll certainly learn a lot from the players that play, with the coaching staff they've been around," Widdop told reporters on Wednesday.

    "They get to play in front of a packed MCG, it'd be incredible and, hopefully, they can bring a little bit of what they've learned from their camp back to the Dragons."

    All four were included in the Dragons' squad to back up on Monday against Canterbury, aiming to bounce back from their comprehensive last-start defeat to Penrith.

    The 28-2 loss was easily their biggest of the season, and Widdop challenged his team to make amends against the Bulldogs.

    "You win some - you lose some. It's how you respond to that. We understand we didn't play to our standards, which is disappointing," Widdop said.

    "But it's gone and we've moved on. We've got an opportunity to respond now."


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-5811113/Origin-fire-Dragons-NRL-Widdop.html
     
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    MEMBERSHIP


    Red V members' exclusive signing session
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Thu 7 Jun 2018, 10:37 AM

    Red V Members are exclusively invited to the St George Illawarra Dragons 2018 signing session.

    Don't miss this opportunity to collect signatures from the NRL squad and a free copy of the 2018 Dragons team poster.

    Sunday, July 1
    Jubilee Oval, Kogarah


    Click here for more event info or to RSVP

    Members are required to RSVP by 5pm, Wednesday, June 27.

    Not a Member yet? Visit www.marchwithus.com.au to find out more or call our friendly team on 1300 DRAGON


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/07/red-v-members-exclusive-signing-session/
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    KICKOFF: The year Illawarra Steeled the big league deal
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    BISHOP'S BABES: Illawarra Division's 1978 charge to a Country championship and Amco Cup campaign played a major role in the IRL's successful bid for the Steelers inclusion in the NSWRL competition in 1982.
    IN another life, had he not become the voice of rugby league, Ray Warren could’ve made a pretty good player manager – just ask Parramatta legend Peter Wynn.

    The scene was 1978 at Leichardt Oval, a youthful Illawarra Division team coached by British legend Tommy Bishop had just given a stacked Roosters side a mighty scare in an Amco Cup quarter-final

    A dejected Wynn, then a young Thirroul Butchers back-rower, was making his way towards the sheds when ‘Rabs’, who’d just called the match, stopped him for a chat.

    “When I was walking out to get on the bus and Ray came up to me and said to me ‘what are you doing next year?” Wynn recalls.

    “I said I was going to finish my studies and I hoped to be playing in Sydney. He asked if I’d heard from Parramatta, I said no and he said ‘give me your phone number’.

    “The next morning at 7 o’clock I got a call from Terry Fearnley. He asked if we could have a chat, I said when? He was on my doorstep within an hour.”

    That will no doubt be just one of the yarns spun when that side, dubbed “Bishop’s Babes” re-unites after 40 years at the annual Illawarra Rugby League luncheon later this month.

    They are compelling stories given the success of that young side proved, not just a springboard for players like Wynn, but for the entire Illawarra Rugby League.

    Illawarra Division’s 1977 campaign had been underwhelming, prompting the league to look for a changing of the guard under Cronulla and Great Britain legend Bishop.

    The league took the unprecedented step of naming a 22-man squad in December with a view to the 1978 season, a move The Mercury described as “an all-out bid to re-gain the prestige Illawarra lost in this year’s representative fixtures.”

    As Illawarra League godfather Bob Millward said at the time “we’re giving youth a go.” It was no throwaway line, with all but five members of the squad under the age of 22.

    [​IMG]
    As The Mercury reported it in December 1978

    Wynn had been blooded as a teenager, alongside Dapto’s Steve Morris, a year earlier and said the bond they shared blossomed quickly.

    “[1977] was my first taste of any representative football,” Wynn said.

    “At the end of the year they picked 20-odd players who were going to be part of the squad for the 78 season.

    “Before that you were playing at the time, they announced the team and up you went. This time they so you really felt you were part of something pretty special.

    “I obviously knew of Tommy, I’d watched him in the 1973 grand final for Cronulla and I knew he was a Great Britan halfback so that was exciting in itself, to be in a squad under him.

    “Getting picked in the Illawarra Division was a big thing because I knew the next level was Country then NSW and then Australia so you knew what the ladder was.”

