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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

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  3. getsmarty

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    Club duty the next mission for sky-high Blues
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    HOW GOOD: Blues forward Tyson Frizell. Picture: AAP

    DRAGONS forward Tyson Frizell says he could play against Parramatta on Thursday night on pure adrenaline, with the high of Sunday’s Origin series victory showing no sign of abating quickly.

    The Blues ushered in a new Origin era in overcoming a 10-0 deficit to take out game two 18-14, defending the last 10 minutes with just 12 men on the field.

    It was a case of one from one for Brad Fittler’s 11 debutants but, having felt his fair share of Origin heartbreak in recent seasons, it was extra special for Frizell.

    “Jimmy [Maloney] and I were just speaking about that when we walked into the sheds, these kids are probably ‘thinking how good’s this’,” Frizell said in a jubilant NSW shed on Sunday.

    “For us guys who’ve experienced those losses and been that close in the second half and just let it slip away… it's just happened too many times.

    “I’ve seen it happen in the past as well so being a man down and being able to hold them out to the end and, to not only defend our line but attack there’s as well in the back end, is just so pleasing.

    “It was a different mentality. We knew we couldn’t sit back and do our best to hold out Queensland, we had to attack them at every opportunity, even [while] a man down.

    “With and without the ball we had to go after them and, even with a man down, that’s what we did. That last 10 minutes felt like an eternity but I’m so proud of the boys, we got the job done.”

    While there’s nothing that will dampen those spirits, the Dragons representative contingent will need to quickly shift focus to club duty ahead of Thursday’s clash with the Eels in Wollongong.

    There are no major injury concerns for the Dragons, who had eight players involved in the rep weekend, ahead of their toughest turnaround of the season.

    English duo Gareth Widdop and James Graham left Denver injury-free, though prop Leeson Ah Mau’s return was delayed by the cancellation of New Zealand’s scheduled return flight.

    The club’s Origin contingent came through Sunday unscathed and the returning Blues will have the words of coach Brad Fittler ringing in their ears.

    “They’ve got to go back and play [well] for their club,” Fittler said in the post-match presser.

    “It’s an important week for those players to go back and come down from and emotional high and go back and do it for their [club] team.

    “We sort of did that between [games] one and two. There was a two-game break there and everyone did it one game and not the other.

    “Queensland have set an unbelievable standard for a long time about playing for your state and then going back and playing for your club and keeping he standard high.

    “That’s the one thing we need to do to keep the quality of our team going forward.”

    Frizell said it’s a responsibility that the Blues experienced campaigners take seriously.

    “It’s something [Fittler] wants us to do and it’s something we definitely want to do,” Frizell said.

    “We don’t just want to play well for NSW, the club’s got us to this position so we need to reward them. We play with those guys week in, week out and they’re the people that gave us the opportunity to play for NSW.

    “At the moment it is a short turnaround but, I’ll enjoy this for what it is and I’ll let Thursday come when it happens. We’ve passed the halfway point of the regular season and, in the past, we’ve probably struggled at this point of the year.

    “This year there’s a lot more boys in the Origin side and we’ve come away with a win so hopefully we’ll all take a lot of confidence out of it and bring it back to club footy.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...-the-next-mission-for-sky-high-blues/?cs=3713
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: De Belin walking the walk on Origin stage
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    THE SPOILS: Jack de Belin celebrates the Blues series-clinching win over Queensland in Origin II at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night. Picture: AAP

    FOR years Dragons hardman Jack de Belin has declared he's "made for Origin.” After Sunday night, who could argue?

    Having finally earned that long-awaited maiden Blues jumper, he's two from two with a series win already in the bank. Made for it I tell ya'.

    The defensive ace's performance in the Blues series-clinching 18-14 game-two win on Sunday was proof of what he knew all along.

    “I've always said it I've always believed it. Anyone who's ever played with me or against me knows I'm made for Origin,” de Belin said.

    “You don't want to come across as an arrogant tosser and that's not who I am at all, I'm a pretty modest guy. At the same time, you can only play good club footy for so long and I've said for a long time ‘I want to play Origin’ and I wanted to put my hand up.

    "You'd be silly to not aspire to higher things. I'm a professional athlete and I want to be at the top of my game. To do that I needed to play Origin and I'm so thankful to Freddie and the crew for putting me in there.

    “I was never in any doubt, if they put me in there I was going to perform. As silly as it might of sounded to some people, as arrogant as I might have come across, I knew I was going to get the job done.

    “I know I'm not the flashiest player but I knew I'd bring plenty tough defence and when the time came I'd put my hand up.”

    While there was no doubt his form was enough to back his vocal pitch for a NSW call-up, his body had different ideas, with the 27-year-old having required pain-killing injections to even make it on the park since injuring his hip against Melbourne in round nine.

    It's seen him epitomise the Blues 'whatever it takes’mantra throughout the series, but de Belin said it was a jolt from club coach Paul McGregor that forced him to push through.

