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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    McInnes wants to see action, not hear excuses
    Author
    Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Mon 20 Jan 2020, 05:20 PM

    New Dragons captain Cameron McInnes admits it sounds harsh but he won't accept any issues away from football as excuses for poor form this year.

    The passionate hooker was officially announced on Monday as the successor to Gareth Widdop, who has joined Super League club Warrington.

    The 25-year-old rake will aim to lead the club out of turmoil after they came 15th in 2019, with the legal dramas of sidelined forward Jack de Belin proving a distraction.

    De Belin's sexual assault trial begins on February 3, just over a month before the season starts.

    McInnes declared his team must get on with business in 2020 regardless of the external or personal challenges they may face.

    "That's the message I try to get across to everybody: it doesn’t matter what's going on out there, because no one cares," McInnes said.

    [​IMG]
    McInnes named new Dragons captain


    McInnes named new Dragons captain

    "If we lose a game and someone wants to say, 'Oh, my grandma's sick' – I know that's a harsh thing to say but no one cares because we lost the game.

    "It's the harsh reality of what we do. You've got to leave your problems at the door. It's not easy to do but life happens, doesn't it?

    "Throughout the course of 26 weeks, you're naïve to think that everything's going to be going your way outside footy for the whole year.

    "The sooner you realise that you've got to perform under less than ideal circumstances, the better you're going to be. If guys didn't learn that last year, they've got to learn quick."

    McInnes will become the second-youngest full-time St George Illawarra skipper after Trent Barrett, but he realises there's plenty of help available in senior representative players like James Graham, Tyson Frizell and Ben Hunt.

    Meanwhile, coach Paul McGregor has given McInnes leadership books to study over the summer to prepare for the job.

    In terms of playing style, not much will change for McInnes - the simple directive from the coaching staff has been to "go 100% like I do every game".

    "The best captains are the ones that show it on the field week in, week out. And that's what I've got to do," McInnes said.

    It's not his first experience in charge of a side: he filled in admirably when Widdop was injured last year and captained South Sydney in the under 20s.

    "This is a much higher level, but to be honest with you, these guys here are like under 20s players anyway. Footy players don't grow up," McInnes quipped.

    And while he can't guarantee fans success, McInnes has promised to give "absolutely everything every game".

    "I'll be demanding that of everyone with me as well, as everyone will demand of each other," he said.

    "All I know is the boys are hungry, hurt by what happened last year, and there's a lot of people with a lot to play for."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/21/mcinnes-wants-to-see-action-not-hear-excuses/
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  3. Dragsters

    Dragsters Bench

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    Jack de Belin case an early test for new Dragons skipper
    Christian Nicolussi
    January 20, 2020 — 5.58pm


    One of the giant first challenges facing new St George Illawarra skipper Cameron McInnes will be keeping the side focused as popular teammate Jack de Belin stands trial for alleged sexual offences.

    De Belin looked in peak condition on Monday as he trained with the Dragons, and will appear before the courts on February 3. One of the charges, aggravated sexual assault in company causing actual bodily harm, carries a potential life sentence if convicted in the most serious cases. De Belin has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

    [​IMG]
    Cameron McInnes' first order of business as the new St George Illawarra captain will be keeping the group focused during Jack de Belin's court case.CREDIT:NRL PHOTOS

    Senior Dragons admitted late last season they were affected by the absence of de Belin. They thought he would return but the Federal Court upheld the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy.

    The emotional toll from the de Belin drama and a shoulder injury to Gareth Widdop were key reasons the Dragons sunk to 15th on the ladder.

    Advertisement
    De Belin's case has been set down over two weeks with an outcome expected well before the start of the season.

    [​IMG]
    Jack de Belin is due back in court on February 3.CREDIT:AAP IMAGE/DEAN LEWINS

    McInnes, at 25 the second-youngest skipper at the joint venture - behind Trent Barrett, said it was a matter of the players knowing how to ''compartmentalise'' and ''leaving your problems at the door''.

    "Jack's welfare is our concern and the club will deal with that,'' McInnes said. "But for me, the message I'll try to get across to everybody is, 'it doesn't matter what is happening out there' ... you have to leave your problems at the door.

    "It's not easy to do. And throughout the course of 26 weeks, you're naive to think that everything will go your way outside of footy; so the sooner you realise you have to perform under less-than-ideal circumstances, the better you will be. If guys didn't learn that last year, they'll have to learn it quickly now.''

    Advertisement
    McInnes, easily the Dragons' best last year, said the group had not addressed de Belin's pending court case and ''it's well documented and everything is out there what the process will be''.

    "It's about doing what we need to do and doing what you need to do when you come in,'' McInnes said.

    "Whatever happens outside of footy, you have a choice: you can bring it to footy or leave it at the door. If you bring it to your footy, your footy will suffer.''

    RELATED ARTICLE
    [​IMG]
    NRL 2020
    Mitchell can be 'dominant' in Rabbitohs' No.1 jumper, says Slater
    McInnes was a captain in the junior ranks at South Sydney and was identified early by former coach Michael Maguire as a future leader.

