Articles

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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    [​IMG]


    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Dragons finalise Women's Premiership squad with three signings
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 31 Jul 2018, 05:30 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons have finalised their NRL Holden Women's Premiership squad following the signings of Melanie Howard, Asoiva Karpani and Josie Strong.

    Halfback Howard, front-rower Karpani and centre Strong will complement the Dragons' squad across the board considering their differing experience at a domestic, representative and international level.

    Dragons coach Daniel Lacey was pleased and excited about the make-up of the inaugural Dragons' Women's Premiership squad.

    As the Dragons were awarded a five-year license in March to compete in the Women's Premiership, Lacey said the club looked long-term when determining the squad.

    "We have succeeded in what we wanted to do in the fact that we wanted to look towards the future," Lacey said.

    "We wanted to look locally – which is why we will have six young juniors in the squad – as well as turn to some experienced and versatile players to be a part of the squad.

    "There are plenty of players there who are on the up and haven't hit their peak yet so our plan is to help them reach their best. With the five-year license in the Women's Premiership, we're definitely looking towards the future.

    "We have some of our catchment area's best young females combined with some of the best New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand representative players, and everyone can only benefit from it."

    Howard currently plays for CRL Newcastle in the Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership alongside fellow Dragons Holli Wheeler and Hannah Southwell.

    The 25-year-old also helped guide NSW Country to its National Championships victory earlier in the year alongside Dragons Wheeler, Southwell, Kezie Apps, Georgina Brooker, Rikeya Horne, Sam Bremner, Shakiah Tungai and Keely Davis.

    "It's my first year where I've solely played rugby league. I chose not to play rugby this year because there seems to be more opportunities in league. I come from a league family too so I thought now was a good time to go back to my roots," Howard said.

    "It's going to be great playing in a team where I've played with so many of them already. It's a bit of a reunion for some of us after we won the National Championships. I'm definitely keen to play alongside them and all the others at the Dragons."

    Strong – a local Berry-Shoalhaven Heads junior – is glad her return to rugby league in 2018 for the Corrimal Cougars has paid dividends.

    [​IMG]
    Strong played for Illawarra side Corrimal Cougars
    "It came as a huge shock to me to be signed for the Women's Premiership. I wasn't expecting it at all. It still doesn't feel real," Strong said.

    "I feel privileged enough to play with [fellow Women's Premiership players] Keeley Davis and Rikeya Horne at Corrimal so to do it again at the Dragons is a pretty big achievement for me.

    Karpani is the ace up coach Lacey's sleeve, a rugby union convert who is ready to try her luck in the greatest game of all.

    The Adelaide-based Karpani's experience in rugby league isn't vast, although she has still represented South Australia and the Combined Affiliated States in recent years.

    Off the back of her great representative showings, Karpani was invited into camp with Jillaroos and represented Tonga at February's Commonwealth Championships.

    [​IMG]
    Karpani fends off a would-be defender
    "It's an absolute honour and privilege for me to join the Dragons especially coming from South Australia. While it's an AFL state, I hope to be a good influence for people who are interested in league here and show there are opportunities to succeed," Karpani said.

    "I'm keen to get amongst it and take everything I need to learn in order to succeed at the Dragons."

    The Dragons Women's Premiership pre-season will begin on August 1 ahead of the inaugural season in September.

    Biographies

    Melanie Howard

    • New South Wales Country (2014, 2018)
    Eva Karpani

    • 2013 Youth Olympics – Australia rugby sevens
    • Combined Affiliated States (2017)
    • Tonga Rugby League (2018)
    Josie Strong

    • New South Wales state soccer (2008-2010)
    St George Illawarra Dragons' NRL Holden Women's Premiership squad:

    • Kezie Apps
    • Talia Atfield
    • Annette Brander
    • Sam Bremner
    • Georgina Brooker
    • Teina Clark
    • Keeley Davis
    • Kate Haren
    • Honey Hireme
    • Rikeya Horne
    • Melanie Howard
    • Asoiva Karpani
    • Asipau Mafi
    • Raecene McGregor
    • Talesha Quinn
    • Oneata Schwalger
    • Anneka Stephens
    • Jessica Sergis
    • Hannah Southwell
    • Josie Strong
    • Shakiah Tungai
    • Holli Wheeler

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/201...womens-premiership-squad-with-three-signings/
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    Old Kogarah Boy 1 likes this.
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    Michael Ennis has grave concerns for the Dragons’ premiership aspirations after Roosters loss
    NRL Premiership
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Jack De Belin looks tired following the Origin series.Source: Getty Images
    THE Dragons have hit a form slump at the wrong time and are battling to stay relevant in the race for the 2018 premiership.

    Paul McGregor’s side’s 36-18 loss to the Roosters was their third in four games, since Origin III.

    With just five games remaining until the finals, the Dragons are racing the clock to turn things around in time for a premiership push, according to Fox League expert Michael Ennis.

    “The biggest concern for me is, they were a side that averaged 25 points at one stage and for long periods of the season,” Ennis explained.

    Round 21
    LIVE Stream every game of every round of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership on FOX SPORTS. SIGN UP NOW.