    The squad had it’s first hit-out in a trial against Cronulla, holding their own against a side featuring the likes of Steve Rogers, Dane and Kurt Sorensen among a host of hardened first-graders.

    “We did quite well, there wasn’t much in it,” Wynn said.

    “They went on that year to play in the grand final so it wasn’t as though we were thrown into a trial against another divisional side, it was a top-line Sydney side.

    “It was a confidence booster. You could easily be over-awed and then when you get out on the field, you make a couple of tackles and you realise you’re playing against humans, not super-humans.”

    It was a good start to a rep season that saw Illawarra claim the Country crown with a win over Newcastle, but it was in the Amco Cup where they really made an impression.

    It started with a 63-5 win over a Kevin Tamati-led Wellington in Wollongong before traveling to Lang Park to take on Valleys, a side featuring a young Wally Lewis.

    “Wally came off the bench in that game and it was probably one of his first games in first grade,” Wynn said.

    “We played against Valleys the year before and they beat us up there at Lang Park then 12 months later with this new fresh team put together, we flogged Valleys up there. It was real turnaround of fresh blood into the side.”

    They also managed a comfortable 44-5 win over Norths Brisbane and an impressive 19-10 win over Ron Willey-coached Balmain to reach the quarter-finals against a star-stacked Roosters.

    “We got there early and I always remember looking at the program,” Wynn said.

    I was sitting in that little grandstand at Leichardt Oval and they all started coming in one at a time, Mark Harris, Stumpy Stevens, Kevin Hastings, Ronny Coote was on the bench.

    “I didn't know Bob O'Reilly then, he walked in with a trench coat, a pair of thongs and a towel and I remember thinking 'this bloke can’t be playing’ but we ran out and he was there.

    “We led 2-0, it was 2-all at quarter-time, at halftime it was 2-all at three-quarter-time it was 2-all so we were right in it. I really thought we were going to win, I had that feeling in my guts at three-quarter time ‘we might get these guys’.

    “Bob O’Reilly scored a try and Mark Harris scored a try and that was it close to the posts. Two moments that happened, their experience probably got us in the end.”

    The Roosters ultimately went on the win the Amco Cup final but Illawarra's run to the quarter-finals ultimately proved the clincher in the IRL’s bid for inclusion in the NSWRL’s 1982 season. Not that Bishop knew that’s what he was getting into.

    [​IMG]
    Program from 1978 Amco Cup quarter-final

    “It all just started with a phone call from Bobby Millward and I didn’t know a lot about what I was going to,” Bishop, who will be in attendance at the luncheon, said.

    “I knew we had a great lot of talent in the side and I was pretty lucky I got them when I did. It was one of the most satisfying situations I’ve ever been in when I was coaching them, it really was.

    “I had blokes like Rod Henniker, Keithy Rugg, Allan Sheppard, a fiery little fella in the forwards in Kon Demos, who did a great job for us. Everyone did.

    “Brian Johnson has sadly left us, but he was fantastic and of course there was ‘Slippery’ [Steve] Morris. He was a terrific halfback, he controlled everything and he could score a try or two off his own bat he was so quick.

    “They were so easy to coach everything I wanted they cottoned onto. At that particular time it was obvious they were going to be first grade players.”

    So obvious in fact, seven players ended up in the Sydney competition the following season. Henniker, Sheppard, Rugg and Demos all followed Bishop to North Sydney.

    Wynn went to Parramatta where he’d go on to win multiple premierships and play for NSW and Australia. Johnson linked with St George while Morris played for Australia at the end of 1978 before also joining the Dragons.

    Millward still believes that success is what got the Steelers bid over the line, after previous bids in 1954 and 1966 were knocked back.

    “At the time we said to Tommy Bishop, ‘we’re losing players every year to Sydney, we haven’t got a lot to give you’,”Millward said.

    “We haven’t got any International players anymore, we haven’t got a state player anymore. He said ‘give me what you’ve got’. We gave him a bunch of kids and off they went.

    “They won the Country Championship, they beat the New Zealand touring side, they reached the quarter-finals of the Amco Cup. Two went on to play for Australia, Steve Morris and Peter Wynn, and seven went to Sydney the following year.