    “The last month's been tough, I'd be lying if I said it hadn't, but I'd been saying for that long I wanted to play Origin so you would've had to cut my leg off to stop me from playing,” de Belin said.

    “When I first did it against Melbourne [in round seven] I played the next weekend against Souths and it was probably my worst game of the year.

    “I was thinking about too much and I was just off my game. I really wasn't happy with how I played and Mary had a good honest chat to me.

    “He said ‘everyone plays with injuries, you've got to get your head right'. From there I just knew I'm no different to anyone else.

    "People get needles every week and, since I got head around it, I've been fine. I'm obviously a bit battered and bruised but I got my needle and just ripped in.

    “It's been pretty rewarding to know I can push through that pain barrier, play for my club and play for my state.”

    It's also why he's keen to put his hand up to play for the Dragons against Parramatta in Wollongong on Thursday, despite a four-day turnaround.

    “I love playing with my Dragons, the red v's the only club I've ever known and I'll take a needle for those boys any day of the week,” de Belin said.

    “It's a short turnaround but, unless my hip is that bad, I definitely want to put my hand up for my club.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5487967/de-belin-walking-the-walk-on-origin-stage/?cs=3713
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]


    MEMBERSHIP


    POSTPONED: 'Members Only' signing session
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 26 Jun 2018, 03:50 PM

    The 2018 'Members Only' signing session – which was scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 1 at Kogarah – has unfortunately been postponed due to the unavailability of some of the Dragons' representative players.

    To ensure our valued members still get access to the Dragons NRL squad for a signing session we have postponed the event until the following:

    Saturday, July 14
    Jubilee Oval, Kogarah


    11:45am Gates open
    Watch the conclusion of the captain's run
    12:15pm NRL squad signing session commences
    1:15pm Finish (approx.)

    Red V members who have registered to attend have been emailed with this information and had their names transferred to attend the event on July 14.

    We acknowledge the change of date may cause some inconvenience and appreciate our loyal members understanding that we want to provide them with a full squad for our 2018 signing session with all of their favourite players.

    You can read more about the upcoming 'Members Only' signing session here.

    If you have any further issues or questions, please email [email protected] or phone 1300DRAGON (1300 472 366).


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/26/postponed-members-only-signing-session/
     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]


    STATE OF ORIGIN


    De Belin finally gets to prove he belongs
    Author
    Chris Kennedy
    Timestamp
    Mon 25 Jun 2018, 09:28 PM

    Blues lock Jack De Belin has spent years telling anyone who asked that he felt his game would be suited to State of Origin.

    In 2018 he no longer had to talk the talk, he got a chance to walk the walk and the results are in: he was spot on.

    Former Blues coach Laurie Daley was never quite swayed, with the Dragons No.13 in the extended NSW squad for all three games last year.

    Under new mentor Brad Fittler and his positive philosophy of picking good characters purely from players in good form saw De Belin swept into his starting side on debut, where he played strongly in a 22-12 game one win despite coming in under an injury cloud with a hip pointer issue.

    On Sunday night in game two, De Belin lifted further, bringing his physical best to the Origin cauldron.

    In three separate spells he racked up 35 tackles in 59 minutes – only Damien Cook (40) made more for the Blues.

    Almost every tackle was granite shoulders driving up under the ball and into rib cages, tossing players on to their backs, or chopping out legs to stop runners in their tracks.

    In just the third minute, De Belin raced up on clubmate Ben Hunt on the halfback's first kick of the night, smothering him into the turf, letting him know he was in for a long night.

    In the 47th minute Hunt copped it again as De Belin speared a shoulder in under the ball, lifted, and slammed his good mate back-first into the pitch, popping the ball free inside the Queensland red zone.

    Moments later Latrell Mitchell took the team's score to 18, a tally which would prove insurmountable for the Maroons.

    Sitting down with NRL.com in the Blues sheds after the series-clinching 18-14 win, a beer-soaked De Belin couldn't wipe the smile off his face.

    "Mate I'm over the moon, it's such an unreal moment, I'm so privileged to be able to win a series with the bunch of boys that are here," De Belin said.

    "I've been saying for a long time now I wanted to play Origin; I always believed my game would translate. Anyone that's ever played with me would say my game would translate to Origin and those tough moments.

    "I feel like I didn't let anyone down tonight (Sunday). But at the end of the day it wasn't me, it was the team that got across the line."

    The 2011 under-20s Dally M Player of the Year said there had been times when he questioned whether his senior representative career wasn't meant to be, whether his time – which he firmly believed would come – would ever actually arrive.

    "I'm 27 now, I kind of knew it was now or never," he said.

    "My club form was good. I've always said I wanted to play Origin, all I needed was that opportunity and I finally got it this year and I couldn't be more thankful to Freddy and the coaching staff for believing in me.

