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Articles

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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    The Gould review: Dragons fans set aside decade for five-year plan

    [​IMG]

    Dane Eldridge

    Expert
    7 hours ago



    Fear is rife among the Dragons faithful after Phil Gould was appointed to oversee the club’s internal review, with many concerned his findings will recommend a continuation of trade or Anthony Griffin.

    But confidence is high internally the supremo can impart his methods for a better future, thus finally delivering the joint venture long-craved success, stability, and an overdue and unfinished long-term vision best remembered for producing easy access to premium flavoured milk.

    The combination of Gould and the Dragons is already piquing the rugby league world’s curiosity, with one question prominent: Can he resuscitate the Red V with a short-term strategy that finishes sometime within the next two Olympic cycles?

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    News broke this week of the Dragons’ SOS to the Channel Nine pundit after the club’s final round win over Titans, with administrators desperate to launch an enquiry firstly to learn how the hell they won a game of footy.

    [​IMG]
    Paul Vaughan of the Dragons. (AAP Image/Darren England)

    Gould was identified as the perfect choice for a root-and-branch audit of operations, somewhat for a strong record in rugby league administration, but mainly for his penchant for sacking coaches like it’s an involuntary facial tic.

    The one-time Panthers boss agreed to fill the brief for no charge, citing his many affinities with St George Illawarra; his strong relationship with coach Paul McGregor, and the Dragons’ qualities as a heartland organisation that is trigger-happy on overshot contract extensions.

    While unconfirmed, it is believed Gould will be given a mandate to scrutinise critical executive decisions made by the business, such as its neglect of juniors and grassroots facilities, and why Choc Mundine didn’t give it off in the ’99 grand final.



    League
    A cost-to-benefit analysis will also be conducted on the club’s relationship with the Illawarra, with bookkeepers desperate to subject the region to a greater level of pillaging for a reduced amount of gratitude.

    While Gould’s appointment has lead to many predictable jokes about his famous “five year plan” from his time at Penrith, it is commonly overlooked this vision was never spruiked with the promise of a premiership.

    The former coach’s blueprint was only to overhaul the club’s juniors and financial position, both which he achieved with aplomb by offloading all the club’s favourite sons until the only wage bill remaining was his and whichever three coaches the club was simultaneously paying at the time.

    So what recommendations is Gould likely to propose? And can they guarantee the Dragons’ long-term security, possibly keeping the brand in good health until at least 2021?

    Whispers suggest his first point of business will be the future of McGregor, with tabloid experts suggesting it is time for the organisation to change tact from hiring former greats in exchange for an outsider, such as former Roosters Craig Fitzgibbon or Jason Ryles.

    However, McGregor’s position is believed to be under no threat whatsoever, as Gould only historically sacks coaches on the fringe of the top four.


    This stance has even enjoyed public support from club powerbrokers who have guaranteed they will always “keep their coach for the right reasons”, which is because they can’t afford the payout.

    The playing roster will also be under fierce scrutiny after questions were posed of the players focus, an accusation denied internally despite Corey Norman playing the final ten minutes on the Gold Coast in a pair of skinny jeans and a disco whistle.

    Ben Hunt’s $1.2 million contract will also be combed in fine detail to ensure value for money, with Gould sure to fastidiously dissect the terms of his deal in the hope it permits them to poach his dad.

    [​IMG]
    Ben Hunt of the Dragons celebrates with Zac Lomax after scoring. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

    Elsewhere, the Nine commentator will put the recruitment department under the microscope, mainly to see if it has room to fit Reagan Campbell-Gillard on a seven year deal.

    While this is considered clinically insane elsewhere, seven years would provide ample time to offer Campbell-Gillard another additional seven years, by which time the game will have been killed by doctors and lawyers anyway.

    Nevertheless, interest is building in what Gould’s findings will present. Despite only just beginning in earnest, many are already tipping a raft of radical recommendations, some even plausible.

    Whatever occurs, the club has pledged only a small excerpt of the findings will be revealed to the public. This is believed to be the 365-page chapter blaming the whole of 2019 on Dean Young and Ben Hornby.


    https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/09/...ons-fans-set-aside-decade-for-five-year-plan/
     
    Gareth67 likes this.
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    The Dragons won't fix their woes until they have a new coach

    [​IMG]

    Andrew Ferguson

    Expert
    Yesterday



    In Round 10, 2014, St George Illawarra lost 36-0 to Parramatta, a result which saw them fall from competition leaders to 13th on the table in the space of six weeks. It was the point of no return for Steve Price.

    Price took over the Dragons in the post-Wayne Bennett era, but he couldn’t get the side to fire like the super coach had.

    From 2012 to 2014, he was in charge 58 times for 22 wins – a success rate of just 37.9 per cent.