    “That’s what we were able to lean on when we went before the NSWRL to say ‘enough’s enough. We keep producing them, you keep taking them, give us a go wearing our own jumper’.”

    40 years later, the friendships remain and will be celebrated, no doubt over a few glasses of the amber fluid at the Illawarra League luncheon on June 29.

    “It was a huge highlight. The guys I played with were all great blokes,” Wynn said.

    “We had to travel around a lot, Riverina, Newcastle, Brisbane to play Valleys so we were together a lot. We played 12 games and they all had the same focus as me and wanted to be as successful as we could be.

    “As an individual I was wanting to play in Sydney and we got a lot of exposure that year and we definitely grew as players, we got tougher.

    “The Sydney comp was so fast and so demanding and playing with that Illawarra side that year ticked all those boxes. It was a good prelude to coming to Sydney.”

    Tickets to the Illawarra League luncheon are available from Steelers Club reception.


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...llawarra-steeled-the-big-league-deal/?cs=3713
     
  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    STATE OF ORIGIN


    Hunt, Munster insists Maroons' best yet to come
    Author
    Joel Gould
    Timestamp
    Thu 7 Jun 2018, 12:01 PM

    New Maroons halves Cameron Munster and Ben Hunt insist their best is yet to come as they target becoming a long-term combination like the two Queensland legends they have replaced.

    Munster ran strongly and Hunt showcased his much-improved kicking game in Wednesday night's 22-12 loss to NSW in the Holden State of Origin series opener at the MCG but both halves told NRL.com they were far from satisfied with their performance.

    "I definitely think there is room to grow for us," Hunt said.

    "It was our first game together as halves and the more time we can get in camp to work on our combinations the better our direction around the field will be.

    "I thought we lost our way a little bit tonight and didn't get to the places we wanted to get to, and that falls back to me and Cam. We need to be better because it is up to us to get the team around the park."

    Hunt's kicking game has come a long way at the Dragons and he showcased just how far on several occasions against the Blues.

    The halfback produced a deft kick into the in-goal area that resulted in a try to Dane Gagai early in the second half and also secured a 40/20 with a raking long kick. He threatened on other occasions with the boot and combined well with Felise Kaufusi on the Maroons' right side.

    Match Highlights: State of Origin I - NSW 22 QLD 12

    "It didn't think I was far off the pace. I wasn't unhappy with my game," Hunt said.

    "I still need to be better in a couple of little areas and get my hands on the ball a bit more."

    Munster was a threat when he ran the football but will focus on improving his game management and linkage with left-edge centre Greg Inglis in game two.

    "Coops [Cooper Cronk] and Johnathan Thurston were a great combination but they spent years together," Munster told NRL.com.

    "Hunty was outstanding for us and I was OK in patches. I feel like I can get better in attack and give GI more ball so we can become really dominant on that left edge.

    "It was our first game together so we can only get better. Hopefully, Kevvie picks the same side for game two and we can get to Sydney and rattle some cages."

    Hunt, who had a disrupted preparation due to a corked thigh, said he relished his first start in a Queensland jersey but conceded the blowtorch was now on the Maroons to square the series in Sydney on June 24.

    "It was fast and a good learning experience," he said.

    "I know we lost but I really enjoyed the occasion. I feel like I am up to Origin and I can grow from here.

    "The pressure is on us now. We need to get into the next camp, put our heads down and train really hard so that we can be better."

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/08/hunt-munster-insists-maroons-best-yet-to-come/
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: Sims still in the hunt for first Blues jumper
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: Tariq Sims remains in the frame for an Origin debut having been the Blues 18th man in camp for game one. Picture: AAP


    HE’S got a wardrobe full of Blues training gear but Dragons forward Tariq Sims insists he’s not kicking stones despite a long-awaited Origin debut remaining just out of reach.

    The 28-year-old Gerringong product was first called into NSW camp as a boom rookie in 2011 and was 18th man for the Blues in game two of the 2015 series.

    He reprised that role at the MCG on Wednesday, with many considering him desperately unlucky to miss selection in Brad Fittler’s final 17.