    Match Highlights: NSW 18 Queensland 14 - Game II

    "It was only a matter of time - I knew I was ready for Origin but at the end of the day it comes down to your club form. A big thanks to the Dragons players as well, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here."

    De Belin also revealed he copped yet another knock to his painful and ongoing hip pointer injury – suffered back in round nine – in his opening 20-minute stint.

    "I remember taking a pretty bad knock and I just knew it didn't matter how bad the hip was, I was still going to push through and play," he said.

    "It's still haunting me to this day but it didn't matter how bad it was, I was always going to keep playing. The needle works wonders!"

    De Belin was recalled to the action in a frantic final stanza with the Blues down to 12 men with James Roberts in the sin-bin.

    A concussion to captain Boyd Cordner saw De Belin finish the contest. While he felt for the skipper to have to go off for the final minutes, he relished the chance to be on the field when the final siren went.

    "I just looked around at the boys (in the last 10 minutes) and I knew (we'd win). I was looking in their eyes, the determination, there was no way we were losing. It was our time," he said.

    "It didn't matter how well Queensland were playing, they weren't taking it from us. It's all about winning those big moments and when it mattered all the boys turned up."

    A 12-month break between Australia's last Test – the 2017 World Cup final – and it's next at the end of 2018, combined with plenty of representative retirements will result in a new-look green and gold next time Mal Meninga names his squad.

    De Belin is hoping he can ride his Origin form through the second half of the season with the Dragons and stake a claim for a spot.

    "Yeah for sure (it's a goal), as I've always said I feel like my game translates to representative football," he said.

    "I may not be the flashiest player but at the end of the day I'm definitely going to do what's required of me and get the job done.

    "I feel like it's my time now. You never know which way they're going to go. I just need to finish off a good series for the Blues and play good club footy and the rest will take care of itself."

    Origin at Suncorp, there's nothing like it! Game III tickets available here

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/26/de-belin-finally-gets-to-prove-he-belongs/
     
  7. getsmarty

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    Dragons add to Women’s roster
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    St George Illawarra have boosted their stocks ahead of the inaugural NRL Holden Women's Premiership season, signing NSW rep Holli Wheeler and Combined Affiliated States standout Anneka Stephens.

    For Wheeler, it continues a meteoric rise since taking up rugby league permanently in 2017 having been part of the Blues State of Origin win on Friday.

    "This opportunity is something I never thought I'd be able to do. It's absolutely amazing to not only sign for myself but also for my family at home," Wheeler said.

    "It's been a crazy couple of weeks playing for Country and Origin, and now signing with the Dragons. I wouldn't change anything for the world.

    “I'm keen to rip in and get involved with what a great club that the Dragons are, as well as learn as much as I can.

    "The Roosters have obviously signed a lot of marquee players and they're probably looking crash hot at the moment but that's perfect for me. I love being the underdog and we'll definitely ruffle their feathers."

    Dragons coach Daniel Lacey was buoyed Wheeler was able to push for higher honours following her performances for NSW Country.

    "We identified Holli while she was playing with a lot of our local girls at the National Championships and we were only hearing good things about her from the camp," Lacey said.

    "She brings versatility and some goal kicking skills to the Dragons. The most pleasing part was [New South Wales coach] Ben Cross also saw her play at the National Championships and picked her for State of Origin".

    "The experiences she would have gained from playing for the Blues will be great for our squad."

    Western Australian forward Stephens is another free agent identified by Lacey at the NRL Holden Women's Premiership following her outstanding performances for the Combined Affiliated States, also at the National Championships.

    "Anneka is a player who will bring a real high work ethic to the Dragons. We saw her putting other players on their back on numerous occasions when she represented the Combined Affiliated States," Lacey said.

    "When we approached her she was all for the chance to develop and improve her game being that she's from Western Australia."

    Stephens hit the headlines as a standout for the Combined Affiliated States earlier in June; one who'd be able to transcend the elite marquee squad and sign with an NRL Holden Women's Premiership outfit in the free agency period.

    "To be given this opportunity is something amazing and I am very thankful and blessed. I just want to take everything in and learn as much as I can to better my game," Stephens said.

    "There is always room for improvement and no doubt they will push me to become the player I need to be to compete on the big stage. This year has been the first I have fully committed to rugby league and it has definitely paid off. "

    The Dragons' inaugural 22-woman NRL Holden Women's Premiership squad will come together for pre-season on August 1, with the squad to be finalised in the coming weeks.


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5493599/dragons-add-to-womens-roster/?cs=302
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Dragons sign two more for NRL Women's Premiership
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Wed 27 Jun 2018, 03:23 PM
    Share on social media
    St George Illawarra are delighted to announce the signings of Holli Wheeler and Anneka Stephens ahead of the inaugural NRL Holden Women's Premiership season.

