Now that the dust has settled on another disappointing, pride swallowing season, I think it is appropriate to ask the question Why? 1. Stats vs. Results Team rankings Points scored - 5th (3rd best points differential +81) Tries scored - 5th All Runs - 1st All Run Metres - 1st Line breaks - 2nd Try assists - 3rd Tackles - 7th Missed tackles 15th (2nd best) Errors 11th (6th best) Player rankings Widdop - 2nd highest point scorer, Try assists 2nd, Line breaks, 10 tries, kicks in general play 9th. Top try scorer - Nightingale ranked 7th overall with 16 tries (MacDonald 6 tries) Line breaks - Nightingale ranked 7th overall with 17 line breaks (no other St. George player ranked in the top 20) All Runs - JDB ranked 10th, Nightingale 14th, MacDonal 17th, Lafai 18th. All Run Metres - Vaughn ranked 16th overall, Nightingale 17th, MacDonald 18th, JDB 19th. Hit Ups - Vaughn ranked 7th overall, JDB 16th. Offloads - Lafai ranked 2nd overall, JDB 8th Tackles made - McInnes ranked 1st overall with 1155 tacles FINAL POSITION ON THE TABLE 9TH Comment Massive disparity between the statistics of the team and final position on the table. Finished on the same competition points as 2015 and 2 wins better than an abysmal 2016. The question is how is this possible? (a) Let's face it, we had a very soft draw in 2017 which makes our stats vs results equation even worse. Played Newcastle, the Titans and the Tigers twice and only played the Melbourne, Easts and the Broncos once. We didn't beat any of the top three and lost to both the Titans and Newcastle. (b) Worst losses - without a doubt Newcastle, Souths and the most recent debacle against the Dogs. All clutch games that would have put us in the finals. (b) Best games - All came early in the season against Penrith in Rd 1, Sharks in Rd 3 and Manly in Rd. 6 Penrith with our season on the line was also a gutsy performance given the Dugan fiasco but ultimately served to give us some false hope leading into the Bulldogs capitulation. 2017 was tailor made for us to play finals footy and for McGregor to finally show us what sort of FG coach he really was. Instead we lurched from one disaster to another and an embarrassing exit from the finals once again in 2017. 2. Players Obviously our forwards did an admirable job throughout the year and really cannot be blamed for the final outcome. On the other hand the rest of the team was mediocre at best. McCrone - too much blame placed on him. He played to his ability and was consistently selected regardless of performance. Dugan - Although not immediately obvious, was a real albatross around our necks. 3 tries and 3 try assists for the whole year from an Australian and SOO representative is a very poor contribution to the performance of the spine. Sure he is a strong ball runner and often racks up big running metres but we are not playing NFL where that sort of stat matters. Add to that his total lack of respect for the club and his unprofessionalism and Dugan did not support our efforts in 2017. We won't miss him. Nightingale - was our best performing back which doesn't say a lot for the rest of them. Scored 16 tries, 17 line breaks and was at least a consistent performer throughout the season. I agree that it may be time for Nighty to hang them up but only when there is a viable alternative. McDonald did not perform (6 tries all year) and was basically just used as a battering ram carting the ball up from the back. Lafai did some brilliant things but the number of errors and lack of composure cost us dearly. Dufty has already scored 3 tries, 3 try assists and 8 line breaks (Dugan's annual tally) in a few games and is obviously a player of the future. Mann - wholehearted player that has been earmarked as a utility but ultimately may best serve the team as a centre. Special mention Widdop - Classy player whose statistics underline his contribution to the team BUT he is not a captain and should be relieved of those responsibilities for 2018. Closing out tight games is not his forte. While the focus has been on recruiting a replacement for Packer, the biggest priority is to revamp the whole backline. At least one winger and a strike centre. Dugan's departure will make a big difference. 3. Coaching and Spin Negligence, incompetence, lack of accountability - all these terms apply to our current coaching set up. (a) McGregor's appointment - on what basis was he given the FG job in the first place?? He was not qualified to coach FG and had a CV that didn't stack up under any circumstances. The people responsible for McGregor's appointment should be held accountable and sacked. (b) Contract extension - another mystifying and mind numbingly stupid decision made prematurely and without any reasonable justification. The people responsible for extending McGregor's contract should be held accountable and sacked. Our only hope is if they were prudent enough to include a performance clause that will allow McGregor to be sacked immediately. (c) Performance - based on the facts, McGregor was totally out of his depth and showed very little improvement in terms of getting results in 2017. Soft draw, reasonable injury toll, impressive statistics which dominated many games but which were not able to be converted into competition points. This just underscores the urgent need for a change of coach as soon as possible. For those at the club that have blindly supported McGregor, it's time to admit you were wrong. 3.5 years is enough - you have given him a fair go and he has failed. He does not deserve (and we cannot afford) another season in the hope that Graham and Hunt will finally help him gain some notoriety. (d) Delusional Diatribe This is an exert of an interview that McGregor gave just before the Canterbury game. It is a stark example of the nonsense trotted out by this individual in the hope of convincing the more feeble minded amongst us. McGregor reaffirmed his position that a line had to be drawn in the sand at the club, after senior player Jason Nightingale revealed earlier this week tardiness had become a club issue in the latter-half of the season. "Going into finals footy, the most disciplined sides win close games of footy and right now our discipline needs to be at its best," McGregor said. "It was game day and someone overstepped the mark so he was stood down." The Dragons coach is adamant his side deserve to be playing in these finals - and the equation for Sunday's game couldn't be any clearer. A win will put them in the finals, while a loss means their high-flying start to the season goes to waste. The Dragons' for-and-against of +89 is the third highest in the competition - and better than any side that has missed the playoffs in the 2000s. "Our for-and-against is exceptional," McGregor said. "It shows where we have improved as a football team. But we've lost some games that we needed to win. "But we're still where we need to be. The key to finals footy is in our hands, we just need to go out there and win. We're ready to do that." In their way though stands a Bulldogs side that they have beaten just once in their past 11 attempts. They're also wary of a Canterbury side determined to send Josh Reynolds and Sam Kasiano out winners in their final games for the club. McGregor said only so much could be read into prior form. "Obviously as a coach and as players you look at different formats defensively on why they have shut you down in the past and you come up with strategies to overcome that," McGregor said. "But every game different players play and every year is a different squad. "So tomorrow is different again." Straight after spinning this guff, he sent the team out in the most important, critical, knife edge game of the season and meekly surrendered a spot in the finals, All the theatrics in the coach's box impersonating Bellamy, doesn't mask the fact that McGregor is not qualified to coach FG - it's that simple. Conclusion The powers that be - Doust, Johnson, Coyne whoever they may be - should have the decency and balls to stand in front of the fans and admit that the appointment of McGregor was a mistake. Then quickly move to relieve him of his duties and start searching for another coach. Someone outside the old boys club and someone given carte blanche to build a resilient and club culture. For what it's worth, Jason Demetriou would be a superb choice especially after another year under Bennett in Brisbane. My views are well known and I sincerely apologize for the long winded nature of my post.