    [​IMG]
    Ennis fears for Dragons

    3:57
    “Nene MacDonald is out, who has been a prolific try scorer for them and they are missing him dreadfully.

    “It’s not only his try scoring, but his ability to get them out of their own end.


    “Their forward pack at the moment is nothing like the pack of dogs we saw at the start of the year.

    “The energy that De Belin and McInnes set through that middle third defensively really unsettled teams.

    “If you think back to ANZAC day and what Tariq Sims was able to do to Cooper Cronk, it is a distant memory at the moment.

    “How Paul McGregor finds that again I don’t know because to me it looks like fatigue. They looked fatigued against the Roosters.

    LISTEN: Take Me Now, I Have Seen It All

    Rising stars, genuine contenders & Dragons’ blonde moment

    “Their forward pack on paper was as good if not better than the Roosters and they were overpowered, they were out-enthused and they lacked intent.”

    The Dragons showed signs they were turning things around against the Cowboys in Round 19.

    Tariq Sims returned to his uncompromising best in smashing his old club and the hope was he had breathed new life into Dragons ailing season.

    “Against the Cowboys there were some areas where they were exposed by the Tigers, where they found that hunger and desperation again,” Ennis said.

    “I thought they’d turned the corner, but boy they took some steps backwards against the Roosters.”


    [​IMG]
    Teddy securing AUS jersey

    3:26
    The Dragons are clearly feeling the after effects of a brutal Origin campaign, which saw five Dragons involved throughout the series.

    While McGregor has been loathe to use it as an excuse, there is no doubt Tyson Frizell, Jack De Belin, Paul Vaughan, Ben Hunt and Tariq Sims have not been consistently at their best since the Origin series.

    “De Belin is the big one for me defensively and he looks extremely fatigued,” Ennis said.

    “Coming out of Origin for the first time, they talk about that mental drain and I think that’s what it is.

    “Obviously physically he had a few bumps and bruises too, but mentally he looks lethargic.”

    The Dragons have a good opportunity to turn things around against the Warriors at WIN Stadium on Saturday.

    The Warriors were awful against the Titans in a 36-12 loss, but will be desperate to cement their place in the top eight.


    [​IMG]
    Mighty Mitchell downs Dragons

    2:16
    However it is their form against the top teams in the competition, that is of most concern, according to Ennis.

    “I know they had Origin players out against the Storm, but the big games for me that stand out are Round 10 against South Sydney, where they were just physically overpowered and then against the Roosters,” Ennis said.

    “These sides are all at the top tier, who I think have really put their foot down, in particular the Storm and the Roosters.

    “I don’t know about this weekend against the Warriors. A win is vital and they are very good at WIN Stadium, but I think they need a big scalp heading into September.

    “I don’t want to write off the Dragons because I like what McGregor has done there, but they’re in really big trouble the Dragons.”


    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...s/news-story/5a5acd962c24de95bfde4bf2efdde1d4


    P.S Thanks Speedy
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    James Graham confident St George Illawarra will rebound
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    Confident: Dragons prop James Graham. Picture: AAP Image/David Moir.


    St George Illawarra star James Graham has urged Dragons fans to get behind their side as they attempt to get their NRL campaign back on track.

    The Dragons face New Zealand on Saturday afternoon in their final game at WIN Stadium for the season and Graham said he is expecting a supportive crowd.

    “Fans, when they get behind us, it’s great, it can really spur us on,” Graham said. “They really can be the difference.

    “I really hope the fans do keep supporting us. It’s easy to ride when things are going well, we’ve had a couple of losses, so we need them more than ever behind us and cheering us on to a victory, hopefully, on Saturday.”

    The comments come as the side attempts to bounce back from Sunday’s convincing defeat to the Roosters.

    The Dragons have now lost three of their last four matches and many pundits have written the team off as having peaked too soon.

    Graham, however, said belief within the squad remains high and knows they won’t be distracted by any outside noise.

    “Naturally we’re disappointed, the result went against us on the weekend. The performance probably wasn't at the standards of where we’re at.

    “Are we looking at it thinking we’ve got no hope? Absolutely not. Is the coach looking at it and thinking he needs a roster overhaul? Definitely not.

    “We know we’ve got it within us to improve a couple of areas here and there, in defence and attack, I think he’s got full confidence that we can go out there and do that.”

    A veteran of almost 400 first grade games across Australia and England, Graham has experienced the highs and lows that come with a rugby league season on numerous occasions.

    After starting the year on fire, the Dragons, he believes, are simply going through one of those tough periods on the field.

    “Sometimes after a couple of defeats, externally, people overreact a little bit, look for reasons and excuses about why a team isn’t winning.

    “I’ve been around long enough to know things aren’t going to go perfectly ever. No matter what, the football season is full of ups and downs.

    “Just like earlier in the year when we weren’t getting carried away with ourselves, maybe externally people were, we know it’s not as bad as what those people who were saying how good we were going who are now saying how bad we’re going.”

    Saturday’s clash marks the start of a crucial five-week run to the finals for St George Illawarra.