    Back-rower Wheeler and lock Stephens's acquisitions follows the signing of Oneata Schwalger in the free agency period, which will remain open until Tuesday, July 31.

    For Mid-North Coast product Wheeler, her meteoric rise since taking up rugby league permanently in 2017 has already seen her represent the victorious New South Wales Country at the recent National Championships as well as New South Wales in the first ever Women's State of Origin.

    "This opportunity is something I never thought I'd be able to do. It's absolutely amazing to not only sign for myself but also for my family at home," Wheeler said.

    "It's been a crazy couple of weeks playing for Country and Origin, and now signing with the Dragons. I wouldn't change anything for the world. I'm keen to rip in and get involved with what a great club that the Dragons are, as well as learn as much as I can.

    "The Roosters have obviously signed a lot of marquee players and they're probably looking crash hot at the moment but that's perfect for me. I love being the underdog and we'll definitely ruffle their feathers."

    Dragons coach Daniel Lacey was buoyed Wheeler was able to push for higher honours following her performances for NSW Country.

    "We identified Holli while she was playing with a lot of our local girls at the National Championships and we were only hearing good things about her from the camp," Lacey said.

    "She brings versatility and some goal kicking skills to the Dragons. The most pleasing part was [New South Wales coach] Ben Cross also saw her play at the National Championships and picked her for State of Origin".

    "The experiences she would have gained from playing for the Blues will be great for our squad."

    [​IMG]
    Stephens in action for WARL outfit Joodalup
    Western Australian forward Stephens is another free agent identified by Lacey at the NRL Holden Women's Premiership following her outstanding performances for the Combined Affiliated States, also at the National Championships.

    "Anneka is a player who will bring a real high work ethic to the Dragons. We saw her putting other players on their back on numerous occasions when she represented the Combined Affiliated States," Lacey said.

    "When we approached her she was all for the chance to develop and improve her game being that she's from Western Australia."

    Stephens hit the headlines as a standout for the Combined Affiliated States earlier in June; one who'd be able to transcend the elite marquee squad and sign with an NRL Holden Women's Premiership outfit in the free agency period.

    "To be given this opportunity is something amazing and I am very thankful and blessed. I just want to take everything in and learn as much as I can to better my game," Stephens said.

    "There is always room for improvement and no doubt they will push me to become the player I need to be to compete on the big stage. This year has been the first I have fully committed to rugby league and it has definitely paid off. "

    The Dragons' inaugural 22-woman NRL Holden Women's Premiership squad will come together for pre-season on August 1, with the squad to be finalised in the coming weeks.

    Biographies

    Holli Wheeler

    • New South Wales Origin (2018)
    • New South Wales Country (2017-18)
    Anneka Stephens

    • Combined Affiliated States (2018)
    St George Illawarra's NRL Holden Women's Premiership squad (so far):

    • Kezie Apps
    • Sam Bremner
    • Honey Hireme
    • Rikeya Horne
    • Raecene McGregor
    • Talesha Quinn
    • Oneata Schwalger
    • Anneka Stephens
    • Jessica Sergis
    • Holli Wheeler
    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/27/dragons-sign-two-more-for-nrl-womens-premiership/
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    MEDIA RELEASE


    Apps, Bremner named in Jillaroos' merit team
    Author
    NRL Media Release
    Timestamp
    Tue 26 Jun 2018, 10:01 PM

    Australian selectors have named a Harvey Norman Jillaroos merit team, based on Australian players who took part in last Friday night's inaugural Holden Women's State of Origin match.

    Eight New South Wales players received recognition in the merit team and nine Queenslanders made the list.

    NRL Senior Manager of the Women's Elite Program, Tiffany Slater, congratulated those in the merit team, along with every player involved in the historic Origin.

    "More than a million fans watched across screens and close to 7,000 packed into North Sydney Oval in what was a highly entertaining and tough Origin performance by both teams," Ms Slater said.

    "Women's Rugby League took another significant step forward last week and there's plenty more to come this year – with the continuation of local competitions, the NRL Holden Premiership and a double-header Test Match for the Jillaroos and Kangaroos, against their Kiwi counterparts."

    Jillaroos coach Brad Donald was pleased to see so many young girls and boys live at the match last Friday.

    "For the coaching and selection staff, the quality of the match didn't surprise us – we've witnessed the continuing growth of women's rugby league for some time now," Donald said.

    "It's fantastic to see more and more fans of all ages supporting our game and helping it reach new heights.

    "Unfortunately we can't name every player in the merit team, but every player across both teams should feel very proud of the performance they delivered as part of the representative weekend."