    It would be enough to leave most people bitter but Sims was anything but on his return to Dragons training on Friday, saying he’s chomping at the bit to get back on the park against Canterbury on Monday.

    “I was happy to play my role as 18th man for the team,” Sims said.

    “Obviously I’d love to be playing but the game plan we went with was to pick the players that we did and it worked out pretty well for us on the night.

    “We had a really good camp, everyone knows Freddie’s a real character and we all have a laugh but, behind closed doors, he’s very strategic.

    “He knows exactly what he wants out of his players and he knows how to get the best out of his players. I had to sit down and watch the game, I probably had the second best seat in the house other than playing, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend.”

    Being named 18th man presumably makes him first cab off the rank should injury strike any of the Blues forwards in the lead-up to game two.

    Sims said he’s happy to have forced his way back into the frame, but won’t be taking anything for granted until he’s on the playing pitch in a Blue jumper.

    “It’s nice but I’m under no illusions that my spot in the side’s ever safe,” Sims said.

    “I think the whole team has the same attitude. We’ve still got two more games to go in the series and the feeling after the game was that the job’s only just started.

    “Hopefully we can get through this period and come into game two and three nice, fit and healthy.

    “It’s one of those things where you have to keep playing good consistent football for your club. That starts this weekend against the Bulldogs.”

    The rest of the Dragons Origin contingent returned to training on but won’t take the park until Sunday’s captain’s run at the earliest.

    Ben Hunt and Jack de Belin carried niggles into game one, with the latter sporting huge strapping on his troublesome hip, but Sims expects both to play on Monday.

    “I think that was just more precaution,” Sims said of de Belin’s strapping.

    “We had a really long day of travel [on Thursday] and he was a bit sore but, other than that, it’s fine.

    “He got through the game well, he got a couple of big knocks on it and said it pulled up sweet, so I’m looking forward to seeing him back here for captain’s run.

    “All the Origin boys pulled up sweet so I’m looking forward to getting back out on the paddock with them and playing some footy.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...ll-in-the-hunt-for-first-blues-jumper/?cs=302
     
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: Nicholls edging toward debut
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: Dragons ISP half Darren Nicholls is reaady to step up if regualr No. 7 Ben
    Hunt can't back up from Origin I. Picture: Sylvia Liber

    HE'D be one of the oldest debutants in NRL history but Dragons half Darren Nicholls says he's never been hungrier to make that elusive first top-grade start.

    The 29-year-old spent the bulk of the preseason on the Dragons right edge prior to Ben Hunt's arrival and has reprised that role this week with Hunt away on Origin duty.

    Hunt carried some niggling injuries into Queensland camp and, having been named on an extended bench on Tuesday, Nicholls shapes as the likely replacement should Hunt fail to back up against the Bulldogs on Monday.

    While he's confident his former Broncos teammate will be right to take the field against the Dogs, Nicholls is ready to jump on the opportunity should it arise.

    “Obviously Hunty played Origin the other night and this is the time when you've got to be ready to step up,” Nicholls said.

    “In the spine there Gaz [Gareth Widdop] and Cam [McInnes] are both great leaders so it's been pretty easy. Back in ISP I sort of run that ship there but coming up it's pretty seamless.

    “You don't have to do as much because everyone knows their spots a lot easier. We both play right side, I've always played right side so that's a bit if an advantage for me as well.

    “It's been pretty comfortable but I think Benny's going to be sweet for this weekend. Whatever Mary and the boys need I'll do. If it comes it comes, if it doesn't it's the best thing for the team if Benny's there.”

    A long-awaited debut would be a reward for persistence for Nicholls who has had full-time stints with South Sydney, Brisbane and Penrith, leading the Panthers to an ISP double-crown last season.

    It's been a long time on the fringes, but Nicholls said the desire has only grown stronger as his career's gone on.

    “It probably drives me more,” Nicholls said.

    “I've been playing reggies for a while. 10 years ago I definitely wasn't ready but now, each year, I feel I'm getting better and better.

    “I'm a massive footy head, I watch footy all the time and it's just a love of the game. If I wasn't playing professionally I'd be playing park footy with my mates anyway.