    The side comes up against five teams beneath them on the ladder, New Zealand being the only team currently sitting inside the eight. The Warriors clash is followed by dates with the Eels, Tigers, Bulldogs and Knights.

    It’s a five-week period that could set the team up for a top two finish and finals success, or see the side limp into the finals, however Graham is confident the team will use this period to return to the form that saw them labelled the competition benchmark earlier in the season.

    “I know we’ve got a good team here, I know what we’re capable of. I don’t think there’s any need to panic. We’re still five weeks away from finals, it looks like we will be there, although it’s not guaranteed yet.

    “We want to improve, but I don’t think we need to stress and ride the wave of what’s going on externally.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...graham-urges-fans-to-pack-win-stadium/?cs=302
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    Fatigue a 'cop out' for faltering St George Illawarra Dragons according to coach Paul McGregor
    • Dragon's Den
      [​IMG]
      Dominant: Blake Ferguson and the Sydney Roosters were far too good for St George Illawarra at Allianz Stadium on Sunday. Picture: AAP


    • Paul McGregor has refused to use fatigue as an excuse for St George Illawarra’s flat recent performances, describing it as a cop out.

      The Sydney Roosters dominated the Dragons to run out 36-18 winners at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

      The game was a continuation of St George Illawarra’s insipid recent form. The Dragons did what they had to do to beat a poor North Queensland side last week after they were badly out enthused by the Wests Tigers at Kogarah.

      No side in the NRL was as badly hit by the representative period as St George Illawarra, with five of their stars also involved in a grueling State of Origin series.

      The Dragons need to get back to winning ways immediately, starting with the New Zealand Warriors in Wollongong on Saturday.

      St George Illawarra have lost three of their last four matches and sit in fourth place on the NRL table. While they are still only two points from the lead, they are also only two points clear of Penrith, Cronulla and Brisbane who are hungrily chasing down a top four finish.

      Dragons coach McGregor said he understood questions about his side’s recent form. St George Illawarra have failed to replicate their physical dominance over sides as they did as they marched to the competition lead during the first half of the season.

      But McGregor refused to allow tiredness to become an excuse for the Dragons’ recent blip and said he expected his side to return to their early season form – and standards.

      “I’m sure we can. We can’t use fatigue as an excuse here because the guys we’ve had rested we’ve been through the minutes of their Origin [period and] given them time off where we can. I think that’s just a bit of a cop out,” he said.

      “I think we’ve all just got to move on from the Origins. It’s way gone and we’ve got five games of footy before the most important time of the year so we’re just going to work towards that.

      [​IMG]
      Paul McGregor

      “We’ve got to manage what we know which is from within. We’ve got good performance staff, we’ve got an honest playing group and our calendar on our scheduling of time off is quite large.

      “We played well I thought against North Queensland. The game before that against the Wests Tigers was after an Origin. [Against the Roosters] the opposition was good, we weren’t at our best [and] we paid the price for it.”

      McGregor said the club would continue to manage player workload at training ahead of the Warriors clash.

      Meanwhile, St George Illawarra will host Canterbury in the Jersey Flegg competition at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah on Friday night.

     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    [​IMG]


    DRAGONS


    Dragons prop James Graham insists panic button has not been pushed
    Author
    Brad Walter Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 31 Jul 2018, 05:49 PM

    Keep calm and carry on!

    It was originally a motivational poster created by the British in World War II. Now it's English prop James Graham delivering the message to his St George Illawarra teammates as they desperately try to hang onto the top-four berth they have held all season.

    After three defeats in their last four matches, the Dragons have a group of teams – Penrith, Cronulla and Brisbane – just two points behind them after Sunday’s 36-18 loss to Sydney Roosters.

    However, as they prepare for Saturday’s match against the eighth-placed Warriors at WIN Stadium, Graham and fullback Matt Dufty insisted there was no panic within the camp.

    "We are still five weeks away from finals, it looks like we will be there – that’s not guaranteed yet – so probably the big thing I would say is don’t stress about it too much,” Graham said.

    "I know we have got a good team here and I know what we are capable of so I don’t think there is any need to panic. Naturally, we are disappointed the result went against us on the weekend and the performance probably wasn’t at the standards of where we are at.

    "But are we looking at it thinking we have got no hope? Absolutely not. Is the coach looking at it and thinking he needs a roster overhaul? Definitely not."

    Dufty wasn’t even sure exactly where the Dragons were now placed on the Telstra Premiership ladder after being near the top all season but he was confident the side would get their 2018 campaign quickly back on track.

    "Everyone seems to forget we are still equal first or second on the ladder," he said. "I haven’t really looked at it but there is not too much to worry about.

    "People have their own opinions and they are going to say things but we don’t really read too much into it. We are a pretty tight group and we only care what each other think."

    Graham rejected suggestions the Dragons were tired after supplying four forwards to the triumphant NSW State of Origin team and said outsiders were looking for reasons the team had lost to Melbourne, Wests Tigers and the Roosters in the past month.