    The club didn’t accept prolonged failure then. He was replaced by former player Paul McGregor.

    Fast forward to this April, when the Dragons had opened their season with back-to-back losses before winning their next three straight games. That was enough for officials to decide that McGregor deserved a new contract.

    Up until that point, ‘Mary’ had won 60 of 118 games – just over half. He’d snuck his side into the top eight in 2015, finished 11th in 2016, ninth in 2017, before rising to seventh last year.

    After his new deal, St George Illawarra have won just four of their 18 games – a paltry 22.22 per cent success rate.

    Now there’s talk he could lose his job at the end of the year. Madness.

    [​IMG]
    (AAP Image/Michael Chambers)



    There have been mumblings all year that the Jack de Belin saga was largely to blame for their season. But given the fact they won four of their opening six games, this is improbable.

    In 2019, the Red V have had their lowest possession percentage of all their full seasons under McGregor. In 2015 and 2017 it was over 51 per cent, 2016 was at 49.3 per cent, 2018 was 48.8 per cent, and 2019 is slightly lower at 48.7.

    This year is their second-worst for completions over that time, at 76.3 per cent, with only 2016’s 75.4 per cent worse.

    They’ve also made fewer line breaks in 2019 than their previous two seasons – 5.1 per game in 2017 and 3.4 in 2018, compared to 3.2 this year.

    But most glaring is the field of post-contact metres. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 the Dragons averaged more per game than the competition average. But in 2018, that number dipped below the average. And while the number of post-contact metres has dropped competition-wide in 2019, McGregor’s team have fallen even further.

    Tackle breaks also peaked in 2017, at 40.4 per game. In 2018 they were down to 35.8 and have plummeted to 28 in 2019.

    Dummy-half running is the lowest it’s ever been under McGregor. In 2016 they made 14.6 runs from dummy half per game but that number fell to 12.5 and 12.3 in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In 2019, it’s down to just 10.

    Offloads, which had been a team trait, have dropped by two per game in 2018 and almost another two again this year. Try assists have also fallen over the last two seasons, as have line-break assists.


    There have been increases – but not in good areas. Missed tackles have gone up, as have handling errors. Ineffective tackles and penalties conceded have ever so slightly improved from 2018, but are still notably worse than in 2017.

    Given de Belin’s absence is being cited as a major factor for the poor year, it’s only fair to look at his stats.

    In 2018, he had four line breaks, 40 tackle breaks, 29 offloads, no try assists, 26 missed tackles, 12 errors, and conceded 16 penalties.

    If added to their 2019 stats, his figures do not improve the team’s numbers enough to stop the downward trend.

    Now obviously this is a simplistic view, however if a pack brimming with international stars like James Graham, Paul Vaughan, Tyson Frizell, and Korbin and Tariq Sims cannot cover for de Belin’s loss – let alone maintain solid numbers for three years – then there’s a much bigger issue.

    Despite the magnificent squad all at the peak of their careers, this team is going backwards. They started heading in that direction before the last off-season.

    The problem is a one-dimensional coach who is incapable of adapting and implementing changes to the point his side has become pedestrian. They are now the worst thing a team can be in attack: predictable. Much like the excuses he constantly trots out.

    The Dragons should have waited until the end of 2019 to determine what to do with the gaffer. Not one club would have been chasing him in April, so why rush into re-signing him? The writing was on the wall last year, but a finals appearance papered over the cracks.

    McGregor is the sixth coach in the joint-venture’s history and has a success rate of 47.4 per cent, which is better than Steve Price (37.9%) and Andrew Farrar (43.3%), but well behind Bennett (65%), David Waite (56.3%) and Nathan Brown (53%).

    The Round 24 loss to the Tigers saw Paul McGregor become the St George Illawarra Dragons’ losingest coach in 21 years of existence.

    He, and those responsible for extending his tenure as coach, need to be replaced immediately if the club is to turn their fortunes around.

    https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/09/...eir-current-woes-until-they-have-a-new-coach/
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    New date set for Jack De Belin and Callan Sinclair rape trial
    • Local News
      Accused: Jack de Belin at a previous court appearance.
      Sidelined St George Illawarra Dragons player Jack de Belin will face trial a month earlier than planned after a judge on Wednesday agreed to move the star forward's case to the start of the 2020 legal year.

      De Belin and co-accused, Callan Sinclair, were told in August that their joint trial over the alleged rape of a woman inside a Wollongong unit last December would begin on March 2 next year.

      At the time, Wollongong District Court acting judge Paul Conlon was critical of suggestions the case may not be able to proceed until May because of the unavailability of both Crown and defence barristers.