    The 2018 Harvey Norman Jillaroos Merit Team is:

    1. Sam BREMNER (NSW)
    2. Nakia DAVIS-WELSH (NSW)
    3. Isabelle KELLY (NSW)
    4. Amelia KUK (QLD)
    5. Karina BROWN (QLD)
    6. Lavina O'MEALEY (NSW)
    7. Ali BRIGGINSHAW (QLD)
    8. Simaima TAUFA (NSW)
    9. Brittany BREAYLEY (QLD)
    10. Heather BALLINGER (QLD)
    11. Tazmin GRAY (QLD)
    12. Kezie APPS (NSW)
    13. Annette BRANDER (QLD)
    14. Chelsea BAKER (QLD)
    15. Steph HANCOCK (QLD)
    16. Vanessa FOLIAKI (NSW)
    17. Eliana WALTON (NSW)

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/27/apps-bremner-named-in-jillaroos-merit-team/
     
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Graham to join elite dual 150-game club
    Author
    Chris Kennedy
    Timestamp
    Wed 27 Jun 2018, 03:01 PM

    Bulldogs and Dragons stalwart James Graham will hit a rare milestone when he runs out this weekend, becoming just the fourth player to rack up at least 150 games in both the UK and Australian competitions.

    The 32-year-old Graham played a whopping 224 games for St Helens in the English Super League before signing with Canterbury mid-career, playing 135 games in blue and white before switching to the Dragons this season where he will rack up his 15th game at his new club and 150th in the NRL on Thursday night, according to NRL.com Stats.

    Plenty of Australian players have enjoyed long and successful careers in both hemispheres without cracking the magical 150-mark in both, including names like Matt Gidley, Brett Hodgson and Pat Richards.

    Conversely plenty of good Englishmen have headed to our shores for fruitful careers again without chalking up the sort of numbers Graham has achieved, including Adrian Morley, Sam Burgess, Gareth Ellis and Mal Reilly.

    According to League Information Services statistician David Middleton, Graham will become just the fourth to twin 150s, following the path of Greg Mackey, Tony Puletua and Joel Monaghan.

    [​IMG]
    Younger fans may not remember Mackey, who was a halfback who played exactly 150 games from 1980 to 1989 in the NSWRL for the Rabbitohs, Steelers and Bulldogs before heading to the UK. There he chalked up 218 more appearances for Warrington and Hull in the Rugby Football League Championship that preceded the Super League.

    Penrith wrecking ball and 2003 premiership-winner Tony Puletua had a fine NRL career over 12 seasons with Penrith but casual fans may not realise the long-serving back-rower did more than a twilight season in England, playing 176 games from 2009 to 2015 for St Helens, Salford and Hull KR.

    Monaghan was good enough to play five Tests for Australia and three Origins for NSW during a nine-year, 173-game career for the Raiders and Roosters before departing the NRL in the wake of a Mad Monday incident.

    While he may have disappeared from Australian fans' radars, Monaghan proved a try-scoring sensation in the Super League, scoring a try per game in 145 appearances for Warrington before adding 31 more starts at Castleford before hanging up the boots last year.

    Dragons coach Paul McGregor said on Wednesday he expected all his representative players bar Tyson Frizell to back up on Thursday with England representatives Graham and Gareth Widdop having been back on deck since Monday. This paves the way for Graham to chalk up Telstra Premiership game 150 when he runs out against the Eels on Thursday night.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/27/graham-to-join-elite-dual-150-game-club/
     
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]


    JUNIOR REPS


    Dragons strengthen CRL and Group 7 ties
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Thu 28 Jun 2018, 10:42 AM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons have strengthened their ties with the Country Rugby League following the club's donation of 18 eskies to the Group 7 competition.

    In collaboration with key Dragons sponsor Carlton and United Breweries, the 18 eskies will be distributed among the 16 Group 7 clubs in hope of raising much-needed funds for grass roots rugby league in the area.

    This is another positive step in the relationship between the Dragons and the CRL following the formalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties in December last year.

    Pictured above (left to right): Dragons Sponsorship and Digital Commercialisation Manager Ben Thompson, Carlton and United Breweries’ Graeme Wynn, Group 7 President Roy Mills and St George Illawarra board member Craig Young.

    "The plan is for the eskies to be raffled off at local home games and local derbies where we get fairly good crowds," Group 7 president Roy Mills said.

    We've done something similar down at Batemans Bay a couple of seasons ago – we put a bit of booze inside – and we were able to raffle it off for $1000.

    "We're hoping this will be able to supply finances to grass root clubs who are currently struggling as it usually takes $130,000 to $140,000 to run a football club these days."

    Mills was overall appreciative of the Dragons' support of the Group 7 competition.

    "Apart from the monetary support we get from the Dragons, which is a significant amount, it helps us maintain our costs and help lower the clubs' cost too," he said.

    "The more help we get helps the sponsorship we can attract which overall helps us run the Group 7 competition."

    Another key component of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Dragons and CRL was the introduction of the Illawarra South Coast Dragons at the 2018 Country Championships.

    With Country Championship players and coaching staff receiving additional support from the Dragons from a coaching and performance perspective, the Illawarra South Coast Dragons performed admirably.