    [​IMG]
    Dragons fullback Matt Dufty. :copyright:Scott Davis/NRL Photos
    Until the round 18 defeat by the Wests Tigers at Kogarah, they had not lost back-to-back matches or a home game this season and after bouncing back against North Queensland they were blown off the park by the Roosters.

    "I have been around long enough to know that things aren’t going to go perfectly, ever," Graham said.

    "No matter what, the football season is full of ups and downs, and just like earlier in the year when we weren’t get carried away with ourselves and maybe people externally were, we know it is not as bad as those people are saying.

    "We want to tweak things here and there, and we want to keep improving … but to be honest it is about sticking to our plan."

    Dufty said the Dragons had identified areas they needed to improve from last weekend’s defeat but the players were now focused on the remaining five rounds.

    "If you worry about last week’s performance it is not the right sport for you," he said.

    "We know where we can improve and, obviously, we all could have had a better game against the Roosters but it’s all up from here."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/201...ham-insists-panic-button-has-not-been-pushed/
     
  7. Old Timer

    Old Timer First Grade

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    7,179
    Likes Received:
    8,069
    I have come to the realisation that there are far too many articles and media appearances by our lot.
    The latest lot of spin comes from James Graham trying to defend what is going on.
    Before that a plethora of articles from different players talking about what we learnt from last year and how we won't let it happen this year and how things have changed bla bla bla.
    Mc Gregor, De Belin, Frizzell, Sims Hunt, Widdop etc all caught up in the media cycle.
    For all the articles, all the hype, all the spin we have ended up in almost exactly the same situation as the past 4 years, namely a sharp decline in on field performances & outcomes and battling for relevancy when it counts most.
    Players & coaches need to get their heads down and concentrate only on what matters and that is positive results and tell the media we have 1 spokesmen (hard to know exactly who maybe Millward) and from now on we have a media ban other than post game pressers and NRL compulsories.
    If you keep talking about negative things from the past, even though you are trying to dispel them, you in fact simply reinforce it by talking about it.
    Time for them all to STFU and get professional and back in the winners circle.
     
    Dennis Papaioannou likes this.
  8. Dennis Papaioannou

    Dennis Papaioannou Juniors

    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    3,086
    Absolutely critical.
    I have been aware of a concerted media spin for a long time now and have called it out many times.
    Graham seems to have more credibility than most so they push him in front of the media to deflect the obvious.
    McGregor's constant profiling and interviews on various media outlets makes me nauseous.
    All about his journey in coaching and his self discovery and how he has learnt from his mistakes of the past and now, finally he has the team he always wanted etc. etc. etc.
    All I know is that this is a concerted effort by the club to cover up the diabolical decision to appoint McGregor in the first place.
    The fans are influenced by this crap, convinced that everything is going to get turned around and then thud.
    Massive let down and disappointment at the end of the season.
     
    Gareth67 likes this.
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    [​IMG]

    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    NRL Women's Premiership foundation membership on sale
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Wed 1 Aug 2018, 03:00 PM

    This week I will come together with another 21 contracted players to start what will be an incredible journey, proudly representing the St George Illawarra Dragons in the inaugural 2018 NRL Women's Premiership to be played during the NRL finals series.

    The Dragons are one of four teams to be awarded a licence to compete in this elite competition, joining the Brisbane Broncos, New Zealand Warriors and Sydney Roosters. The competition will see the best players from Australia and New Zealand come together to compete for the title of inaugural NRL Women's Premiers, showcasing the quality of the women's game and setting a platform for the future.


    I am so excited to be able to represent the Dragons at the elite level, which completes my own personal pathway in rugby league. I first started playing with the Bega Roosters as a child before moving north to play with the Helensburgh Tiger Lilies in the Illawarra Women's competition.

    My rugby league journey has allowed me to represent New South Wales and the Australia Jillaroos. To now be able to wear the famous Red V jersey in the first ever NRL women's competition is such a great honour.

    One of the key reasons the Dragons were awarded a licence to compete in the inaugural competition is our established pathways for women, with over 14,000 female players competing across all forms of the game within the Dragons region.

    As a development club, the Dragons have a commitment to provide opportunities for local players to represent at the highest levels of the game, both male and female. This is evidenced by the number of local players that have been selected in our NRL playing squad, joining players from across Australia and New Zealand, many who have already represented at the highest level.

    The Dragons are committed to a 'One Club' approach to the development of our elite women's team, providing complete integration with the existing and successful men's programs. Every area of the club is committed to ensuring that our team and the new competition is a success, which we hope will be a source of pride and inspiration for women and men across our region that play or support rugby league.

    I know first-hand how passionate Dragons fans and Red V members are, because I’m one of them! As we start out on this exciting journey I would like to invite you to join us and become part of our team by becoming an NRL women's foundation member in 2018.

    As a foundation women's member you will be directly contributing to the continued development of the women’s pathways across the St George Illawarra region, and showing your support for our team as we proudly represent this great club. Foundation members will also receive a ticket to attend our inaugural Sydney-based game, a limited edition pin, exclusive foundation certificate and a range of other benefits in return for your support.

    I hope you will join our team on this exciting journey, and I look forward to seeing you at our games in September.