      [​IMG]
      Callan Sinclair, right, leaves Wollongong Local Court last month. Photo: AAP

      Judge Conlon said it was important to have the trial begin as early as possible for all parties concerned.

      "Both Mr Sinclair and Mr de Belin shouldn't be required to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary to get this trial on - the same for the prosecution witnesses I would have thought," he said in setting the original March date.

      However, in court on Wednesday, Judge Conlon revealed he had recently been advised that Sinclair had appointed a new barrister who was able to begin the trial on February 3 - the first day of the new legal year in Wollongong.

      Both Mr Sinclair and Mr de Belin shouldn't be required to wait any longer than is absolutely necessary to get this trial on

      Judge Conlon confirmed the new start date, reiterating his desire to see the case go to trial as soon as possible.

      The new date also means the estimated two-week trial will now avoid coinciding with the start of the 2020 NRL season, which usually kicks off mid-March.

      Meanwhile, de Belin and Sinclair were not required to attend court on Wednesday for the brief mention, which was a last-minute addition to the case list.

      Police documents aired during previous court proceedings say the alleged victim met de Belin and Sinclair at Mr Crown nightclub on the evening of December 8 before accompanying them back to an apartment in Gipps Street where the two men allegedly raped her.

      Both de Belin and Sinclair have both been charged with five sexual assault offences including a charge of aggravated sexual assault in company causing actual bodily harm, which carries a potential life sentence if convicted.

      The duo deny the allegations and have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Both remain on conditional bail.

      Illawarra Mercury



      https://www.theleader.com.au/story/6381242/new-date-set-for-de-belin-sinclair-rape-trial/
     
  4. Gareth67

    Gareth67 First Grade

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    This cad is almost as humorous as myself .:joy:
     
  5. Dragons22

    Dragons22 Juniors

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    Dragons coach Paul McGregor spared the axe by Phil Gould after worst ever season
    Michelle Bishop
    [​IMG]
    Thursday, 12 September 2019 8:26 pm

    McGregor safe in season review
    (Source: 7NEWS)


    Phil Gould is reviewing the Dragons' performance under coach Paul McGregor, inset.Credit: AAP
    Gallen hits finals with his career on the line
    "They are just internal changes. I don't think there's anything dramatic in the wings."

    Gould is refusing to rule out taking on a full-time role with the struggling club.

    We will see what happens.
    "It's never been discussed at the moment," he says.

    "I'm not applying for a job or looking for a job but we will see what happens."

    [​IMG]
    The Dragons may learn from the experience of Parramatta Eels players like Blake Ferguson.Image: Joel Carrett/AAP
    The Dragons may be inspired by Parramatta, who made the finals despite being in the doldrums a year ago.

    "You need to build your principles early and then add on stuff by the end of the year," Blake Ferguson of the Eels says.

    It's do or die for Parramatta this Sunday as they face the Broncos at Western Sydney Stadium.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    And there we go. McIdiot looks set to be the coach come next season.
    I have had it with this club. Seriously. The worst run club in the NRL.
    An absolute laughing stock is this club.
    Persisting with this useless dud.
    Absolute BS.
     
    getsmarty likes this.
  6. thebigredv

    thebigredv Juniors

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    Great article so now we need to look to the Eels for inspiration do we?? The Eels don't have McGregor so there's the difference. Probably not missing Corey Norman much either.

    We are a loser club but we have a proud history. Just end this nightmare.
     
    Objective View and getsmarty like this.
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    TEAM LISTS


    Women's Premiership team announcement: Round 1 v Broncos
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 10 Sep 2019, 04:00 PM

    St George Illawarra Women's Premiership coach Daniel Lacey has named his mandatory 21-woman squad ahead of the Dragons' Round 1 clash against the Brisbane Broncos at Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta on Sunday, September 15.


    Match: Dragons v Broncos

    Round 1 - Sunday 15th September

    2:05pm
    [​IMG]
    Home Team

    Dragons

    [​IMG]
    Away Team

    Broncos


    Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

    Match broadcasters:

    • Foxtel
    • GEM
    • LIVE PASS
    Buy Tickets
    12 women will make their Dragons debuts against the Brisbane Broncos, including NRL Women's Premiership debutants Stephanie Mooka, Tiana Penitani, Shaylee Bent, Takilele Katoa and 2018 Dragons development player Maddison Weatherall.

    Kezie Apps has formally been named as captain with Holli Wheeler set to deputise Apps in 2019. Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili (concussion) has been ruled out.

    The NRL Women's Premiership team are the only Dragons to play this weekend, following the NRL and Jersey Flegg's elimination last week.

    The Canterbury Cup NSW Dragons have already progressed to next week's preliminary final following their golden point win over the Bulldogs.