    Advertisement
    The well-spoken dummy-half, who has read plenty of books about leadership, is also surrounded by plenty of experienced leaders, including James Graham, who has captained the Dragons, Canterbury and England, Tyson Frizell and even Trent Merrin, who was pitched as an ideal NSW captain when he was with Phil Gould at Penrith.

    McInnes is keen to punch out 80 minutes each week, despite the arrival of international rake Issac Luke, and could not fault the work of Zac Lomax at fullback, who also had Tristan Sailor and Matt Dufty keeping him on his toes.

    As for why the Dragons faithful should believe things will be different at the Red V in 2020, McInnes said: "I'm not a big believer in making promises and saying 'things have changed'. All I know is the boys are hungry and hurt by what happened last year, and there are a lot of people to play for, and when that happens it can be powerful. I know I'll be giving everything in every game I play and I'll be demanding that of everyone, as will everyone demand that from each other.''

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/ja...-for-new-dragons-skipper-20200120-p53t2m.html
     
    ALSGI and getsmarty like this.
  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    JERSEY FLEGG


    Young Dragons embrace Aquathon challenge
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 21 Jan 2020, 01:38 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons will be once again joining the Aquathon on Australia day in 2019.

    The Dragons Jersey Flegg will be taking on the short course as part of some extra pre-season training, in what is one of the Illawarra's annual premier sporting and community events.

    "Aquathon is inclusive and creates huge buzz and excitement," event director Rob Battocchio told the Illawarra Mercury.

    "The fun-filled crowd is a sea of children and families, competitive to the novice, locals to the interstate visitors, toddlers in prams to seniors walking or in wheelchairs; and everything in between."

    This year, all fundraising and donations raised from the Aquathon would be directed to Anglicare's bushfire appeal.

    Kick start your Australia Day and register now at: http://aquathon.com.au


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/21/young-dragons-embrace-aquathon-challenge/
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    COMMUNITY


    Dragons lock in South Coast bushfire relief tour
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Wed 22 Jan 2020, 12:00 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons have confirmed further details regarding their two-day community relief tour of the New South Wales' South Coast, in response to the devastating bushfires that recently occurred in the area.

    The entire NRL squad and club staff will convene in Batemans Bay on Tuesday, January 28 for a family fun day at Hanging Rock Sports Complex (2:30pm-5pm); there locals will be treated to an afternoon of activities, clinics and a meet and greet with their favourite Dragons players.

    The 70-plus Dragons representatives present will spend Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning split between Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Narooma and Bermagui; with an eye to help assist with the cash flow collapse on the South Coast.

    A number of Dragons players and staff will attend the Lake Conjola community BBQ on Tuesday night.

    The Dragons will spend Wednesday, January 28 engaging within the community through school, community groups and refuge centre visits as well as assist with any properties, businesses and homes in need.

    The Dragons' community engagements will cover Milton, Ulladulla, Lake Conjola, Mogo, Maula Bay, Sunshine Bay, Batemans Bay, Cobargo, Quaama, Narooma, Bermagui, Moruya and Wandella.

    If you know anyone in need of assistance in any of these areas, please do not hesitate to contact the club via email, [email protected].

    The Dragons were saddened to hear of the suffering caused within these segments of the club's catchment; a region Dragons Community have and will continue in 2020 to frequent in name of delivering important programs such as Best You Can Be. The Dragons Community team will also visit the likes of Bega, Eden and Tathra later in 2020.

    The Dragons' community relief tour will also act as an extension to the NRL's Roads to Regions program that will commence in mid-February.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/22/dragons-lock-in-south-coast-bushfire-relief-tour/
     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Three Dragons make NRL.com's Women's Team of the Decade
    Author
    Alicia Newton NRLW Chief Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 21 Jan 2020, 02:01 PM

    Share on social media
    Australian players dominate the first women's Team of the Decade with Jillaroos chosen in more than half the spots in the premier squad of the 2010s.

    NRL.com has compiled a women's Team of the Decade after input from key figures in the game including the likes of current Jillaroos coach Brad Donald, Channel Nine commentator Jo Barrett and Ladies Who League's Mary Konstantopoulos.

    The list consists of 11 Australian internationals - highlighting their dominance over the past decade with two World Cup campaign victories, five Kiwi Ferns representatives and one England international.

    The next decade of women's rugby league is set to be even bigger with the 2021 World Cup kicking off at least three major international events over the next 10 years.

    [​IMG]
    Team of the decade
    Fullback
    Contenders: Lindsay Anfield (England), Sam Bremner (Australia), Sarina Clark (New Zealand), Jodie Cunningham (England), Apii Nicholls (New Zealand)

    Winner: Sam Bremner (Australia)

    Australian outside back Sam Bremner edged New Zealand's Sarina Clark (nee Fiso) for the fullback spot. A dominant 2013 World Cup campaign on debut for the Jillaroos landed her in the team of the tournament. The 28-year-old has gone on to become one of the game's dominant players.

    Bremner's recent seasons have been hampered by injuries. She also gave birth to her first child Reef in 2019, missing all of last year's women's calendar as a result.