    Go the Dragons!



    Kezie Apps

    Bega Roosters
    Helensburgh Tiger Lilies
    St George Illawarra Dragons
    NSW Blues
    Australian Jillaroos



    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/08/01/nrl-womens-premiership-foundation-membership-on-sale/
     
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    [​IMG]

    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    St.George Bank extend major partnership to Women's Premiership
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Wed 1 Aug 2018, 02:18 PM

    St George Illawarra are proud to announce St.George Bank have extended their major partnership to the Dragons' inaugural NRL Women's Premiership team for at least the next two seasons.

    By backing the Women's Premiership, St.George Bank will extend a partnership that has spanned over four decades – one of the longest in Australian sporting history.

    This means St.George Bank are now the major partner for both the women's and men's teams.

    The two iconic brands have a rich heritage across Southern Sydney and the Illawarra, known for being committed to grassroots footy and providing support to local communities.

    General Manager for St.George Banking Group Cathy Yuncken said the partnership with the Dragons was forged 40 years ago to support local community and embed St.George Bank brand into the heart of the Dragons' region.

    "We are two organisations who believe in championing grassroots sports, diversity and equality and we look forward to our support of the Women's Premiership achieving that," Yuncken said.

    "The Women's Premiership team is dedicated, passionate and super-talented. This team and the NRL Women's Premiership will inspire many young women and girls and assist in driving health, wellbeing, leadership and self-esteem for young women across our community."

    Dragons Chief Operating Officer Michael McDonald said the club was delighted to see St.George Bank extend their long-term partnership by becoming a foundation partner of the Dragons' Women's Premiership team.

    McDonald also looked forward to the new opportunities it will create for both organisations.

    “We are very proud of our history and partnership with St.George Bank over the past 40 years and are delighted that they, like us, see great value in the opportunities that the women's game presents," McDonald said.

    "We know they are keen to work with us on building the profile of our female players and showcasing the strength of our existing women's pathways. We are very appreciative of their support for our inaugural NRL Women's Premiership squad."

    St George Illawarra Dragons' NRL Holden Women's Premiership squad –

    • Kezie Apps
    • Talia Atfield
    • Annette Brander
    • Sam Bremner
    • Georgina Brooker
    • Teina Clark
    • Keeley Davis
    • Kate Haren
    • Honey Hireme
    • Rikeya Horne
    • Melanie Howard
    • Asoiva Karpani
    • Asipau Mafi
    • Raecene McGregor
    • Talesha Quinn
    • Oneata Schwalger
    • Anneka Stephens
    • Jessica Sergis
    • Hannah Southwell
    • Josie Strong
    • Shakiah Tungai
    • Holli Wheeler

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/201...tend-major-partnership-to-womens-premiership/
     
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    NRL Women's Premiership: Blues bond seals the deal for Quinn
    Dragons Den
    [​IMG]
    BIG GUNS: Dragons stars Talesha Quinn, Sam Bremner and Kezie Apps. Picture: NRL Imagery

    IF she wasn't arguably the biggest star in the women's game, Dragons forward Kezie Apps would make a pretty good recruitment manager.

    Her pitch was certainly enough to get best mate Talesha Quinn to spurn interest from the Broncos and Roosters to link with her NSW and Jillaroos back-row partner in Wollongong ahead of the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership in September.

    Along with Apps and Sam Bremner, Quinn was one of the marquee names on the final squad list released by the Dragons on Wednesday, completing what is a homecoming of sorts for the former Berkeley Eagle.

    As an incumbent Test and Origin back-rower, there no shortage of interest in the 28-year-old, but she said the bond shared with her regular Test and Origin camp roomy Apps was what really sold the deal.

    “I got contacted by the Broncos and Roosters but I just felt the Dragons wanted me more,” Quinn said.

    “They made me feel more welcome and they were calling all the time and seeing how I was and I felt they put in a lot more effort than the other clubs did. Obviously Kezie being here, she's one of my best friends and there's no better feeling than playing footy with your best mates.

    “When I joined the army back in 2013, I had to stop playing footy. Kezie came in in 2014 and started playing second row so she sort of stepped into my shoes.

    “She was playing in the same position, she ran like me, I thought ‘she even looks like me’. I was just watching her in awe because I wanted to be there doing what she was doing.

    “When I got selected in the NSW squad in 2016 and she was my roommate. I saw her bag on the bed with her name on it and was so excited to meet her. I just knew we'd have a really close bond and I'm so glad to be playing with her this year.”

    Having first kicked a footy at Berkeley Sports Ground as a 21-year-old, the Parkes-born star said the chance to represent the area that gave her her start in the game was another big lure south after several years in Townsville with the Australian Defence Force.

    [​IMG]
    QUITE THE PAIR: Talesha Quinn and Kezie Apps celebrate the Blues State of Origin win. Picture: AAP Image

    “I played for Berkeley in my first ever game of rugby league in the Illawarra [league]," she said.

    “I moved to Wollongong when I was 21 and lived next door to Berkeley Sports Ground. I just saw some girls playing footy and I wanted to play. I rocked up to training not knowing anyone and just fell in love with all the Berkeley girls and the game.