    Junior reporters: Women's Premiership edition

    NRL Women's Premiership squad for Round 1 v Brisbane Broncos –

    1. Botille Vette-Welsh – sponsored by TripADeal
    2. Stephanie Mooka
    3. Jessica Sergis – sponsored by Stonemasons & Landscapers (since 1970)
    4. Tiana Penitani – sponsored by CBC
    5. Shakiah Tungai– sponsored by Tosich Group Construction
    6. Kimiora Nati – sponsored by St.George Bank
    7. Maddie Studdon
    8. Teuila Fotu-Moala
    9. Brittany Breayley – sponsored by Westfund Health Insurance
    10. Maitua Feterika
    11. Kezie Apps (c) – sponsored by Kingsgrove Sports Centre
    12. Shaylee Bent
    13. Holli Wheeler

    Interchange:
    14. Keeley Davis – sponsored by EFEX
    15. Takilele Katoa – sponsored by My Muscle Chef
    16. Maddison Weatherall
    17. Ngatokotoru Arakua
    18. Najvada George
    19. Rikeya Horne
    20. Lexi Kiriwi
    21. Sarah Togatuki


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/10/womens-pr
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Behind NRLW enemy lines: Round 1
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 10 Sep 2019, 05:18 PM

    The NRLW Brisbane Broncos have named their 21-player squad to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons to start the 2019 Holden Women's Premiership.

    Nine players will make their debuts for the Broncos NRL Women’s team when they begin their premiership defence this weekend.

    The Dragons’ and Broncos NRLW teams will meet before the Broncos and Eels fight for NRL survival at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.

    Brisbane Broncos squad: Round 1 v St George Illawarra

    1. Chelsea Baker
    2. Tamika Upton
    3. Amy Turner
    4. Amber Pilley
    5. Meg Ward
    6. Raecene McGregor
    7. Ali Brigginshaw
    8. Millie Boyle
    9. Lavinia Gould
    10. Amber Paris-Hall
    11. Annette Brander
    12. Tazmin Gray
    13. Rona Peters
    Interchange
    14. Tarryn Aiken
    15. Steph Hancock
    16. Mariah Storch
    17. Jessika Elliston
    18. Rosemary Vaimili Toalepai
    19. Heather Ballinger
    20. Taylor Mapusua
    21. Chelsea Lenarduzzi


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/10/behind-enemy-lines-brisbane-broncos-nrlw/
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    MATCH PREVIEW


    Dragons v Broncos: Apps' new-look line-up awaits Brigginshaw's Broncos
    Author
    Alicia Newton NRLW Chief Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 10 Sep 2019, 04:01 PM
    [​IMG]
    A potential rivalry in the making looms in round one of the Holden Women's Premiership with defending premiers Brisbane facing the Dragons at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

    The clash is part of a double-header with the blockbuster Eels-Broncos NRL clash, giving Broncos' fans travelling to Parramatta a great excuse to get to the ground early.

    The Broncos secured a 14-0 trial win over the PNG Orchids in Port Moresby as preparation in August and got the result against the Dragons 30-4 in the corresponding game last year.

    St George Illawarra finished fourth in 2018 with a lone victory against the Warriors but big things are expected with a host of new recruits at their disposal.


    Match: Dragons v Broncos

    Round 1 - Sunday 15th September

    2:05pm
    [​IMG]
    Home Team

    Dragons

    [​IMG]
    Away Team

    Broncos


    Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

    Match broadcasters:

    • Foxtel
    • GEM
    • LIVE PASS
    Buy Tickets
    The Rundown
    Team news
    Dragons: A strong line-up named for the Red V with a new-look spine and five players to make their NRLW debut. Rising Indigenous All Stars forward Shaylee Bent wins a back-row spot alongside Kezie Apps, pushing Teuila Fotu-Moala to start at prop. Kimiora Nati partners Maddie Studdon in the halves.

    Broncos: Six players are in line for their NRLW debut, while new recruits Annette Brander and Tazmin Gray will start in the back row. Veteran forward Heather Ballinger has missed the cut. Chelsea Lenarduzzi (ankle) and Julia Robinson (leg) continue their way back from injury. Lavinia Gould replaces Dragons-bound hooker Brittany Breayley in the vacant No.9 jersey.