    The Under-16s team in particular qualified for the final of the Andrew Johns Cup, only to fall to the Western Rams.

    "The CRL Southern Dragons performed really well recently and that has been helped along by some of the Dragons coming along to our junior training sessions," Mills said.

    "The sort of influence the Dragons have had on the young blokes today, to see some of them come to training and give them a few pointers, is all really good stuff."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/28/dragons-strengthen-crl-and-group-7-ties/
     
  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons 2018: End in sight after representative runaround
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    FEELING THE PINCH: The Dragons battled representative round fatigue to edge out Parramatta 20-18 on Thursday night. Picture: Adam McLean.

    HE’S in the home stretch of a demanding rep period, but Dragons coach Paul McGregor hasn’t ruled out resting his stars later in the season to freshen them up before the finals.

    It’s likely he’ll have that luxury after his side stayed top of ladder with a late escape act against Parramatta on Thursday night where six of his eight players involved in the representative weekend backed up.

    Tyson Frizell and Leeson Ah Mau were rested and it was mixed night for the rest, though halves Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop produced some clutch plays to get the Dragons home.

    It leaves the Dragons 3-0 through the rep season, with just next week’s game against Melbourne – minus their Origin players – to come.

    The middle period shaped as the acid test for the Dragons given the mid-season wobbles they’ve endured in recent seasons, including last year’s slide out of the top eight.

    The Dragons Origin contingent will still need to come through Origin III but McGregor said he’s content with where his side’s at.

    “To get three wins around this time of year is really important,” McGregor said.

    “Everyone calls us May premiers, now we’re June premiers.

    “For me, it's just great to get through such an important time of the year, winning games and with people healthy. That’s the most important thing.

    “We’re going to win games and lose games along the journey of the competition but we know what we’re about. Everyone’s still waiting [for us to fall]. They can stay waiting.”

    Describing the last week as the most logistically difficult of his coaching career, McGregor said plans are already in place to freshen up his big guns, with a top four spot now their’s to lose.

    “I couldn’t talk any of them out of playing [on Thursday] so that’s how important it is to one another,” McGregor said.

    “Leeson turned up [on Wednesday] dressed in his training gear ready to train and his eyes were red, he’d slept four hours in two days so I said that’s just not going t happen. We’ll need him next week.

    “Tyson through this time of they year needs a rest and his body needs a rest. He got the rest and he’ll have a good turnaround between Origin II and Origin III.

    “It’s a combination of a few things when you guys through the rep round, first it’s if they’re healthy and they’re confident and they want to play.

    “Then it becomes a decision on managing the guys through the week and, looking forward, giving them a rest at different stages in the last 10 rounds, not so much playing rest, but training rest as well.”

    McGregor was the first to admit his side was far from their best against the Eels, but was pleased to pick up a valuable two points.

    “We got a win which is the most important thing at this stage of the year,” he said.

    “We got one that in the past we wouldn’t of. In some big moments, big players got the job done when it was needed so it was great.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5496975/mcgregors-plan-to-battle-rep-drain/?cs=3713
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    COMMUNITY


    Dragons Active Holiday Clinics (July)
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Fri 29 Jun 2018, 02:38 PM

    St George Illawarra Dragons' rugby league holiday clinics are on again this July with clinics at WIN Stadium, Wollongong and Bexley Oval, Bexley


    Date

    Time

    Age Group

    St George

    July 9

    12:30pm -3:30pm

    5-12 years

    Illawarra

    July 10

    10:30am -1:30pm

    5-12 years

    Registrations are now open at http://www.playnrl.com/programs/. Simply type the postcode 2500 to find the Wollongong clinic or 2207 for the Bexley Oval clinic

    The clinics will cost $40.

    As part of the day each child will be given the opportunity to rub shoulders with NRL Dragons players at both Bexley and Wollongong clinics as well as going home with a Dragons football and cap.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/29/dragons-active-holiday-clinics-july/
     
    SEAT 1A likes this.
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    NSW UNDER 20S


    Robson, Johns make NSW Under-20s team
    Author
    NSWRL
    Timestamp
    Sat 30 Jun 2018, 05:07 PM

    The NSW Rugby League has today announced the NSW Under-20 squad to take on Queensland in the 2018 Holden State of Origin III curtain-raiser on Wednesday 11 July at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

    The team will assemble on Friday 6 July and will travel to Kiama under the guidance of coach Matt King who played nine games for NSW.

    They will travel to Brisbane on Monday 9 July in preparation for the fixture, where NSW will be looking for their seventh-straight victory over Queensland.

    The Under-20 State of Origin clash will kick off at 5.15pm.