    Despite that, she remained at the top of most judges lists for the coveted No.1 jersey.


    Wingers
    Contenders: Chelsea Baker (Australia), Karina Brown (Australia), Sarina Clark (New Zealand), Amy Hardcastle (England), Hilda Mariu (New Zealand), Atawhai Tupaea (New Zealand)

    Winners: Sarina Clark (New Zealand) and Amy Hardcastle (England)

    Sarina Clark (nee Fiso) missed out on the fullback spot but was included on the wing given the selection dilemma around her dual battle with Bremner. Clark represented the Kiwi Ferns for more than a decade before falling pregnant prior to the 2017 World Cup.

    Rated as one of the finest players in the women's game, Clark returned to play at the elite level for the Warriors in their 2018 NRLW campaign.

    England's Amy Hardcastle nabbed the other wing spot after an impressive 10-year period that looks set to continue into the 2021 World Cup.

    Despite being considered more of a centre, Hardcastle scored a treble against New Zealand at the 2013 World Cup to solidify herself as one of the more consistent finishers in the game. She was too good to leave out.



    Centres
    Contenders: Maitua Feterika (New Zealand), Natalie Gilmour (England), Honey Hireme-Smiler (New Zealand), Jenni-Sue Hoepper (Australia), Isabelle Kelly (Australia), Amelia Kuk (Papua New Guinea), Jessica Sergis (Australia).

    Winners: Honey Hireme-Smiler (New Zealand) and Isabelle Kelly (Australia)

    A dominant pair of centres chosen with Kiwi Ferns legend Honey Hireme-Smiler and Australia's Isabelle Kelly edging a number of other worthy candidates.

    Hireme-Smiler, 38, remains one of the biggest names in women's rugby league with four World Cup campaigns under her belt and showing no signs of slowing down.

    She was named player of the tournament in 2013 and went on to back up her efforts to lead the try-scorers list with 13 tries in four games at the 2017 event.

    Kelly, who burst onto the scene in 2017, has enjoyed a stellar rise to the top in quick succession with her performances at the state and international level earning her the highest of accolades.

    The 2018 Golden Boot winner was judged the world's best player after her two-try heroics in the 2017 World Cup final win over New Zealand.

    Halves
    Contenders: Ali Brigginshaw (Australia), Jodie Cunningham (England) Georgia Hale (New Zealand), Laura Mariu (New Zealand), Karyn Murphy (Australia), Rona Peters (New Zealand).

    Winners: Ali Brigginshaw (Australia) and Karyn Murphy (Australia)

    Australian pair Ali Brigginshaw and Karyn Murphy are the halves. Both players enjoyed periods of dominance in green and gold.

    Brigginshaw remains one of the game's best players and was well supported by Murphy up until her retirement in 2014.

    Murphy was enormous as captain for the Jillaroos in their 2013 World Cup win, while Brigginshaw was judged best player on the paddock in the 2017 final against New Zealand.

    Props
    Contenders: Elsie Albert (Papua New Guinea), Heather Ballinger (Australia), Stephanie Hancock (Australia), Aieshaleigh Smalley (New Zealand), Simaima Taufa (Australia), Elianna Walton (Australia).

    Winners: Stephanie Hancock (Australia) and Simaima Taufa (Australia)

    Another pair of Australians lock up the front-row positions in a hotly contested field.

    Brisbane Broncos prop Steph Hancock is almost an automatic choice after a dominant career in the middle.

    Hancock made her Jillaroos debut in 2003 and played her 20th Test in 2018 against New Zealand.

    She's joined by NSW prop Simaima Taufa, who made her Jillaroos debut in 2014 and went on to win the Dally M medal three years later. Taufa is rated one of the game's most consistent forwards.

    [​IMG]
    The top NRLW tries from the 2019 season


    The top NRLW tries from the 2019 season

    Hooker
    Contenders: Brittany Breayley (Australia), Nat Dwyer (Australia), Lois Forsell (England), Rona Peters (New Zealand), Krystal Rota (New Zealand)

    Winner: Nat Dwyer (Australia)

    A rich decade of talent in the hooking role with New Zealand's Krystal Rota providing consistency and Brittany Breayley claiming Dally M medal winner in 2018.

    However, despite Nat Dwyer's career peak probably arriving in the previous decade, she was too hard to leave out.

    Starting her career in the outside backs before moving to the No.9 jersey, the sharp and creative Dwyer was part of the victorious 2013 World Cup campaign before announcing her retirement.

    The player of the under 18s State of Origin annual fixture wins the Nat Dwyer Medal.

    Second row
    Contenders: Kezie Apps (Australia), Teuila Fotu-Moala (New Zealand), Renae Kunst (Australia), Emily Rudge (England), Ruan Sims (Australia), Kathleen Wharton (New Zealand).

    Winners: Teuila Fotu-Moala (New Zealand) and Renae Kunst (Australia)

    New Zealand powerhouse Teuila Fotu-Moala and retired Jillaroo Renae Kunst edge another field of strong contenders for positions in the second row.