    Match: Dragons v Broncos

    Round 1 - Sunday 15th September

    2:05pm
    [​IMG]
    Home Team

    Dragons

    [​IMG]
    Away Team

    Broncos

    Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney


    Team Lists
    Backs
    • Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Botille Vette-Welsh
      1

      Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Chelsea Baker
    • Winger for Dragons is number 2 Stephanie Mooka
      2

      Winger for Broncos is number 2 Tamika Upton
    • Centre for Dragons is number 3 Jessica Sergis
      3

      Centre for Broncos is number 3 Amy Turner
    • Centre for Dragons is number 4 Tiana Penitani
      4

      Centre for Broncos is number 4 Amber Pilley
    • Winger for Dragons is number 5 Shakiah Tungai
      5

      Winger for Broncos is number 5 Meg Ward
    • Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Kimiora Nati
      6

      Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Raecene McGregor
    • Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Maddie Studdon
      7

      Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Ali Brigginshaw
    Forwards
    • Prop for Dragons is number 8 Teuila Fotu-Moala
      8

      Prop for Broncos is number 8 Millie Boyle
    • Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Brittany Breayley
      9

      Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Lavinia Gould
    • Prop for Dragons is number 10 Maitua Feterika
      10

      Prop for Broncos is number 10 Amber Paris-Hall
    • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Kezie Apps
      11

      2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Annette Brander
    • 2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Shaylee Bent
      12

      2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tazmin Gray
    • Lock for Dragons is number 13 Holli Wheeler
      13

      Lock for Broncos is number 13 Rona Peters
    Interchange
    • Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Keeley Davis
      14

      Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Tarryn Aiken
    • Interchange for Dragons is number 15 Takilele Katoa
      15

      Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Steph Hancock
    • Interchange for Dragons is number 16 Maddison Weatherall
      16

      Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Mariah Storch
    • Interchange for Dragons is number 17 Ngatokotoru Arakua
      17

      Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Jessika Elliston
    Reserves
    • Reserve for Dragons is number 18 Najvada GEORGE
      18

      Reserve for Broncos is number 18 Rosemary Vaimili Toalepai
    • Reserve for Dragons is number 19 Rikeya Horne
      19

      Reserve for Broncos is number 19 Heather Ballinger
    • Reserve for Dragons is number 20 Lexi KIRIWI
      20

      Reserve for Broncos is number 20 Taylor Mapusua
    • Reserve for Dragons is number 21 Sarah Togatuki
      21

      Reserve for Broncos is number 21 Chelsea Lenarduzzi
    Key match-up
    Origin rivals Maddie Studdon and Ali Brigginshaw will clash for the second time this season after Studdon got the upper hand in the representative clash at North Sydney Oval. Studdon endured a difficult campaign at the Roosters last year but has found a new lease of life this season and her move to the Dragons gives her another fresh opportunity to play well. Both players' kicking games will be vital to the result.

    For the Dragons to win
    Their big guns will need to fire against a more stable Broncos forward pack that has experience on their side regardless of the personnel lost. The Dragons haven't played a trial game compared to the Broncos so will need to sort their combinations out early across the park. The strike power is certainly there, but cohesion will be the key.

    For the Broncos to win
    The defending champions can win by sticking to the basics that helped them dominate last year. There is a big hole left by more than six starting players from last year who have departed but the bonus is the players coming in – like Annette Brander and Tazmin Gray – are experienced enough and have played alongside a core group of the players before at state and international level.

    Stat Attack
    Remarkably, both sides averaged some similar numbers in basic areas like runs and metres for 2018 but the Dragons lacked in a couple of noticeable departments that outlined the difference between them. The Broncos created more in attack with 3.5 extra line engaged runs per game and a further 4.5 line breaks per outing.

    And another thing ...
    In case you missed it, the Dragons will feature five former Broncos players who won a premiership with the club last season. Expect a bit of spice in this contest with a lot of people left surprised by their departures from Red Hill.

    Tarsha Gale's prediction
    I think the Dragons will start the season strongly by defeating last year's premiers.They have an unstoppable forward pack that boasts the likes of Kezie Apps, Holli Wheeler and Maitua Feterika. With the forwards going forward I'm expecting the classy backline of Maddie Studdon, Shakiah Tungai and Jess Sergis to have plenty of opportunity to show the crowd exactly why they are superstars of our game. NRLW debutante Tiana Penitani will also show that she knows the way to the try line. The Broncos won’t give up without a fight but will miss some of the strength they had in the forwards last year. Dragons by 8


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/201...new-look-line-up-awaits-brigginshaws-broncos/
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    NRLW Dragons: 2019 season preview
    Author
    Alicia Newton NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Wed 11 Sep 2019, 07:01 AM
    [​IMG]
    A last-place finish in 2018 wouldn't have sat well with St George Illawarra despite the tightest of competitions in the inaugural season.

    The club is back 12 months later ready to make amends and they've bought with them enough cavalry to go from the bottom straight to the top.

    Led by Jillaroos forward and NSW captain Kezie Apps, a core group of local juniors remain at the club, while an abundance of interstate and international players arrive.