    “I didn't even know there was a NSW side when I started playing for Berkeley, I just wanted to play some footy. From there I got selected for NSW, the Jillaroos but even playing in the World Cup last year this [competition] wasn't a thing.

    “This wasn't meant to happen until 2020 at the earliest so we didn't really think about it or think it was possible. The journey's been pretty crazy but to be back where it all started is pretty cool.”

    It will put arguably the most lethal one-two punch in the game at coach Daniel Lacey's disposal, while Apps said back-row "bromance” will also provide plenty of entertainment off the park.

    “Meeting her for the first time in NSW camp, we just bonded and clicked and we've been pretty close ever since,” Apps said.

    “We niggle each other and bag each other out a fair bit and a lot of the girls find that pretty funny. It’s really exciting that she has come across to the Dragons.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5561259/blues-bond-seals-the-deal-for-quinn/?cs=3713
     
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    Illawarra Steelers reward junior stars at annual presentation
    • Dragons Den
      The Illawarra Steelers have celebrated a successful junior rugby league season with their annual presentation evening.

      [​IMG]
      Sullivan and Antrobus

      The club’s junior teams all qualified for the finals, with the Tarsha Gale Cup side undefeated for much of the season until injuries crippled their campaign in the finals.

      Tarsha Gale graduate and St George Illawarra NRL Women’s signing Rikeyha Horne was on hand to present the awards, with the Kezie Apps Player of the Year trophy presented to Maddison Weatherall.

      The centre played a key role in the team’s success, breaking games open with her damaging running and impressive footwork. Ulladulla-based prop Hannah England was awarded the coaches award after a much improved season.

      Another frontrower was rewarded for his contributions to the Steelers, with Josh Coric winning the Harrold Matthews Player of the Year award.

      Five-eighth Talatau Amone received the coaches award to add to a string of honours received this season.

      Despite being an under 16 player, Amone was selected to the NSW Combined High Schools Opens team last month and he featured in the NSW Under 16s clash with Pasifika at Belmore Oval on Saturday afternoon.

      Amone was joined in the NSW squad by Illawarra teammates Brandon Morkos and Tyrell Sloan.

      St George Illawarra Dragons coach Paul McGregor was also in attendance at the awards, delivering a speech and presenting the SG Ball trophies.

      Bailey Antrobus received the coaches award after an impressive comeback season following an injury which ruled him out of the entire 2017 campaign. Another half won the player of the year, with Jayden Sullivan taking home the Rick Posetti trophy.

      The season also saw Jalal Bazzaz selected to represent NSW Under 18s in their 16-10 victory over Queensland ahead of State of Origin I at the MCG.



      https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5552584/steelers-reward-junior-players/?cs=3713
     
  13. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Juniors

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    2,205
    Likes Received:
    5,596
    Agreed...... A total media blackout would do wonders for concentration levels.
    With the team knowing that whether they win or lose, a plethora of weekly interviews to say the bleeding obvious is just another distraction for the players.
    The coach should grow some balls by mimicking Bellyache and portray an us and them attitude.
    That’s part of our problem..... we’re too soft and friendly whether we win or lose.
    Not enough mungrel.
     
    Drag Queen, Gareth67 and Old Timer like this.
  14. Gareth67

    Gareth67 Bench

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Messages:
    2,849
    Likes Received:
    5,792
    OKB1 once again you have hit the nail on the head . The players should not be put in front of a camera saying how they will turn their season around if we do this , that and the other thing . Good Lord , the coach must realize that actions speak louder then words.

    I also agree with what others have said about the constant appearances that they , the players are subjected to . For pity sake allow them to concentrate on what is truly important and that is to rectify their form over the last couple of months so as they can then finally play the footy that they did earlier in the year . That is the No.1 priority at this point , to return to the winners list in a big way , that is vital .
     
    Old Kogarah Boy 1 likes this.
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    KICKOFF: Schubert to police new Illawarra League salary cap
    Dragons Den
    [​IMG]
    MERC, SPORT, LEAGUE SALARY CAp Pic taken 31st July 2018 of LtoR, Dave Adams, Kevin Anderson, Ian Neill, Howard Burgess and Craig Worthington with the Illawarra Cup. RE, Illawarra salary cap talks. Picture: Robert Peet


    CONFIRMATION the Illawarra Rugby League will implement a salary cap system for the 2019 season sparked plenty of reaction when first revealed in The Mercury on Tuesday.

    Most of immediate responses applauded the move. The competition has lost two clubs in the last five years and risked losing more as the gap between the richer and poorer clubs continues to widen.

    The other question people were quick to ask was: how on earth are they going to police it? It’s a fair question, and one the IDRL certainly asked of itself. They found the answer in former NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert who will police the new cap.

    One of the most influential and respected administrators in modern sport, Schubert is widely credited with bringing integrity back into the game post-Super League war in his 18 years keeping big-spending NRL clubs in line – and wielding a big stick when they didn’t.