    Fotu-Moala, who was the first player suspended in the NRLW last season playing for St George Illawarra, has played in 14 Tests for the Kiwi Ferns and was part of the international side's that lost the World Cup finals to Australia in 2013 and 2017.

    Fotu-Moala was named player of the 2017 World Cup ahead of the likes of Ali Brigginshaw and Honey Hireme-Smiler.

    A strong edge runner, Kunst joins Fotu-Moala in the back row after a respectful career that included captaining the Jillaroos in 2008.

    Kunst retired in 2017 following the Jillaroos' 23-16 win in the World Cup final.

    Lock
    Contenders: Georgia Hale (New Zealand), Laura Mariu (New Zealand), Tahnee Norris (Australia), Rona Peters (New Zealand)

    Winner: Tahnee Norris (Australia)

    Another case of perhaps the decade earlier having an impact here but there's no questioning Tahnee Norris's influence on the women's game. Norris, like Murphy and Dwyer, was coming towards the end of her career but played a huge role in the 2013 World Cup campaign.

    In 2019, she was given the accolade of having the medal for player of the Australian National Championships named in her honour.
     
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Pt 2

    Interchange
    Rona Peters (New Zealand)

    Rated highly amongst peers and past coaches, Peters enjoyed a dominant 12-year career for the Kiwi Ferns before moving to Australia in 2016. She played the 2013 World Cup tournament in the halves before shifting to hooker.

    A Brisbane Broncos player, Peters has settled in the forward pack and via a new eligibility rule can continue to represent Queensland in State of Origin.

    [​IMG]
    What is a Jillaroo?


    What is a Jillaroo?

    Kezie Apps (Australia)

    NSW captain Kezie Apps went narrowly close to earning a starting spot with her inclusion on the bench well-deserved. Apps made her international debut with the Jillaroos in 2014 and went on to win the Dally M medal two seasons later.

    Apps was among one of the best players in the 2017 World Cup final against New Zealand and continues to lead from the front at club and state level in Australia.

    Laura Mariu (New Zealand)

    Recently retired utility Laura Mariu earns a spot after a long career that spanned throughout the recent decade.

    Mariu played in a record five World Cup campaigns for New Zealand between 2000 and 2018 before retiring at the end of the Warriors' NRLW season.

    She finished her career in the halves after starting out in the pack.

    Heather Ballinger (Australia)

    Recently retired Australian forward Heather Ballinger rounds out the 17 after an illustrious career for Queensland and in the green and gold.

    She made her Jillaroos debut in 2011 and was part of the side's World Cup campaigns in 2013 and 2017.

    A no-nonsense forward, Ballinger is a member of the Federal Police away from the paddock.

    Her combination with Hancock and Kunst in Queensland's line-up helped form a dominant period for the Maroons until recent times.





    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/22/three-dragons-make-nrl.coms-womens-team-of-the-decade/
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    Wiliame hoping for case of second-time lucky
    Author
    Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Wed 22 Jan 2020, 03:21 PM

    Brayden Wiliame "didn't have a good start" in the NRL but the Dragons recruit is better prepared to make his mark the second time around.

    After three seasons in the Super League, the 27-year-old has joined the club on a two-year deal and will put pressure on incumbent centres Euan Aitken and Tim Lafai.

    "Because I'm a bit older now I feel like I'm in a position to push them," Wiliame said.

    After playing under 20s with Melbourne, Wiliame made his Telstra Premiership debut for Parramatta in 2013 and moved to Newcastle the next year but couldn't get a go in the top grade. He then spent two seasons at Manly.

    He lost his first 13 games and won just four of 29 matches in his initial NRL stint.

    [​IMG]
    Dragons recruit Tyrell Fuimaono. :copyright:dragons.com.au
    But a switch to French club Catalans Dragons in 2017 provided a change in fortunes and the speedy outside back blossomed.

    A highlight was scoring a try when Catalans created history in 2018 as the first team outside of England to win the Challenge Cup.

    "Going away early in my career worked in my favour. Just to get away from the hustle and bustle of the NRL, sort of just to go and work on my game," Wiliame said.

    [​IMG]
    Five key match-ups of the Dragons' 2020 draw


    Five key match-ups of the Dragons' 2020 draw

    "It was healthy. It was good, getting away from footy and not worrying about the head noise. There was no pressure really. Once I got that spot, my footy started doing the talking.

    "Being over there you can be out of sight, out of mind, so as soon as an opportunity came I was always going to jump at it and my family knew that.

    "I feel like I've grown a lot – I definitely have grown a lot – over the last three years and I feel like I'll be better for it once I get my chance."

    Wiliame said he's been told he could force his way into the centres or "anywhere in the backline" if he trains and trials strongly.

    The Central Coast product is comfortable on the wing, where he's played 16 NRL games. He has also made four Test appearances for Fiji as an edge forward.

    Wiliame stands alongside hooker Issac Luke and centre/second-rower Tyrell Fuimaono as St George Illawarra's off-season gains.

