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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons depth a problem for coach McGregor?

    Usually, depth is something that coaches welcome, but for St George Illawarra Dragons coach Paul McGregor managing that playing depth during the season to give competing players a fair chance to develop will make a major difference to retention of players in 2020.

    The embarrassment of riches at the Dragons particularly in the forwards again surfaced this week with the selection of Joss Kerr, Dragons ISP front rower, who has yet to make his first NRL appearance, in the All-Stars team to play next week.

    With a starting front row of James Graham and Paul Vaughan with Jeremy Latimore and Broncos recruit Korbin Sims likely to warm the bench, it is hard to see Josh Kerr making an NRL appearance for the Dragons this year bar multiple injuries to the front row.

    There are of course two spots left on the bench, but one spot is likely to be taken by the Dragons fullback last season Matt Dufty who is likely to lose his position to English fullback Gareth Widdop with Corey Norman taking on Widdop’s place at 5/8.

    The remaining spot on the bench in the forwards is a tossup between attack or defence with Dragons attacking second rower Luciana Leilua facing competition from tough front rower Blake Lawrie who played very well towards the end of the season last year.

    Whoever loses that battle will join Joss Kerr and a host of other promising Dragons forwards including Jacob Host, Lachlan Timms, Hayden Lomax, and Reese Robson in the ISP.'

    The embarrassment of riches is slightly less in the backs where the retirement of winger Jason Nightingale and departure of other winger PNG international Nene McDonald to the Cowboys has left two wing positions to fill.

    Competition for these two positions is fierce with Matt Dufty possibly having to compete for a wing position if McGregor elects to go with four forwards on the bench.

    Dufty will be competing with Dragons finals sensation the Zac Lomax, ex-Bronco Jonas Pearson, promising Fijian Mikaela Ravalava, younger Dragon Jason Saab, and ex-Bronco Lachlan Maranta.

    It is of course likely that all these players will get their chance in the trial matches, but more importantly mid last season Paul McGregor introduced a rotation system to the bench which saw one back or forward rotated each week.

    Jack De Belin’s criminal charges may open up his lock position later in the season and it is likely that McGregor may test out potential replacements early in the season for De Belin’s spot.

    Injuries and origin will provide other opportunities particularly in the forwards.

    It is going to be a long season and one thing we can rely on is that coach McGregor will not lose any hair agonizing over selection decisions, but how many young squad members will he lose at the end of 2019?


    https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/02/08/dragons-depth-a-problem-for-coach-mcgregor/
     
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  2. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Bench

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    No mention of Pereira here?
     
  3. rednwhites

    rednwhites Juniors

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    Agree, huge depth in the playing squad but barely a cardboard cut-out of a coach.
     
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    May be an oversight...but if the coach plays Aitken & Lafai again in the centres,( which wouldn't surprise me ) Lomax will get 1 wing spot and the other will be between Pearson/Periera and Rawalava.
     
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  5. Drag Queen

    Drag Queen Bench

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    I think you may be right on all fronts mate. What I can't fathom is why Euan, at the grand old age of 23, hasn't improved under a coach who was once a notable centre himself. It should speak volumes about the reason he should not have his contract extended. As for Pereira, I really hope he gets another red hot go this year. Cheers.
     
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  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Joey warns Dragons over Widdop mistake

    Tim Elbra
    3 hrs ago

    Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns has warned the Dragons against the gamble of playing star five-eighth Gareth Widdop at fullback.

    Wide World of Sports’ The Mole revealed the surprise plan in December and Dragons recruit Corey Norman has just said that he expects to share fullback/five-eighth duties with Widdop this season.

    [​IMG] :copyright: AAP Images

    The Dragons' off-season headlines have been dominated by Gareth Widdop and rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns says the club is making a mistake with its superstar. Norman told NRL.com that both he and Widdop had nominated No.6 as their preferred position, with each player having evolved after playing No.1 earlier in their careers.

    Johns said that St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor should think twice about disrupting Widdop’s game, given he’s established himself as a top five-eighth.

    “It’s interesting how him and Corey Norman fit into the team, how that changes the way they attack with Widdop at fullback,” Johns told Wide World of Sports.

    “He nearly won the Dally M (in 2017), he was on fire during last year. I don’t know if I’d move him to fullback. I think I’d keep him at six.”

    [​IMG] :copyright: AAP
    That would leave Norman to pick up the bulk of the fullback duties, with young flyer Matt Dufty apparently on the outer.

    While Widdop is hoping to finish on a high note with the Dragons before taking up a Super League deal with Warrington next season, Norman is trying to revive his career after being released by Parramatta.

    “I remember seeing him come through the grades at Brisbane as a young five-eighth/fullback. I thought, ‘This young bloke’s destined for the top’,” Johns said of Norman.

    “But he lost his way a little bit last year and on the back of Parramatta, they had such an awful season.

    “I think a new club will revitalise him; maybe getting out of Sydney, too, moving down to Wollongong. Without a doubt, he’s got the talent and the potential.”

    The other key cog in the Dragons’ attack is rep halfback Ben Hunt, who is still trying to consistently live up to his $1 million per season price tag.

    Johns said that Hunt’s form had nosedived after a tough experience in State of Origin last season, which led to another Dragons fade-out (the club finished seventh, before exiting in the second week of the finals).

    [​IMG] :copyright: AAP
    “The first 12 rounds last season, he was the best player in the competition,” John said.

    “I don’t know what happens to the Dragons; I don’t think they know what happens. They fall in a heap towards the end of the year.

    “He {Hunt} copped so much criticism after the second Origin; I’m sure he’d like to have those plays again. I think it really affected him.