    He was the man who sprung Melbourne for systemic rorting of the salary cap in 2010 – resulting in the Storm being stripped of two premierships – and was also in charge when the Bulldogs were stripped of 37 competition points for the same crime in 2002.

    Schubert addressed club delegates at Monday’s board meeting that put the plan in motion, with his resume bringing immediate credibility. He’s the first to admit that the Illawarra League and the NRL are very different beasts, but he’s expecting an even greater level of cooperation from clubs given it’s the wider fate of their competition at stake.

    “You’ve got to have a certain willingness of participants to want it to work,” Schubert told Kickoff.

    “The NRL clubs wanted to have a salary cap and they got the governing body to put one in. While they still whinge about it at times, it’s good for the competition. It’s the same for the Illawarra comp.

    “The game down there’s in danger of losing another team or two and if that happens, you’re in danger of losing the whole group and that’d be catastrophic. If one or two clubs fell out of the NRL it wouldn’t be catastrophic, but if you dropped two clubs out of [the Illawarra League] you haven’t got a lot left.

    “The meeting I went to [on Monday] night was quite positive. For it to work there needs to be some controls and rules around it that not everyone was going to fall in love with but I’ve got to say the big clubs were open to it and it feels like they’ll support it which is good.

    “It won’t be too onerous in my view, a couple of them will say it will be, but when they all get used to how it works it’ll be fine.”

    The implementation of the plan is sure to be looked at closely by the CRL, while representatives from the Newcastle, Central Coast and Canberra competitions are also watching with interest. Schubert is confident the IDRL model could have application beyond the Illawarra.

    “It may have and there’s nothing better than being a test case because you get to explore different things in it,” Schubert said.

    “Even if we don’t get it 100 per cent right in that first year you don’t throw it out. You just tweak it a little bit until you get exactly what you want but it’s very close to what I think will be the final outcome.

    “The points system might vary a little bit as a tweak over time and the figures might be tweaked but I think it’s the basis of a really good system that will help the sustainability of all the clubs.”

    It’s also hoped the new system will allow the IDRL to attract a long-desired eighth team into the league after being reduced to just six in 2014-15 before the return of Berkeley in 2016.

    “If you control the distribution of talent to a degree where everyone feels they can be competitive, you may even pick up [another club],” Schubert said.

    “If they can see the governing body’s doing everything in its power and being supported by the vast majority of the clubs, it becomes a viable proposition for another club to come in and that’s good for everybody.

    “It’s particularly good for the volunteers, the supporters and the corporate people behind them because it gives them some hope that they’re going to be competitive. If this goes some small way to making that happen, it’s a very, very positive thing.”

    It’s a sentiment echoed by Corrimal president Dave Adams who says the plan has already buoyed the spirits of the Cougars club.

    “We’ve still got a lot of work to do to raise funds, we’re one of four clubs out there not backed by a licensed club, but it certainly allows us to sell it to our supporters and sponsors that they’re money isn’t wasted,” Adams said.

    “Like all clubs you have a [specific] budget but when you know, at the end of the day, that clubs are able to spend a lot more than you it becomes frustrating and it deters a lot of volunteers and sponsors.

    “I’m seven years in as president and I was getting to the end of my tether in the sense that I couldn’t see it changing, no matter how hard we worked.

    “Now we can move with a bit more confidence that, if we go out there and work hard, we can get a side on the field that will be competitive.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...lice-new-illawarra-league-salary-cap/?cs=3713
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    Women prepare to enter into unknown as training kicks off
    Author
    Alicia Newton
    Timestamp
    Thu 2 Aug 2018, 03:58 PM

    All four women's squads assembled this week for their first training sessions together but their draw and venue schedule over the four-week competition is still yet to be determined – and will likely depend on how their respective men's sides are travelling.

    In a strong boost for the inaugural season, each of the four clubs are in the top eight of the men's Telstra Premiership, which could prove an opportunity to play host for a couple of women's sides in front of their home fans at least in the opening round of the competition.

    The NRL Holden Women's Premiership will be played as double-header fixtures to the men's finals series. It's understood the NRL will tactically schedule the women's fixtures alongside the men's schedule to suit workload, fan engagement and travel commitments.

    Should the Dragons or Roosters finish in the top two of the Telstra Premiership and host a finals clash in week one, it's likely one of women's sides will play beforehand - likewise if the Warriors or Broncos finish in fifth or sixth.

    The format has been used in the former under 20s competition over previous years with some clubs forced to play at away venues despite finishing higher on the ladder, due to the final standings of the first-grade fixtures.

    Australian Jillaroos forward Kezie Apps told NRL.com stepping into the unknown will be made easier knowing every women's side is in a similar position.

    Introducing the Women's St George Illawarra Dragons

    "Because it's all so new to us, we'll prepare as we would any other game," Apps said.

    "Hopefully it works out for sides, but if not people who haven't come to the game before but are interested in the women's game can come along and watch beforehand."

    The Dragons announced St George Bank their major sponsor along with their playing strip on Wednesday and unveiled their exclusive women's membership options for the competition.

    Dragons coach Daniel Lacey has assembled a squad including representatives from the Illawarra, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand.