    Fuimaono, who arrived from Penrith in early January on a two-year contract, has struggled with injury recently, playing 11 games in the past two seasons.

    The 23-year-old wants to regain the "stability" that has evaded him since his solid debut campaign with South Sydney in 2017.

    [​IMG]
    How the Perth NRL Nines will work


    How the Perth NRL Nines will work

    "Hopefully the worst is over and I can put a big pre-season in now, put my best foot forward and play a consistent season," he said.

    The skilful forward has mostly been training in the back row and soaking up tips from two elite players in Tyson Frizell and Tariq Sims.

    "A lot of people would have seen [having Frizell and Sims ahead in the pecking order] as a negative but to be honest I saw it as a positive," he said.

    "[It's good] to have two older, more experienced guys to learn from and take as much as I can on board and better myself and see where that can take me."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/23/wiliame-hoping-for-case-of-second-time-lucky/
     
  9. redandwhite4evr

    redandwhite4evr Juniors

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  10. redandwhite4evr

    redandwhite4evr Juniors

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    I was amused to read in an earlier article that Mary had given Cam McInnes a book on leadership- if I were Cam, I'd have been tempted to give Mary a book on coaching
     
    This Year? and Smurf like this.
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Excitement grows for Illawarra sports bushfire appeal golf day
    The Dragons, Illawarra Hawks and Wollongong Wolves will all hit the fairways on Monday, February 3 at Wollongong Golf Club to raise funds following the recent Bushfires. Dragons centre and South Coast native Euan Aitken, Illawarra Hawks local Angus Glover and Wollongong Wolves striker Thomas James encourage everyone to get involved.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/202...ed-illawarra-sports-bushfire-appeal-golf-day/
     
  12. hewi

    hewi Juniors

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    GOLD
     
  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    Aitken motivated for big season
    Author
    Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Fri 24 Jan 2020, 12:01 PM

    Dragons centre Euan Aitken believes he can regain the form that once had him on the verge of State of Origin selection as he chases a new NRL deal.

    The off-contract 24-year-old has received interest from other clubs but wants to remain with St George Illawarra despite a "frustrating" 2019 season.

    In 2018, Aitken was locked in a pre-Origin selection battle with James Roberts. Roberts won that contest and the Blues claimed the series.

    "I just want to do what I'm capable of. If I leave it all out there and it doesn't come my way, I'm happy with that," Aitken said.

    The powerful ball runner's impact was dulled last year; a byproduct of St George Illawarra regularly playing off the back foot.

    Aitken noted the Dragons struggled when it came to having possession inside the opposition's 20-metre zone.

    [​IMG]
    McInnes named new Dragons captain


    McInnes named new Dragons captain

    "I felt like I had a lot more to offer, I just probably wasn't getting as many opportunities as I was used to in previous years – and that's a hard thing to take," he said.

    "Centre is sometimes a bit of a position where if your team's not performing that well you're not going to get those opportunities.

    "I think it's just getting back to performing as a team and on the back of that I can perform anytime.

    "I've always got that strong self-belief that I can play great footy."

    New recruit Brayden Wiliame is challenging for a centre spot, though he prefers to play on the left side. That creates a likely battle with Tim Lafai, rather than Aitken.

    Nonetheless, Aitken considers the pressure of depth a good thing.

    "It just pushes you to train harder and get bigger, get stronger and all that so you're at your peak," he said.

    For St George Illawarra to flow in attack, Aitken knows their defence must improve.

    The Dragons conceded 23.9 points per game last year - only the wooden spoon-winning Titans fared worse.

    Aitken said new assistant coach Shane Flanagan has already made a big difference to their structures, aggression and attitude without the ball.

    "We want to have that arrogant mindset: that we're going to be the defensive team that's going to be strong and try to ragdoll people," Aitken said.

    "I think [Flanagan] is going to be beneficial. It's another mind, who's coached a team to a premiership. So it's always going to be good having a different mindset there.

    "I think him and Dean Young are going to get our strengths in our defence."

    St George Illawarra will tour bushfire-ravaged towns on the NSW South Coast including Batemans Bay, Narooma and Lake Conjola on January 28-29.

    [​IMG]
    How the Perth NRL Nines will work


    How the Perth NRL Nines will work

    It's a cause close to the heart of Aitken, whose home of Pambula was affected by the blazes.

    "Our home town didn't get hit as bad as other areas. It's very unfortunate but it's good to see all the positive influences throughout the community and see the Dragons putting on things to help donate money towards the victims that need it," Aitken said.

    "They're obviously a catchment area for the Dragons and a rugby league area down there. They support us on the field, so it's time for us as a club to go and support them."

    The Dragons have also joined forces with the Illawarra Hawks and Wollongong Wolves for a combined codes bushfire appeal golf day on February 3 at Wollongong Golf Course.



    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/24/aitken-motivated-for-big-season/
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    NINES


    Popular demand dictates 2020 Nines jersey
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Fri 24 Jan 2020, 05:00 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons have today launched its 2020 NRL Nines jersey.

    Both our men's and women's squads will wear the jersey at the Perth-based tournament on February 14 and 15.