    Whether they like it or not the favourite's tag is with them in 2019 but with new recruits comes immediate expectation and the question will be asked; can the Dragons handle the pressure and live up to the hype?

    The Outlook
    What's new
    Personnel. It's as simple as that. Everything else is almost the same for the girls in the Red V. They'll run out with a brand new spine and backline to give the Dragons an untested but whole new look during the second season.

    "We spoke last year about building the team and we probably weren't expecting to blow everyone off the park," Dragons forward Holli Wheeler told NRL.com.

    "We were building for this year and I wanted to be a part of that."

    The draw
    The Dragons kick-start their campaign with a clash against defending champions Brisbane at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday afternoon, before travelling to Mt Smart Stadium to play the Warriors in Auckland.

    A clash against the Roosters is locked in for round three at Leichhardt Oval on September 29.



    What's new for NRLW?

    The stat that gives you hope
    Brittany Breayley's arrival will tighten the defensive line for the Dragons, who leaked 66 points in three games. She'll also add an improved dynamic in attack while linking with Kimiora Nati and Maddie Studdon at the scrumbase.

    Breayley led the NRLW with four try assists last year and was ranked first in dummy-half runs (24) while topping the overall tackle count with 124.

    The former Bronco is the only player last year's premiers were eager to keep, and it's little wonder with the Jillaroos hooker judged Dally M medallist at season's end.

    The coach
    Daniel Lacey returns for another season in charge and will be assisted by new mum Sam Bremner and Alicia-Kate Hawke, who have been named as his assistants.

    Lacey continues to monitor the progress and be a key figure at grassroots level while identifying the next crop of stars coming through the NSW system.

    He'll help guide through the likes of next generation players Maddison Weatherall, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili and Shaylee Bent during the upcoming campaign.

    "I do feel the pressure," Lacey told NRL.com. "It's something that all four coaches want so badly and none of us have won a premiership technically. I tend to look at the other teams and think how are we going to beat them.

    "I know I've got a lot of strike power and depth but we've also got to come together in a short space of time and nullify teams and their strengths too."

    [​IMG]
    Brittany Breayley and Kezie Apps join forces at the Dragons this season. :copyright:Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
    Player movement/Contract matters
    The Dragons have been the biggest movers in the recruitment market with just eight players retained from last year's squad and 14 fresh faces arriving in Wollongong.

    As mentioned before, their biggest signings are easily Brittany Breayley from the Broncos and NSW halfback Maddie Studdon, who shifts south after a stint at the Roosters.

    Kimiora Nati, who won best on ground for the Broncos in last year's NRLW grand final, is expected to team up with Studdon in the halves.

    Other coups include Origin representatives Steph Mooka and Botille Vette-Welsh, who are just about direct replacements for Honey Hireme and Sam Bremner.

    [​IMG]
    Shakiah Tungai scores for the Blues in the Origin clash at North Sydney Oval. :copyright:Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
    The game-breaker
    Shakiah Tungai's name has been floating around for the past 18 months and the speedy winger finally got her chance on the representative stage in June for NSW as the Blues went back-to-back.

    Tungai had a solid inaugural season in the NRLW last year with a runway try against the Warriors in round two a highlight. Her combination with Botille-Vette Welsh and Steph Mooka on the left edge in 2019 could be lethal if the combination clicks into gear immediately.

    The player you should follow on social media
    Jess Sergis

    There's plenty to like about one of the rising stars in our game with Jess Sergis having an Instagram profile to match.

    The NSW representative missed out on a Jillaroos debut last season due to an ankle injury but bounced back to star for the Blues in June. An international game beckons for the young gun if she manages a successful NRLW campaign.


    The quote
    "One of the biggest things I've found is there is a lot of versatility in this squad and it's a good headache to have. We've got women who can play in the middle and edge and in the backs which is great. At the last minute I want them to be prepared to move anywhere and be familiar with the role if we're in that situation on the field." - Daniel Lacey.

    Squad
    Kezie Apps, Jessica Sergis, Shakiah Tungai, Holli Wheeler, Keeley Davis, Rikeya Horne, Maddison Weatherall, Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa'amausili, Maddie Studdon, Brittany Breayley, Teuila Fotu-Moala, Maitua Feterika, Kimiora Nati, Ngatokotoru Arakua, Botille Vette-Welsh, Sarah Togatuki, Stephanie Mooka, Najvada George, Tiana Penitani, Alexandrea Kiriwi, Shaylee Bent, Takilele Katoa.