    Coming together on and off the paddock shapes as the biggest challenge for the side with players set to juggle work and study commitments during the next two months, while the squad has five mothers with nine children between them.

    "We need to focus on building our own team and coming together over this eight-week period rather than who we play at this point," Apps said.


    "We can look at individuals and how they play but as a team we don't know how all these sides are going to come together, or how we as a group will come together.

    "This is a learning experience for everyone ... the players, club and game.

    "That's what makes it all the more exciting."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/201...-to-enter-into-unknown-as-training-kicks-off/
     
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    Drag Queen and dragonssamy61 like this.
  18. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,173
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    getsmarty likes this.
  19. Coffs dragon

    Coffs dragon Juniors

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    4,187
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    12,832
    Likes Received:
    5,225
    [​IMG]


    OPINION


    NRL.com Players' Poll: Part 2 - Best player, winger, centre, forwards
    Author
    Michael Chammas Chief Reporter
    Timestamp
    Fri 3 Aug 2018, 12:59 PM

    Cameron Smith has been voted the best of the best in the NRL.com Players’ Poll, collecting almost half the votes in the best player category.

    The Melbourne Storm captain is one of the oldest players in the competition but it hasn’t diminished his stance in the game as he collected 45 per cent of votes from 117 players across all 16 clubs.

    The poll, which was conducted before this year’s representative matches, has also highlighted how significant reputation is in determining who the players regard as the best in the business.

    Retiring Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston, who many believe will one day join Smith as an Immortal, finished second ahead of North Queensland teammate Jason Taumalolo.

    Interestingly four of the top five players are all over 30, with Billy Slater and James Maloney rounding out the top five.

    NRL.com Players' Poll – Part 2

    The Melbourne Storm's dominance hasn't stopped at Smith, with Will Chambers and Josh Addo-Carr picking up the best centre and winger in the game. The poll was conducted before Latrell Mitchell's eye-opening performances in Origin.

    The best edge forward in the game was the closest of all the positional categories, with St George Illawarra's Tyson Frizell edging out injured Broncos forward Matt Gillett.

    Taumalolo, who finished third in the 'best player' category, pipped Sam Burgess and Jake Trbojevic as the best middle forward in the game.

    [​IMG]
    The verdict: If Cameron Smith needed any assurance he should continue to play on beyond the end of this season, this is it. He is considered the best player in the game by his peers by a long shot. It seems players haven’t forgotten reputation when casting their votes, with Johnathan Thurston coming in at second position.

    The surprise: Perhaps the fact Greg Inglis missed out on the top five would surprise many. Also the fact Cooper Cronk wasn’t in the top 10.

    Others who polled well: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sam Burgess, Shaun Johnson, Greg Inglis


    The verdict: The Foxx’s incredible transformation since joining the Melbourne Storm continues to improve, regarded by the players as the best winger in the business.

    The surprise: Warriors winger David Fusitu’a is highly regarded, but not many would have predicted this highly. Last year Suliasi Vunivalu was arguably the form winger in the NRL but there was no room for him in the top five.

    Others who polled well: Suliasi Vunivalu, Blake Ferguson, Josh Mansour

    [​IMG]
    The verdict: Will Chambers has edged out Greg Inglis as the best centre in the game. Chambers has been regarded as the best in his position for a few years but there are a few young stars gunning for his mantle.

    The surprise: The poll was done before the start of the Origin series. Perhaps Latrell Mitchell would poll a lot higher now than he did before the series. Euan Aitken was also in contention for Origin and was in red-hot form to start the year.

    Others who polled well: James Roberts, Dane Gagai, Jarrod Croker.


    The verdict: This was always going to be a two-way battle between Sam Burgess and Jason Taumalolo, but it probably comes as no surprise to most that Taumalolo is considered the best of all the props and locks in the game. Jake Trbojevic’s non-stop efforts in a struggling Manly side haven’t gone unnoticed.

    The surprise: Andrew Fifita only collected four per cent of votes. That’s a lot less than many would have anticipated. There was also no room for Kangaroos prop incumbents David Klemmer and Aaron Woods in the top six.

    Others who polled well: Russell Packer, Josh McGuire, David Klemmer

    [​IMG]
    The verdict: This was the tightest battle of all positions. Dragons back-rower Tyson Frizell edged out Matt Gillett, and perhaps it was a matter of out of sight out of mind for the injured Broncos second rower.

    The surprise: Boyd Cordner only received 15 per cent of votes, while Angus Crichton struggled to poll enough votes to finish in the top 10.

    Others who polled well: Manu Ma’u, Josh Jackson, Tariq Sims

    [​IMG]


    Part one of the poll was published on Thursday featuring the rest of the player positions, part three on on-field issues will be announced on Saturday morning with the final instalment going live on Sunday morning on other key topics in the game.



    The NRL.com Players' Poll is independent of the National Rugby League. The survey was undertaken by 117 NRL players across all 16 clubs. The survey questions and results have not been designed or endorsed by the NRL or the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/201...-part-2---best-player-winger-centre-forwards/
     

Share This Page