    “I hope he comes back and plays well, because I love watching him play. I think he’ll have a big year.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/rug...ons-over-widdop-mistake/ar-BBTo0Ip?li=AAgg0Zv
     
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dufty on the outer at Dragons?

    In a period of speculation before the Dragons signed Corey Norman and Gareth Widdop announced his 2020 departure to England, Matt Dufty is reported to have said in November that the Dragons’ staff had assured him he had the fullback spot locked down for the 2019 season.

    Those assurances now appear to have been premature at best and Dufty’s current position at the Dragons remains unclear.

    In 2018 Dufty’s speed in attack from fullback earned him a permanent position in the starting team in the season apart from one bench start in Round 24. With 26 appearances in all, injuries appeared to elude him and his attacking statistics were good, scoring 13 tries with nine line breaks and 16 tackle breaks.

    Defence, however, is perceived by many as not being his forte and statistics this regard do not lie with only 109 tackles and vitally 39 missed tackles with a tackle efficiency of only 70.3%.

    Dufty is signed with the Dragons until the end of 2019, but it is believed to not be a big-money contract and already the Cowboys and Sharks are rumoured to be interested in his services in 2019. The Dragons have been trying to get him to sign an extension of his contract until the end of 2021 as they see him as a long-term player, but Dufty has yet to commit and other clubs are still circling.

    At this stage with 5/8 Widdop likely to move to fullback and Corey Norman the likely new 5/8, Dufty is left with no assurances that he will be playing NRL on a regular basis in 2019. Barring injury the only starting position likely to be available is on the wing, and if not that then Dufty may be considered as a bench back or he is back in ISP.

    Dufty is believed to be unhappy with the options available to him and given past assurances which have proven false is believed unlikely to commit to a long-term contract with the Dragons at this stage.

    With the trial matches fast approaching, and no announcement from coach Paul McGregor as to Dufty’s position there is a possibility that Dufty may sign a post-2019 deal with another club and then hope for an early release from his Dragons contract.

    Personally, I cannot see Dufty simply spending the year in ISP in the hope or even on any assurances that the Dragons’ fullback position is his after Widdop’s departure in 2020.

    This leaves Dragons coach Paul McGregor with either having to find Dufty an acceptable NRL position or it may be a case of the old saying that you cannot make a cake without breaking a few eggs, with Dufty being one of those eggs.


    https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/02/10/dufty-on-the-outer-at-dragons/
     
  8. Dennis Papaioannou

    Dennis Papaioannou Juniors

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    It is also one of the great enigmas for me. Great opportunity to mentor Aitkin but nothing. A real head scratcher.
     
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  9. Crush

    Crush Bench

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    I reckon Mary will start Dufty.
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    He may have to with other clubs being interested.
     
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  11. BLM01

    BLM01 Juniors

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    So why was he touted early 2018 and before on the cusp of origin and in some cases by some experts in the media to get an origin centre jumper last year. :confused:. I'm confused. What are we missing?
     
  12. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Bench

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    Aitken = 1 game 1 move = SOO wankfest

    Thats it!
     
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  13. BLM01

    BLM01 Juniors

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    Spot on. Although he was talked about before that move on Inglis because we appeared to be running out of options after 2017 debacle...until Roberts got noticed and mainly Latrell exploded in 2018.
    Hence all my rants re emerging NSW camps and players getting infated tyres before their ready to drive and some believing in their own minds they are ready for it without really proving to all outside they are a good established 1st grader. It can work for a couple...not for all
    Looking through the names of emerging camp players in the past few years it almost seems they identify every young potential NSW Blue player who has nominated Origin / Aust as a choice before playing for an overseas international team who is on the cusp of 1st grade or who may stand out a bit in 2nd grade and invite them in.

    It is more than a SOO wankfest..it is society today with too much focus on the positive participation mental welfare side of kids / parents and relationships with any sport and less focus on unfortunately the negative, the real competitive side in the art of getting knocked down, getting back up, winning and physical capabilities. There is a time and a place for all of the above but the balance needs to be brought back to 50/50..
    but that is my dream and it will stay that way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  14. Dennis Papaioannou

    Dennis Papaioannou Juniors

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    The answer is in your post
    "some cases by some experts in the media"
    Doesn't mean a lot because some media men also support McGregor.
     
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  15. BLM01

    BLM01 Juniors

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    It doesnt mean a lot to us..but it can mean a lot to the players
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]

    MEMBERSHIP


    Get your name on the 2019 member wall
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Mon 11 Feb 2019, 03:27 PM

    Calling all Dragons fans – become a St George Illawarra member by 4 March to ensure your name is listed on the 2019 Member wall!

    Visit marchwithus.com.au to become a Red V Member today.

    The wall lists all the faithful Red V Members who have signed up early to support the club, and will be proudly displayed at home games and member events throughout the 2019 season.

    The Red V program continues to feature improvements based directly on feedback from Members to deliver greater flexibility, increased value and an expanded loyalty program.

    Exclusive Member benefits remain the foundation of member investment, including the best value tickets, savings on merchandise, access to players, exclusive member events and exclusive benefit items together with all that is new in 2019.

    There is a Red V Member package to suit everyone!

    Visit marchwithus.com.au to find the package that suits you, and become a Red V Member today!

    Belong, connect, commit.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/02/11/see-your-name-on-the-2019-member-wall/
     
  17. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Bench

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    With the roster we have, l'm prepared to go coachless and let the boys wing it!
     
  18. LINESPEED

    LINESPEED Juniors

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    As per the Bronco free-for-all semi - an unchained melody if ever there were one
     
  19. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Bench

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    I and l'm sure all members will join with me and offer our thanks to 'GetSmarty' for his yearly contribution in making us aware of the latest news updates each and every week.
    Thanks buddy for your continued efforts!
     
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  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Your Welcome Old Kogarah Boy.
     

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