Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by Dennis Papaioannou, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Dennis Papaioannou

    Dennis Papaioannou Juniors

    May 5, 2017
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    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


    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.

    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.

  2. JohnnoMcJohnno

    JohnnoMcJohnno Juniors

    Aug 15, 2015
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    Pretty comprehensive summary. No argument with your conclusion. Without changing the coach we are doomed to re-live this season over and over.
  3. hazzbeen

    hazzbeen Juniors

    Oct 16, 2012
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    WE were like a horse over a 2 mile race that goes 30 lengths in front for the first half of the race , and has nothing left when they come to the straight .... Id say most of those stats happened when they were 30 lengths in front and boy did we get run down , our jockey went to sleep ( Mary )
  4. Objective View

    Objective View Juniors

    Jul 17, 2014
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    Mickeylane has already answered that. We're going to the grand final!!

    Straight Shooter
  5. Bests Golden Boots

    Bests Golden Boots Juniors

    Jun 8, 2017
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    McGregor couldn't get them prepared for big games, Widdop couldn't lead them through big moments in games.

    There was a huge lack of game leadership and passion to win those big moments, too many teams this year scored multiple tries in a row to beat us, Souths, Canturbury spring to mind.

    As has been said multiple times there was no plan B when things got tough.

    The game plan against Caturbury was abysmal, all one out running which drained our forwards, combine that with Mcgregors complete fiasco of his bench use cost us the game.
    He has been wasting a bench player almost every game this year.

    For and against means nothing if you don't win close games, which we couldn't all year.

    Duftys performance proves he should have been used earlier, especially during Origin with Dugan out, the fact he wasn't proved McGregor wouldn't know a good footballer if he tripped over Reg Gasnier in a bar.

    Good players coming next year will not make up for the lack of a coherent game plan or good game management, something that if McGregor hasn't learned yet he never will.
  6. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

    Dec 22, 2016
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    Look at it this way: if we'd started the year the way we finished it, Mary would have been given the arsehole.
  7. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

    Mar 19, 2016
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    I actually struggle to believe that would have happened.
  8. JDHD

    JDHD Juniors

    Dec 22, 2016
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    Me too, man. Me too...
  9. hewi

    hewi Juniors

    Jul 6, 2010
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    Dennis, great post. Why don't you set yourself up as an end of season club consultant?
    dragonssamy61 and blacksafake like this.
  10. st george sam

    st george sam Juniors

    Sep 3, 2013
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    If you change nothing, nothing changes!

    We had something (Bennett) and replaced him with nothing (Price, Mary).

    Can the board just wake up and do something.
    Dennis Papaioannou likes this.
  11. Life's Good

    Life's Good First Grade

    Mar 19, 2016
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    Pretty bad when you have no faith in the powers that be looking out for the best interests of the club/fans.
    Dennis Papaioannou likes this.
  12. Alec's-saints

    Alec's-saints Juniors

    May 18, 2016
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    i personally thinks its a $$$ issue! we can't attract any big names to our club. we desperately need private ownership, what's the latest on bruce gordan? we definitely have the sqaud to win a premiership but not with drunk driver at the helm.. mark coyne do something mate.
  13. grouch

    grouch First Grade

    Nov 22, 2003
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    This portion was particularly well said
  14. hazzbeen

    hazzbeen Juniors

    Oct 16, 2012
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    He did he formed another committee to over see Mary . That worked a treat , they should all pack their bags .
    dragonssamy61 likes this.
  15. Slippery Morris

    Slippery Morris First Grade

    Jun 16, 2005
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    One thing that stood out is compare how Barrett's side played under the same circumstances. Clearly Baz is miles ahead of Mary in that department. Baz had Manly primed and in a good frame of mind before the Penrith game and they totally belted the Panters which is what we expected from Saints. Maybe Saints should look to bring one of their best players back to the Gong. Pretty sure Manly are still yet to offer him a long term contract.

    Great summations Dennis. Pretty spot on.
    Dennis Papaioannou likes this.
  16. Dragsters

    Dragsters Juniors

    Dec 11, 2015
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    Beldale Ball anyone???

    Won the Cup in 1980 but then spent the rest of the decade leading early, only to get swamped by field over the closing stages, time and time again...
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  17. AyiosYiorgos

    AyiosYiorgos Coach

    Jan 1, 1970
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    would love to see the stats, before Mary signed and compared to after he signed...
    Dennis Papaioannou likes this.
  18. merahputih

    merahputih Juniors

    Aug 19, 2015
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    You don't need to apologies for being "long winded". Great summation of our plight these last few years!
    Dennis Papaioannou likes this.
  19. 2010

    2010 Juniors

    Feb 11, 2016
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    We all know what has happened and what needs to be done to help the team. But we are just supporters. No one in the management cares about us, it's not bums on seats anymore it is just TV money for playing at grounds no one want to go.
    If the game against the grubs were played at WIN or Kogarh the grounds would be packed out and I bet we could have won there.
    We give up our home ground advantage for the game of the season for us and Doust and Co move it.
    That tells me what is the driving force in decisions like that. It's money and screw the supporters
  20. JACK V

    JACK V Juniors

    Sep 4, 2017
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