Interesting Roar Article

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by blacksafake, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. blacksafake

    blacksafake Guest

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    After winning only four the last 12 matches in 2017, many questioned the wisdom of extending Dragons coach Paul McGregor’s contract for another two years.

    McGregor was far too timid last year in testing his up-and-coming players, focused primarily on defence, and left an uninspired attack to flounder.

    The off-season recruitment focused upon experience, with Ben Hunt and James Graham the stars, as well as forwards Jeremy Latimore and Mitch Allgood coming in.

    Accordingly, it seems unlikely given the emphasis on experience in recruitment that Lattimore and Allgood will not be preferred to promising Dragons forwards Luciano Leilua (who was entirely ignored at NRL level last year), Hame Sele and Jacob Host (who both saw considerable game time). If this is the case, then the Dragons will be missing the opportunity to blood good young players who might make a difference in tight games.

    One area where Paul McGregor will be forced to make a choice is fullback after the departure of Josh Dugan to Cronulla.

    Some pundits are suggesting McGregor may be tempted to follow Wayne Bennett’s lead from the World Cup and trial Gareth Widdop at fullback, leaving Matt Dufty, and other possible contenders such as Kurt Mann and Jai Field, to possibly fill the vacant five-eighth spot.

    The problem this year is that there is no Auckland Nines competition to give the young players a chance to show what they have to offer and at this stage the only trial matches are a World Cup challenge match against Hull and the yearly Charity Shield trial against South Sydney, which are both likely to be treated seriously rather than as trials.

    McGregor might be tempted to trial Widdop at fullback for at least a part of these trial matches, with a range of experienced and junior players being utilised in the second row and possibly front row during the latter part of the games.

    [​IMG]
    (NRLPhotos/Gregg Porteous)

    Come the opening match of the season in March against the Broncos, what can we expect?

    Ben Hunt will face off against his old club for the first time and is likely to have Widdop at five-eighth, because that is why McGregor bought Hunt and changing his mind is not something that comes easily to him.

    McGregor is also likely to revert to experienced players because of their perceived defensive prowess and toughness and it will be a hard path for the young players to fight their way into the 17 despite stellar performances in the NSW Cup.

    Broncos coach Bennett and assistant coach Jason Demetrio still have to make up their minds about Hunt’s replacement in the halves, with Kodi Nikorima possibly being preferred to Troy Dargan.

    Despite McGregor, I will tip the Dragons to win both their trial matches, to win at home against the Broncos and finally make the top eight in 2018 only to be knocked out in the first week.

    McGregor too will survive the season as coach, with the Dragons’ management being happy with mediocre results.

    I tend to agree with some of these points,especially about tried & true over potential.


    Link: http://www.theroar.com.au/2018/01/11/paul-mcgregor-right-man-coach-dragons/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2018
  2. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    I think it's a lot like the Star Wars prequels - it's interesting and raises some excellent points but it's written very poorly and many will dismiss it as a result.
     
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  3. muzby

    muzby Village Idiot Staff Member

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    Agree.

    Whiddop should be holding a lightsaber instead of a football.
     
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  4. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

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    There isn’t a lot in the article to suggest things will get better given the emphasis on the shortcomings in our coach. If, as mentioned, Mary rolls out Widdop at FB in Rd1 then it’s a further sign not a lot has changed in regards to perservering with promising players.
    Further it’s good to see someone call out the acceptance of mediocrity within the club(must have been written by OV).
     
  5. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Juniors

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    Interesting read. Auckland nines in my mind was a waste of time (some may disagree) but it's defunct now anyway. The one thing I extracted from this article was more scathing about McGregor and the extension afforded to him, given his propensity to stalemate just about every player he played last season.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  6. Belta

    Belta Juniors

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    Does anybody read this article and think the writer has covered much of what has been discussed in this forum?