    “There's nothing better than going to work and footy's your work. It's what I always wanted to do as a kid and I'm doing it. I'm getting closer to an NRL game but, each week I get to go out and work's football so it's a dream come true either way.”

    Nicholls has taken heart from watching good mate Cody Walker's progression from 26-year-old debutant to NRL regular and believes he can do the same if the opportunity arises.

    “I'm mates with Cody, we played together at North Sydney when I was with the Bunnies,” Nicholls said.

    “It was great playing with him and he's really kicked on and he's a big part of that Souths team now. It is in my head seeing those guys but I just focus on my own things.

    "Each coach give you different things to work on being in different systems and I've learned different things. Being here I've built my game up even more and I just want to take it to the next level.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5456800/nicholls-edges-toward-debut/?cs=3713
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: Dufty fit and firing midway through first full NRL campaign
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    FEELING GOOD: Dragons young gun Matt Dufty has already ticked an important box midway through his first full season in the top grade. Picture: AAP

    THE NRL season has only reached the halfway point but Dragons fullback Matt Dufty has already achieved one of his pre-season objectives having not missed a minute of the season thus far.

    The livewire fullback played the last seven games of 2017 after making his debut in round 20 in Wollongong in a 30-0 win over Manly.

    It left him odds on to wear the jersey on a full-time basis this year and, as he prepares to make his 13th top-grade appearance of the season against Canterbury on Monday, the 22-year-old said he’s feeling good in the middle of his first full NRL campaign.

    “It was my goal coming into the start of the year to play more than half the games and I’ve done that now so I obviously want to keep that spot,” Dufty said.

    “The body’s feeling all right, it gets pretty sore after the games but that’s part of the job and I’m loving it.”

    The Dragons squad not involved in Origin have enjoyed a 16-day turnaround heading into the clash with the Bulldogs, leaving Dufty confident they’ll be at their best.

    “We had eight days off which was a well deserved break I thought,” Dufty said.

    “All the boys got away and spent time with their families and relaxed which is what you need halfway through the season.

    “There was a patch there where we went straight from the Warriors [in New Zealand] straight into an Anzac Day game on the Wednesday among other things so there was definitely some wear and tear on the body. The boys definitely deserved the break and we’re all back ready to rip and tear for Monday.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5458768/dufty-fit-and-firing-in-2018/?cs=3713
     
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Hunt ready to bounce back from Origin disappointment
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Dragons teammates expect a strong performance from Ben Hunt on Monday

    HE suffered a major disappointment in Origin I on Wednesday, but Ben Hunt’s Dragons teammates haven’t felt the need to really around their No. 7 this week.

    Hunt was one of Queensland’s best in their 22-12 loss to the Blues and fullback Matt Dufty believes he’ll bounce back quickly against Canterbury on Monday.

    “Benny’s pretty professional, he’ll keep the Origin stuff at Origin and club footy at club footy,” Dufty said.

    “He’ll want to come out and prove a point that he’s in a good team, he’s still a great player and I think he’ll be ready to rock and roll on Monday.”

    It was a sentiment echoed by back-rower Tariq Sims, who was part of the Blues squad.

    “I don’t think I need to pick him up, I thought he was one of Queensland’s best,” Sims said.

    “He kicked the ball really well, he took the line on, he was always asking questions and always probing. I think out of the Queensland side he’s one of the guys who played really, really well.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5458776/hunt-ready-to-bounce-back/?cs=3713
     
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Tariq Sims has pressed his Origin claims with his massive performance lifting the Dragons to top spot on the ladder
    • an hour ago
    • by Joe McDonough
    • Source: FOX SPORTS


    THE Dragons have reclaimed top spot on the ladder with a nervy 18-16 win over the Bulldogs this afternoon.

    And while their four rep stars backed up brilliantly, it was a fringe Origin player that really stood up in the Red V – Tariq Sims.

    Selected for the Blues extended squad, Sims was overlooked for a bench spot, and while it’ll be difficult to crack into the side that won so well in Game One, he couldn’t have done any more today to remind Brad Fittler of his worth.

    The left-edge backrower was a constant threat in attack, and he scored the second try of the match running a good line off Gareth Widdop’s hip.