    Our 2020 Nines jersey earned a cult following throughout the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership season, as it acted as the Dragons' captain's run jumper throughout the club's entire campaign.

    After hundreds of queries and compliments of last year's captain's run design, our Red V members and fans will be pleased to see it finally available for purchase ahead of February's Nines tournament.

    The Dragons' 2020 NRL Perth Nines is available for purchase online now, and will be available at the Dragons' Team Store from Tuesday, January 28.

    To coincide with the Australia Day long weekend, the Dragons are offering free shipping for any purchase made online (ending midnight Monday, February 27).


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/24/popular-demand-dictates-2020-nines-jersey/
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Lomax putting in the work
    Dragons Den
    [​IMG]
    Zac Lomax is currently the Dragons first-choice No. 1. Picture: NRL Images


    HE'S been written into the Dragons No. 1 jumper in ink but that fact hasn't seen any slackening in Zac Lomax's attitude according to Cam McInnes.

    McGregor has made a rare preemptive call in saying Lomax will get first shot at fullback this season despite Matt Dufty and Tristan Sailor both waiting in the wings.

    It will see the rising star anchor a back five that plenty have raised doubts about heading into the 2020 season, but McInnes is confident Lomax is up to the task.

    "He's a very, very competitive kid, he's got a lot of talent and the thing I love about him is he wants to get into everything," McInnes said.

    "He wants to tackle down on the [try] line, he wants to catch every ball, he wants to run, he just wants to be in the game. I think as a fullback that's half the battle.

    "You look at the best fullbacks, Billy Slater, James Tedesco, they just seem like they've always got the ball in their hands. That's him... he's young and energetic and that's what you want in a fullback."


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6593295/lomax-putting-in-the-work/?cs=3713
     
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Dragons 2020: Fuimaono looking to reboot
    Dragons Den
    [​IMG]
    STARTING AFRESH: Dragons signing Tyrell Fuimaono is looking to breathe new life into a career stalled by injury. Picture: Dragons Media


    WHO knew a toe injury could be so disruptive? It's a question Dragons recruit Tyrell Fuimaono has asked himself over the past couple of seasons.

    It has been a couple since he burst onto the scene with the Rabbitohs in 2017 - playing 15 games as a centre-back-rower under Michael Maguire.

    He came into 2018 looking to build on his debut campaign but dislocated his toe - remarkably playing on - in round two, ruling him out for the bulk of the season.

    He returned to the family home when he signed with Penrith for the 2019 season but made just seven top-grade appearances and was part of a mass exodus from the club at season's end.

    It's seen him link with the Dragons on a two-year deal and with a point to prove.

    "I've had a lot of injuries and a lot of speed humps in my career," he said.

    "It was frustrating, I'd get over one [injury] and then another incident would happen. It was really tough and challenging mentally but I'm really happy I've got the opportunity to come down here and play footy.

    "I thought the two years [contract] would bring a bit of stability and a give me a good opportunity to find my feet again.

    "Hopefully the worst is over now and I can put a big preseason in and hopefully play a consistent season."

    It comes after what he admits was a somewhat reluctant departure from the Panthers.

    "I would've liked to stay but things just didn't work out," he said.

    "I'm a Penrith junior, my whole family lives in Western Sydney, I grew up there so it would've been nice [to stay] but unfortunately it wan't the case.

    "I have to seize my opportunities where they come and now I'm down here and I'm going to make the most of it."

    Adept in multiple positions, the 23-year-old has spent the bulk of his training time in the back row.

    "So far I've mostly been in the back but I'm never going to turn down the chance to play no matter what position it is," he said.

    "At the moment I'm mostly playing in the back row, learning as much as I can from Tariq [Sims] and Tys [Frizell] and taking it all on board.

    "A lot of people might have seen coming here as a negative but I see it as a positive to have two older more experienced guys to learn from."


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6593544/fuimaono-looking-to-reboot/?cs=3713
     
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Sam helps shape maternity policy as she gears up for return
    Author
    Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Sat 25 Jan 2020, 02:01 PM
    [​IMG]
    As she excitedly prepares to return from a 16-month absence at the NRL Nines, Sam Bremner is not only paving the way for other players to become mothers but she has also been helping to shape a maternity policy for the game.

    St George Illawarra's founding captain is set to become the first player in the NRLW era to take time off to have a baby and return at the elite level when she runs out at Perth's Optus Stadium next month as part of a star-studded Dragons outfit.

    The 28-year-old gave birth to son Reef in August and initially hoped to make her comeback for the Jillaroos in October's World Cup 9s but decided not to rush it as she learned to cope with changes to her body during pregnancy.

    It was a learning curve not only for Bremner but officials involved with women's rugby league as she was retained on an NRL contract while she was pregnant and continued to train on a modified program.

    Since Reef's birth, Bremner has continued to work hard and was recently just 0.04 seconds off her personal best time for a 1.2km run but along the way she has had cause on a number of occasions to seek advice about her workloads.