    I myself feel confident Mary won't start with Widdop at fullback. I'm also confident Dufty will get first crack at fullback. I think the rest will be primarily safety first as the article implies. My primary concerns will where Field fits into the picture and how the signings of Allgood and Latimore impact on Host, Sele, Kerr, Leilua (and if he is elegible Jackson Ford)

    At a glance I'd suggest Allgood and Latimore are for depth to counter our burnout which occurred in the latter stages of the season. If as a result there are fewer openings, do we see that as a bad thing? Does it just mean the players vying for a bench spot will have to push harder to get a chance. The article mentions how Leilua never got a look in last season, but was it because he never worked hard enough? Has anybody seen the photo's of Kasiano training in Melbourne. He is unrecognisable. He looks like he has really had a dig in the off season, he probably realises competition for spots at Melbourne will be fierce.

    I'm feeling good about this season. I'm hoping to see more from the youngsters and hope Latimore and Allgood provide good coverage
     
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  7. BennyV

    BennyV Coach

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    It's a bad thing because Mary will be picking on first grade experience alone. There may be significant upside in selecting Sele or Laurie over Allgood/Latimore (as there is more upside in starting with Herbert, Garrick or Lomax over Nightingale) but Mary wont do that as they dont have the experience.

    Very ironic considering how he got his job.
     
  8. Como Connection

    Como Connection Juniors

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    Tim Prentice is the roar!
    FACT
    CC
     
  9. cussy

    cussy Juniors

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    So he hates the dragons Como?
     
  10. Crush

    Crush Juniors

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    Geez I hope we win the comp this year.
     
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  11. Como Connection

    Como Connection Juniors

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    Dont know, I haven't spoken to Tim for years.
    Perhaps I should ring him again.
    CC
     
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  12. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

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    I always imagined Russel Packer getting into a fight on the field and just going prison rules on the poor guy. I can hear Rabs already: "Packer's flown him and my god is that a LUNCH TRAY?! Oh my god, he's beating him over the head with the lunch tray and now Manu Ma'u has come in and shanked him right in the kidneys!"
     
  13. BennyV

    BennyV Coach

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    Let him know he's doing a great job. The more media exposure we get on our sorry excuse for management and their filthy acceptance of poor results, the better!
     
  14. possm

    possm First Grade

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    Reserve grade props:
    Lawrie
    Kerr
    Latimore
    Allgood

    Just pick on form and there will be no downside.
     
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  15. denis preston

    denis preston Bench

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    Agree Poss , Whilst I think it was sound to sign up latimore & Allgood as 'mentors " & backup for rep & injury if Lawrir & Kerr don't cut the mustard than they don'r deserve to be in the 17. I rekon Allgood may suprise .
    It is a different matter in regard to the outside backs as it is a deficiency we have had for years and the youngsters need to be picked ( if in form ) to see how they go in fixing it.
    My Gut feel is that Mary won't have full control on who he wants every week. Still think he was instructed to pick Dufty last year when negotiations with Dugan were going pear shaped.
     
  16. Belta

    Belta Juniors

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    Benny V said; "...there may be Significant upside in picking ..[juniors] ... Over Latimore/Allgood...." I will be watching this closely to see how it unfolds, and I hope the use and encouragement of these juniors does occur. I do feel there was evidence that recruitment have some future plan for the progression and depth of our forwards. Host, Lawrie, Sele, had time in FG last season and will come into this year better equipped. In coming years they and others like Leilua and Kerr will hopefully will also taste FG, and in doing so continually strengthening this depth. The significant upside is that we will be stronger this season than last and by 2019 be stronger once again and indeed be a force that won't be easily matched. The less favourable option is to go for experience and have no future progression/plan, I know what option I'd prefer.
     
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  17. possm

    possm First Grade

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    This season for the first time in many years we have a real reserve grade. All players are in the squad 30 + 5 development players and so all have the opportunity to be selected in first grade.

    The first graders will have to play well and stay in form to keep their spots and the reserve graders will have to play out of their skin to in-seat a player from first grade.

    The wheel has turned and finally we have a sensible NRL policy on this.
     
  18. Disinterested third party

    Disinterested third party Juniors

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    Re title - is there such a thing?
     
  19. Belta

    Belta Juniors

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    Possum said; "...for the first time in many years have a real reserve grade...all players are in the squad...[and]...have the opportunity to play first grade..."

    I really like the sound of this. It sounds sensible and fair
     
  20. Crush

    Crush Juniors

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    Dragons look strong in both divisions too. I think we may be seeing a very good year in all 3 grades in 2018. Could it be another 1985?
     

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