    But as Fox Sports commentator Braith Anasta noted at half-time, it’s his aggressive defence that really lifts his teammates.

    “He’s a great player… Nine runs 94 metres, three tackle busts. But it’s his defence, look at him putting shots on Klemmer,” Anasta said.

    “He’s an enforcer for the Dragons, he turns up every week, he’s been one of their best in 2018, and he comes up with a try also. He’s had an enormous first half for the Dragons.”

    He finished with 148 metres from 15 runs, 5 tackle busts, and 27 tackles.

    As mentioned the Origin quartet showed the character Paul McGregor was looking for.

    Both Vaughan and Frizell ran for over 140 metres (Vaughan amassed 168 from 14 carries) and made 30 tackles, and de Belin was everywhere in defence and made 100 metres with the ball.

    Bent Hunt was strong in his 200th game. He organised the Dragons attack alongside Gareth Widdop and set up the first try to Euan Aitken.

    Dragons finally get the win

    Josh Jackson may have been one of the incumbent Blues overlooked for this year’s Origin series but like Sims he made a statement today.

    His Bulldogs were blown off the park early but rallied to find some momentum of their own in the second half. And Jackson was instrumental in that charge.

    He set up Will Hopoate’s try with a grubber his halves would’ve been proud of, and made several strong charges to lift his team.

    The Dragons held on to hand the Bulldogs their sixth loss by eight or less points in their last seven games. They also ended a string of six straight losses to the Bulldogs.

    REPORT

    Cameron McInnes asked serious questions of the Bulldogs defence in the first two minutes. The livewire hooker put on a big right foot step to beat Michael Lichaa and pierce through. He then produced another sharp right foot step to beat Moses Mbye, before offloading to Paul Vaughan who was caught just short of the line.

    Two penalties later they broke the deadlock through Euan Aitken.

    The Dragons’ rep quartet was asked by coach Paul McGregor to lead by example today and they immediately answered the call.

    Paul Vaughan moved the ball wide to Jack de Belin, who found Ben Hunt even wider. The Maroons halfback then made it look all too easy, straightening and hitting his centre short, who strolled in untouched.

    Dufty’s try saving tackle

    Moses Mbye six minutes in had a kick for touch to put his side on the attack but he miscued it badly, gifting the Dragons the ball back.

    It proved to be a costly mistake with the Dragons working their way downfield before a short ball this time from Gareth Widdop to Tariq Sims extended the Dragons’ lead.

    The left-edge backrower was isolated with Will Hopoate close to the line and was too strong despite a gallant attempt from the Bulldogs centre to hold him up.

    Kurt Mann, who was a late replacement for Jason Nightingale on the right wing, did brilliantly to gather in a grubber and make it back into the field of play. But an error from Aitken allowed the Dogs another attacking set and they made no mistake.

    Adam Elliott was thrown the ball in the middle of the park with nothing on, he threw a half dummy and just powered through the attempted tackles of Frizell and Hunt to close the deficit to just two points.

    Widdop had a golden opporutnity to extend the Dragons lead on the cusp of half-time. He ran onto a well-weighted grubber from his halves partner but inches from the line he was pulled down in a desperate lunging try-saver from Jeremy Marshall-King.

    It didn’t matter because from their next attacking set, a slick backline movement finished with Nene MacDonald taking the aerial route to score in the corner after a quality ball under pressure from Matt Dufty.

    MacDonald looked like he was going to bag a quick double when Dufty released him out wide again. But the Bulldogs did well to scramble and shut down the play.

    The Bulldogs needed to score first in the second half to have any chance, and a break from the veteran speedster Brett Morris set it up.

    With the Dragons defence at sixes and sevens, the Dogs shovelled it out wide to the right. Dave Klemmer, who ran for almost 100 metres in the first half alone after coming on at the 15th minute, passed to Josh Jackson who showed great touch to toe ahead for try-scorer Hopoate.

    The Josh Jackson and Brett Morris show continued minutes later. Jackson made a great bust up the middle to give his side momentum, and then his fellow former Blue scored when a sweet Matt Frawley cross-field kick was fumbled by Mann and dropped in his path in goal.

    At 16-14 to the Bulldogs it was anyone’s game.