    The NSW Under-20 squad is:


    Name Club
    1 Ryan Papenhuyzen Melbourne Storm
    2 Isaac Lumelume Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    3 Matheson Johns St George-Illawarra Dragons
    4 Billy Smith Sydney Roosters
    5 Brian Too Penrith Panthers
    6 Sean O’Sullivan Sydney Roosters
    7 Kyle Flanagan Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    8 Oregon Kaufusi Parramatta Eels
    9 Reece Robson St George-Illawarra Dragons
    10 Jai Whitbread Gold Coast Titans
    11 William Burns Penrith Panthers
    12 Josh Curran Sydney Roosters
    13 Emre Guler Canberra Raiders
    14 Blayke Brailey Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    15 Ky Rodwell South Sydney Rabbitohs
    16 Setefano Hala Canberra Raiders
    17 Teig Wilton Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    18 Josh Carr Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
    19 Brendan O’Hagan Canberra Raiders


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/06/30/robson-johns-make-nsw-under-20s-team/
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    STATE OF ORIGIN


    Hunt named on bench for Maroons
    Author
    QRL Media
    Timestamp
    Mon 2 Jul 2018, 09:32 AM

    Daly Cherry-Evans, Corey Oates and Tim Glasby have today been named in the Queensland Maroons team for the final match of the Holden State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium on July 11.

    Cherry-Evans played the last of his six Origin matches in 2015, while Oates is back in Camp Maroon for the first time since the opening game of the 2017 series.

    Glasby featured in two winning games in Queensland's successful 2017 campaign.

    The returning trio will link up with teammates in Brisbane today, before the Maroons travel to Hervey Bay on Tuesday for the Fraser Coast Fan Day.

    Queensland will be without captain Greg Inglis (broken thumb) and utility Kalyn Ponga (hamstring) due to injury.

    Billy Slater takes over the captaincy in his final representative match for the Maroons, who will field a new-look backline and starting forward pack.

    Cherry-Evans is the new halfback with Ben Hunt moving to the interchange bench. Oates comes in on the wing with Dane Gagai moving to centre for the injured Inglis.

    Jai Arrow and Josh Papalii have been selected in the starting team, while Dylan Napa has been named in the squad but is unlikely to be available due to a knee injury. He will be assessed by the Maroons medical team today.

    1. Billy SLATER (c) - Melbourne Storm
    2. Valentine HOLMES - Cronulla Sharks
    3. Dane GAGAI - South Sydney Rabbitohs
    4. Will CHAMBERS - Melbourne Storm
    5. Corey OATES - Brisbane Broncos
    6. Cameron MUNSTER - Melbourne Storm
    7. Daly CHERRY-EVANS - Manly Sea Eagles
    8. Jai ARROW - Gold Coast Titans
    9. Andrew McCULLOUGH - Brisbane Broncos
    10. Josh PAPALII - Canberra Raiders
    11. Gavin COOPER - North Queensland Cowboys
    12. Felise KAUFUSI - Melbourne Storm
    13. Josh McGUIRE - Brisbane Broncos
    14. Ben HUNT - St George Illawarra Dragons
    15. Jarrod WALLACE - Gold Coast Titans
    16. Coen HESS - North Queensland Cowboys
    17. Tim GLASBY - Melbourne Storm
    18. Dylan NAPA - Sydney Roosters

    Coach: Kevin Walters

    Maroon Member packages are available for Game III, to be held at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, July 11.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/07/02/hunt-named-on-bench-for-maroons/


    P.S So much for the QLD Mantra of always sticking by their players...LOL
     
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    The Dragons have come out in support of halfback Ben Hunt, who they feel has been made a scapegoat for the Maroons series defeat
    Queensland
    • July 2, 2018 2:39pm
    • Source: AAP
    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt has been dropped to the bench in favour of Daly Cherry-Evans for Game III. Pics Adam HeadSource: News Corp Australia
    BEN Hunt’s St George Illawarra teammates say it was the wrong call for Queensland to drop the halfback to the bench for the State of Origin dead rubber.

    Hunt bore the brunt of criticism for the Maroons’ series-deciding Game II loss, and Queensland coach Kevin Walters admitted on Monday his team had lacked leadership in the halves as he selected Daly Cherry-Evans as No.7.


    [​IMG]
    DCE to start over Hunt?



    But that comment didn’t go down well in Wollongong, with Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes coming out in support of his teammate after the pair had helped take the Saints to the top of the NRL ladder this season.

    “I think it’s the wrong decision,” McInnes said.

    “They can do what they want, I’m not a Queensland fan. I’m NSW. But I don’t think he deserved to be put back to No.14.

    “I thought he was their best player in Game I, he kept them in the game. In Game II he probably had a couple of moments he’d like to take back. But that’s footy.

    “To put him to the bench I don’t think he deserves that. But he’ll play that No.14 role the best he can and he won’t complain and that’s the great thing about him.”


    Hunt’s response to stinging criticism last week was telling in his ability to bounce back.

    In his only NRL match before the sides for next week’s Origin were named, the 28-year-old kickstarted the Dragons’ comeback against Parramatta with a deep grubber for Euan Aitken to score.