    Tarsha Gale's prediction
    Finish: 1st

    The Dragons are shaping up to be the team to beat in 2019. I have no doubt that they will be there on grand final day. They have maintained a strong core group led by Kezie Apps, Holli Wheeler and Jess Sergis. Clever coach Daniel Lacey has added some star power with the signing of Brittany Breayley and Maddie Studdon, along with an unstoppable forward pack that boasts the likes of Teuila Fotu-Moala and Maitua Feterika. I can only see this going one way and that's the Dragons taking home the premiership trophy in 2019.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/11/nrlw-dragons-season-preview-2019/
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Players' Champion nominations: The Dragons' contenders
    Author
    NRL.com
    Timestamp
    Thu 12 Sep 2019, 02:01 PM

    Past winners Jason Taumalolo, James Tedesco and Kalyn Ponga and a crop of emerging superstars headline a star-studded 64-man short list for the RLPA's prestigious Players' Champion award to be announced in Sydney on October 14.

    Powerhouse Cowboy Taumalolo was crowned Players' Champion in 2016 while Tedesco shone for Wests Tigers in 2017 and Ponga dazzled for Newcastle in 2018 - all three have been sensational in 2019 to give themselves a shot at a second Players' Champion trophy.

    Young guns Payne Haas, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Bronson Xerri are also in the mix along with tryscoring sensations Maika Sivo and Ken Maumalo and the Storm's 400-game legend Cameron Smith.

    The four contenders from each club are comprised of three nominated by representatives from their own team and one player added by RLPA representatives.

    Opponents will vote on the 64 contenders via a 3-2-1 basis with the Players' Champion to be crowned at a gala event the Foxtel on Oxford in Sydney.

    Players from the List of Contenders are not only eligible for The Players’ Champion, but will also make-up the Players’ 13 Dream Team (most votes in each position).

    With 2019 marking the 40th Anniversary of the RLPA, The Players’ Champion awards will not only crown the best NRL player as voted by his peers, but also celebrate the significant figures who played a role in shaping the game over the past four decades.

    The top five nominees for the award will be announced on NRL.com on Friday, October 4.

    The event will also recognise and celebrate the NRLW Player of the Year, The Dennis Tutty Award, Rookie of the Year and the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education Awards.

    There will also be a tribute to retiring players and special recognition of players who have joined the 300 Club.

    [​IMG]


    Here are the nominees:

    Brisbane: Payne Haas, Jake Turpin, Matt Lodge, Kotoni Staggs.


    Canberra: John Bateman, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Jack Wighton, Josh Papalii.


    Canterbury: Will Hopoate, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Josh Jackson, Corey Harawira-Naera.


    Cronulla: Chad Townsend, Bronson Xerri, Briton Nikora, Josh Dugan.


    Gold Coast: AJ Brimson, Moeaki Fotuaika, Jai Arrow, Brian Kelly.


    Manly: Daly Cherry-Evans, Tom Trbojevic, Addin Fonua-Blake, Jake Trbojevic.


    Melbourne: Cameron Smith, Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes, Kenny Bromwich.


    Newcastle: Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce, David Klemmer, Mitch Barnett.


    North Queensland: Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan, Jordan McLean, John Asiata.


    Parramatta: Mitchell Moses, Maika Sivo, Clint Gutherson, Junior Paulo.


    Penrith: James Fisher-Harris, Nathan Cleary, James Tamou, Viliame Kikau.


    South Sydney: Damien Cook, Cody Walker, Adam Reynolds, Cameron Murray.


    St George Illawarra: Cameron McInnes, Corey Norman, Paul Vaughan, Tyson Frizell.

    [​IMG]
    Sydney Roosters: James Tedesco, Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell, Daniel Tupou.


    Warriors: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Ken Maumalo, Leeson Ah Mau, Blake Green.


    Wests Tigers: Ryan Matterson, Luke Brooks, Corey Thompson, Benji Marshall.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2019/09/12/players-champion-nominations-the-64-contenders/
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Dragons NRLW: No more kidding around for Weatherall as debut looms
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    STEPPING UP: Steelers Tarsha Gale Cup star Maddie Weatherall will make her NRLW debut on Sunday just four days after her 18th birthday. Picture: Anna Warr
    YOU know a player is special when the brass are willing to change the rules for them. Ask anyone in the know and they'll tell you Dragons rookie Maddie Weatherall is that special.

    The Berkeley product only turned 18 on Tuesday, just in time to make her NRLW debut against Brisbane this Sunday after competition rules were amended allowing her to sign a contract prior to her 18th birthday.

    The debut is still overdue in the eyes of many who've watched her tally 41 tries in two years with the Steelers Tarsha Gale Cup side - in around half as many games.

    She skippered the Steelers to the Tarsha Gale premiership this year and also captained NSW to a 24-4 win over Queensland in the first under 18s women's State of Origin clash - both under Dragons coach Daniel Lacey.