    De Belin then stepped up to hit Jackson in a crunching tackle that forced a mistake deep in Bulldogs territory.

    Awarded a penalty, Widdop didn’t hesitate to level the scores with just a quarter of the match remaining.

    In what could have been a pivotal moment in the match, McInnes was penalised for passing into Jackson who was sitting in the ruck. Replays showed he wasn’t even looking at Jackson and only hit the outside of his arm trying to go behind him.

    ‘McInnes did it on purpose’

    Brett Finch told Fox Sports it should’ve just been play on as the ball bounced back to a Dragons player anyway. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalise.

    Strong runs from Sims and Frizell saw the Dragons march into the attacking zone. On last tackle, James Graham was hit late by Aaron Woods after passing to Hunt.

    As a result the Dragons reclaimed the lead through a Widdop penalty goal.

    The Dogs refused to yield but they just couldn’t crack the resolute defence that the Dragons.

    Their best chance late came when Marcelo Montoya charged down the sideline and tried to beat Dufty on the outside but the diminutive custodian made an all or nothing tackle to take him into touch.

    Jackson produced another pinpoint grubber in the last minute to force a drop out and give the Bulldogs one last attacking set. They forced a mistake on last tackle with a banana kick and had one play from the scrum to break Dragons hearts.

    But a last gasp kick towards Morris was taken well by Mann to bring a see-sawing affair to a close.

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...g/news-story/92b69bf16188672558ca829b70407cb2
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]


    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Dragons trio named in NSW Women's Origin team
    Author
    NSWRL
    Timestamp
    Tue 12 Jun 2018, 12:30 PM

    The New South Wales Rugby League has today named the following team for the 2018 Holden Women's State of Origin to be played on Friday 22 June at North Sydney Oval.

    South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Maddison Studdon has been named to captain, with Ruan Sims ruled out with a broken hand.

    The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s State of Origin team is:
    No.

    Name

    Club

    1

    Sam Bremner

    Helensburgh Tigers

    2

    Taleena Simon

    South Sydney Rabbitohs

    3

    Corban McGregor

    Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks

    4

    Isabelle Kelly

    CRL Newcastle

    5

    Nakia Davis-Welsh

    South Sydney Rabbitohs

    6

    Lavina O'Mealey

    South Sydney Rabbitohs

    7

    Maddison Studdon (C)

    South Sydney Rabbitohs

    8

    Elianna Walton (VC)

    Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

    9

    Rebecca Riley

    South Sydney Rabbitohs

    10

    Simaima Taufa

    Mounties

    11

    Talesha Quinn

    Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks

    12

    Kezie Apps

    Helensburgh Tigers

    13

    Vanessa Foliaki

    Brisbane Easts

    14

    Nita Maynard

    Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks

    15

    Rebecca Young

    CRL Newcastle

    16

    Holli Wheeler

    CRL Newcastle

    17

    Hannah Southwell

    CRL Newcastle

    18

    Quincy Dodd

    Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/12/dragons-trio-named-in-nsw-womens-origin-team/
     
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Sam Bremner named for NSW in women's State of Origin
    Local Sport
    Sam Bremner returned from injury to lead NSW Country to victory at the national titles.

    [​IMG]
    Game breaker: Sam Bremner. Picture: Shane Myers/NRL Imagery

    Now the Helensburgh product will return to fullback for the NSW State of Origin showdown with Queensland.

    The Blues will be without Gerringong’s Ruan Sims, who confirmed she would miss the standalone fixture after undergoing surgery on a broken hand suffered last week, with former Illawarra-based halfback Maddie Studdon to captain the team.

    Talesha Quinn and Kezie Apps will play in the back row for the game at North Sydney Oval on June 22.

    It came as NSW coach Ben Cross has denied suggestions of following Queensland's lead with an Origin eligibility loophole after selecting New Zealander Nita Maynard. Maynard qualifies for the Blues under residency rules despite playing for the Kiwi Ferns at last year's World Cup.

    Her selection comes as the Maroons picked Kiwi Ferns forward Maitua Feterika in their squad last week


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5464426/bremner-the-no1-option-for-blues/?cs=302
     

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