    It was a similar play that had him roasted after Origin II, when he kicked dead with a grubber while NSW were down to 12 men late in the close contest.


    [​IMG]
    'DCE is a great player'

    1:27
    “Any media or things out there, he didn’t care about that — he just wants to play footy,” McInnes said.

    “Obviously the magnitude of the game in Origin, it stands out more. But players make mistakes in games, we all do.

    “The good thing about him is he’s so relaxed and level headed that he comes back and plays well for us.”

    McInnes wasn’t alone in his support.

    Last week Dragons coach Paul McGregor said the criticism had been over the top, while centre Tim Lafai also questioned the demotion on Monday.

    “I thought he deserved to keep his starting spot and I’m sure the other boys did too,” he said.

    Meanwhile Walters insisted Hunt still belonged in the Origin arena and claimed the move wasn’t made solely off the back of the Sydney loss.

    “We know he belongs at this level, he does belong in this Queensland team, it’s just a matter of finding his role within the side,” Walters said.

    “The interchange role is one that can be really effective at this level.

    “To blame him for what happened in Game II is absolutely ridiculous, that has never been our stance.”


    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/st...t/news-story/0d98cb206c315368327c3575447f9dfe
     
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    REPRESENTATIVE


    Sailor named for Queensland Under-20s
    Author
    QRL Media
    Timestamp
    Mon 2 Jul 2018, 02:43 PM

    Former Maroons and Kangaroos centre Justin Hodges will take charge of the Queensland Under 20s for the second time when the young Maroons enter camp on the Gold Coast this week.

    Hodges, who made 24 appearances for his state between 2002 and 2015, is passionate about guiding and mentoring Queensland's next generation of Origin stars.

    He will take a lead role from Thursday when Queensland's best young talent assembles on the coast to begin preparations for the July 11 clash against the New South Wales Under 20s.

    The match will be played before Game Three of the Holden State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium.

    Hodges will take charge of a team brimming with emerging NRL talent and some of the most promising players in the Intrust Super Cup.

    Numerous members of the squad announced today have played in Queensland's premier senior competition this year, including Patrick Carrigan, Jake Clifford and Gehamat Shibasaki.

    That trio was involved in the XXXX Queensland Residents squad which took on NSW before Game Two of the Origin series in Sydney.

    Next Wednesday's match will also mark the second appearance in maroon this year for David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui after the pair played for the Queensland Under 18s at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in June.

    Queensland Under 20 squad

    Corey Allan - Brisbane Broncos / Souths Logan Magpies
    Logan Bayliss - North Queensland Cowboys / Townsville Blackhawks
    AJ Brimson - Gold Coast Titans / Tweed Heads Seagulls
    Patrick Carrigan - Brisbane Broncos / Wynnum Manly Seagulls
    Jake Clifford - North Queensland Cowboys / Northern Pride
    Tino Fa'asuamaleaui - Melbourne Storm / Easts Tigers
    Beau Fermor - Newcastle Knights
    David Fifita - Brisbane Broncos / Souths Logan Magpies
    Thomas Flegler - Brisbane Broncos / Souths Logan Magpies
    Louis Geraghty - Melbourne Storm / Sunshine Coast Falcons
    Harry Grant - Melbourne Storm / Sunshine Coast Falcons
    Corey Horsburgh - Canberra Raiders
    Sam Johnstone - South Sydney Rabbitohs
    Lachlan Lam - Sydney Roosters
    Reed Mahoney - Parramatta Eels
    Tristan Sailor - St George Illawarra Dragons
    Gehamat Shibasaki - Brisbane Broncos / Norths Devils
    Murray Taulagi - North Queensland Cowboys / Northern Pride
    Kurt Wiltshire - North Queensland Cowboys / Mackay Cutters

    Coach: Justin Hodges


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/07/03/sailor-named-for-queensland-under-20s/
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Darren Nicholls replaces Ben Hunt as Dragons' NRL halfback
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    Big time: Dragons halfback Darren Nicholls. Picture: Sylvia Liber

    At 29, Darren Nicholls will make his NRL debut, replacing Queensland’s Ben Hunt for Thursday night’s showdown with premiers Melbourne Storm.

    Nicholls spent the bulk of the preseason on the Dragons right edge prior to Ben Hunt's arrival during the World Cup and has reprised that role this week with Hunt away on Origin duty.

    “In the spine there Gaz [Gareth Widdop] and Cam [McInnes] are both great leaders so it's been pretty easy. Back in (the NSW Premiership) I sort of run that ship there but coming up it's pretty seamless,” he said earlier this season.

    “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 comes after two stints at the Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs each, as well as time spent at the Wests Tigers, Penrith Panthers and in France.

    Hame Sele and Reece Robson are the new faces on the bench.


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5505636/nicholls-takes-dragons-charge/?cs=302
     

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