    It's seen her likened to Jason Taumalolo and, after being forced to watch on as a development player last season, she's desperate to step up and test herself against the game's elite players.

    "Being a development player last year I was training with the girls and then I'd go to the games and I'd just wish I was out there on the field," Weatherall said.

    "Unfortunately I couldn't get out there last year and I was a bit nervous coming into this year because I thought I'd still have to wait another year to get the chance to play.

    "It's great I do get the chance this year, it's really exciting. It's the best birthday present ever.

    "I know it's going to be a lot different to [under] 18's, I won't be standing out like I was. I'm just going to try and keep it simple and do my job."

    It may feel like a long time coming but She admits it's surreal to playing alongside Kiwi Ferns stars Teuila Fotu-Moala, Maitua Feterika after regularly checking out her online highlight reel.

    "It's always been my dream to play for the Kiwi Ferns so I've watched them a lot and getting to play alongside them is pretty exciting," Weatherall said.

    "When I was younger at school I'd go on YouTube and watch all the big hits and all the highlights. I still do sometimes.

    "Just seeing their intensity at training has been great and I've I learned a lot just watching how they get through their drills and their preparation."

    Read More:Breayley stepping out of her comfort zone

    Sunday still shapes a monster step up for a teenager in her first elite match, but Dragons skipper Kezie Apps has seen enough to be confident she'll handle it.

    "I've watched her come through the last few years and she's a really exciting player to watch," Apps said.

    "With her strength and power and all her talent she was obviously such a standout in the Tarsha Gale Cup. I'm really keen to see her play in the open women's and see how she adapts to that.

    "I've got no doubt she's going to kill it. She'll still be a handful for sure, she's definitely been a huge handful at training with all our other Kiwi girls.

    "She's only just turned 18 and it's just scary to see what she can do with a full strength and conditioning program like we have now. I'm really excited to see what the future holds for her."


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...-around-for-weatherall-as-debut-looms/?cs=302
     
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    NRLW 2019: Davis shaping as Dragons bench weapon
    Local Sport
    [​IMG]
    AT HOME: Dragons youngster Keeley Davis is feeling confident ahead of her second NRLW campaign. Picture: NRL Photos
    JILLAROOS legend Ruan Sims is the nicest person you'll ever meet, but her game face... it's terrifying.

    For Dragons young gun Keeley Davis, it proved a true initiation to the elite level. This wasn't Tarsha Gale Cup anymore.

    "I remember it very, very clearly," Davis said.

    "It was against the Roosters and Ruan Sims looked me dead in the eyes and ran it straight at me off the kickoff.

    "I just thought 'oh God here we go'. I've never said anything to her about it but a few people have mentioned it to me and said 'I feared for your life'.

    "I didn't come off second-best which I was surprised by and I was happy enough with the tackle. It was a massive impact but after that I thought 'I've copped it off her, I'll be fine'."

    In fact she was more than fine, the youngest player in the NRLW competition last season, she made her Jillaroos debut before the year was out.

    Read more: Kiwi hit squad ready to ignite Dragons NRLW push

    Still a teenager, she's heading into her second campaign with the Dragons and does so walking a tad taller than she did into her maiden one.

    "Going into last year I was pretty nervous and nobody knew what to expect," she said.

    "I hadn't really played too many [elite] women before that so it was definitely a confidence-building year for me.

    "That was probably last year in a nutshell, just playing at that level and proving to myself that I could do it.

    "This year I'm going in a lot more confident in my ability as well as knowing what to expect a bit more as a team."

    Davis was used primarily in the No. 6 jumper last season by coach Daniel Lacey, who also brought the Corrimal Cougars alum through the Steelers Tarsha Gale system.

    She also spent time at dummy-half and can comfortably fill any position in the spine, something that counted in her favour at the Jillaroos selection table.

    It's what also has her shaping as a bench super-sub in a talent-stacked roster this season, with Lacey naming her in the No. 14 jumper for Sunday's clash with Brisbane.

    She played the same role at Test level for Jillaroos coach Brad Donald last season and it's something she's embracing with the NRLW title favourites.

    "It was something I needed to get my head around early on but I think coming on and just bringing some impact is really suited to my game," she said.

    "I think that's the best thing for the team and for me as well so I'm excited to play that role. Tarsha Gale was nines for the first two years so we didn't have a really specific position, you just play what's in front of you.

    "I think that's helped me a lot coming through."

    It's something she hopes can help her reclaim the Jillaroos jumper after injuries hampered her push at a NSW debut earlier this year.

    "I've really enjoyed playing at 14 at rep level," she said.

    "A utility role is not very common at the moment so being able to do that so I think it definitely helps in that regard."


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6381991/davis-shaping-as-dragons-bench-ace/?cs=302
     

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