    [​IMG]
    The top NRLW tries from the 2019 season


    The top NRLW tries from the 2019 season

    Bremner has also had to be conscious of her limited time to train while she looks after a baby not yet six months old and ensure every minute in the gym was beneficial to her game.

    "I had to patient and work my way into it because it is such a big thing to have a baby," Bremner said. "Your body changes for nine months and I had caesarean, so my abs got cut and it is a big operation.

    "There isn't a whole lot of information about women returning to sport, especially physical sports like rugby league. I just had to do so much research myself, and a lot of it was through trial and error.

    "I would do something and if it felt good I would keep going and if it hurt then I would find out why it would hurt by contacting a doctor or a women's specific physio."

    She was also in regular contact with Jillaroos coach Brad Donald and strength and conditioning coach Simon Buxton, while NRL officials have asked for her advice in developing a maternity policy.

    "I have documented everything and I even said to Brad that it is going to be useful to the girls going forward," Bremner said. "We don't want to lose great players to having families.

    "The NRL is creating a policy now. I have had meetings with them, they just wanted to know how I felt, what I felt they could do better, what I thought was good and bad and what my idea of a policy would be.

    "I think that is the best way to do it. You can't just make up a policy unless you get a bit of feedback from the players. I think it is great they are doing that and not just drafting a policy from another sport. They want to see what works for us."

    [​IMG]
    The best hits from the 2019 NRLW season


    The best hits from the 2019 NRLW season

    Bremner said that unlike an injury, it was difficult to put a timeline on how long a player needed out of the game or what level of training they could do after giving birth.

    While she is returning after just six months, former Jillaroos teammate Nakia Davis-Welsh has missed both NRLW seasons and will make her comeback at the All Stars match on February 22.

    "With pregnancy and coming back, your body is completely different to someone else's body," Bremner said. "Someone who has a baby could be back in four weeks, whereas another girl could need a year.

    "I am really surprised with how great I feel. The last two weeks I have been doing a lot of testing and having to send my results to the Dragons. I didn't picture my body to be able to bounce back this well but everybody is different."

    Bremner has also found time management is more important as a mother, but she believes having to switch off from thinking about football while looking after Reef has increased her enjoyment for the game.

    "My training now is really well balanced because I have only got an hour without Reef and I have got to make the most of that hour," she said.

    "About four or five weeks ago I had a meeting with our coaches because I said my training needs to be appropriate and needs to be specific to me in what I need to improve on because I don't have all day anymore, I only have the hour.

    "If I am wasting my time doing more strength work or more running than I need to then I have wasted a session so I am doing really specific training to my body now."

    After turning down an approach from Rugby Australia to join its sevens squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics because of her love for league, Bremner said she was pleased to help pioneer changes to the women's game.

    "I think that I am really lucky, and the girls who are playing rugby league are really lucky, to be in a sport that is extremely inclusive and doesn't make you feel like you to pick between family and football," she said.

    "They still invited me to go to training camps and I was still under contract to train but do modified training and that was completely up to me. There was no pressure.

    "Now I want to come back and repay my sport and my coaches and my teammates and encourage other players that if they want to have a family to go and have a family. You can come back and play like I am going to do."

    [​IMG]
    Bremner ready to bounce back after baby

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/01/25...aternity-policy-as-she-prepares-for-comeback/
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    FANTASY


    2020 NRL Fantasy guide: Dragons
    Author
    Lone Scout NRL Fantasy guru
    Timestamp
    Sun 26 Jan 2020, 07:01 AM

    An inspirational leader, a young gun with a new role and a returning one-time Fantasy star headline St George Illawarra's best buys for 2020.

    We're previewing the notable NRL Fantasy buys and revealing all player prices for each club as the days tick down towards the start of the new season.

    Cameron McInnes
    Hooker, $900,000

    St George Illawarra's best player last season and their new club captain was also the third-best scorer in NRL Fantasy, with a league-high haul of 49.8 tackles a game plus an underrated running game out of dummy-half.

    And yet he was never in many Fantasy teams, giving a real advantage to the 13% of Fantasy coaches who snapped him up.

    McInnes was one of three hookers to score 63 points a game (Payne Haas is the only player in the league to score more), and the other two were the always popular Cameron Smith (in 31% of teams) and Damien Cook (37%).

    McInnes should be as good a captaincy option as those two, with the likelihood that he keeps an 80-minute role despite the arrival of fellow hooker Issac Luke at the Dragons this season.

    [​IMG]
    Dragons fullback Zac Lomax. :copyright:Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
    Zac Lomax
    Centre, winger/fullback, $389,000

    Still only 20, Lomax is heading into his third year in the NRL with a positional switch presenting a big opportunity.

    The Dragons are giving Lomax the first shot at the fullback spot in 2020 ahead of Matt Dufty, which creates the possibility of a significant lift in Lomax's Fantasy scores.

    In 2019, Lomax played three games off the bench (with less than 10 minutes on the field on those occasions) plus four at centre, five on the wing and one at fullback.

    He averaged 26 points for the season, a number which was weighed down by his time on the wing (22 points per game) and the bench (13 ppg). He scored 35 in his one game at the back.

    Fullbacks generally score better than centres, wingers and interchange backs, so it's easy to see Lomax's scores climbing into the 40s early in the new year.

    Trent Merrin
    Front-rower, $578,000

    Back at the Dragons for what will be his eighth season at the club following a three-year stint at Penrith and a season at Leeds, Merrin could go straight into a starting role in the Red V pack.

    Once a Fantasy gun – he scored in the mid-50s in 2015 and 2016 – Merrin's numbers trailed off a little in his time at the Panthers so there is some question whether at the age of 30 he can get back to his best.

    Nonetheless, he'll be an affordable option at $578,000, with a break even of 39, and has a better Fantasy pedigree than other forwards at his price range.

    Dragons starting prices in 2020
    Cameron McInnes $900,000 HOK
    Ben Hunt $762,000 HLF
    Paul Vaughan $674,000 FRF
    James Graham $650,000 FRF
    Corey Norman $635,000 HLF
    Issac Luke $605,000 HOK
    Tariq Sims $589,000 2RF
    Tyson Frizell $582,000 2RF
    Blake Lawrie $578,000 FRF, 2RF
    Trent Merrin $578,000 FRF
    Jordan Pereira $565,000 WFB
    Euan Aitken $546,000 CTR
    Korbin Sims $433,000 FRF
    Matthew Dufty $429,000 WFB
    Timoteo Lafai $428,000 CTR
    Mikaele Ravalawa $401,000 WFB
    Jackson Ford $392,000 2RF
    Zac Lomax $389,000 CTR, WFB
    Jacob Host $379,000 FRF, 2RF
    Tristan Sailor $286,000 WFB
    Josh Kerr $278,000 FRF
    Jason Saab $249,000 WFB
    Brayden Wiliame $246,000 WFB
    Tyrell Fuimaono $246,000 2RF, CTR
    Eddie Blacker $228,000 FRF
    Joe Lovodua $228,000 HOK
    More NRL Fantasy articles for 2020


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/01/26/2020-nrl-fantasy-guide-dragons/
     
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    ALL STARS


    Four Dragons selected for Indigenous All Stars
    Author
    Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 28 Jan 2020, 05:17 PM

    Marquee South Sydney recruit Latrell Mitchell will start at fullback for the Indigenous All Stars but Cody Walker and Andrew Fifita are in doubt with injuries.

    Indigenous coach Laurie Daley has named an explosive squad to face the Maori side at Cbus Super Stadium on February 22.

    Mitchell will don the No.1 jersey that he wants to make his own at the Rabbitohs this year, though Daley doesn't intend to keep him in the custodian's role for the duration.

    "I expect him to probably have a break at some stage given the intensity and the pace of the game. It usually finds the blokes out early," Daley told NRL.com.

    "And we like to move [players] around and give them an opportunity."

    [​IMG]
    Team announcement: Indigenous All Stars v Maori


    Team announcement: Indigenous All Stars v Maori

    The fitness of incumbent captain Walker and leading prop Fifita isn't as clear, as the duo push to overcome injuries.

    Fifita had his knee cleaned out before Christmas while Walker is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

    Daley said a decision on Walker and Fifita's availability will be made by their respective club doctors.

    If fit, Walker is likely to play halfback alongside Jack Wighton at five-eighth. Tyrone Roberts, last year's Man of the Match in a 34-14 win, is a readymade No.7 replacement.

    Broncos centre Jack Bird was initially picked but withdrew from the squad as he manages his comeback from an ACL injury. He was replaced by Warriors forward Josh Curran.

    Kotoni Staggs was unavailable for selection due to a toe issue.

    The Indigenous backline is once again stacked with speed and power.

    Bolstered by Mitchell at the back, A-list wingers Josh Addo-Carr and Blake Ferguson and centres James Roberts and Jesse Ramien also provide serious strike.

    Ryan James will make his return from an ACL injury and Daley is hoping the big man can crank out decent minutes with the team a touch light on forwards.

    "I think he should be right," Daley said of James.

    "We've got Josh Kerr, he played a bit last year which was good. Young Josh Curran gives us a bit of size. We've got a few players there that will probably have to play a bit longer than they do at their clubs.

    "Some of the bigger outside backs might have to spend some time in the forwards."

    David Fifita, Wade Graham, Adam Elliott and Joel Thompson are also among a mobile pack. Titans veteran Nathan Peats will line up at hooker.

    As for the bench, Daley expects to inject Alex Johnston out wide and is planning to use Connor Watson in the middle, either at dummy-half or lock.

    Daley acknowledged his troops are in for a tough match against the Maoris.

    "They've got a very strong forward pack. And then you throw in Kalyn [Ponga] and Dylan Walker, so they've got some strike. Bailey Simonsson's a really good player," he said.

    [​IMG]
    Meanwhile, internationals Tallisha Harden and Shakiah Tungai will lead the charge for Ben Jeffries' Indigenous Women's All Stars in their showdown with the Maori Women's All Stars.

    Harden and Tungai both scored tries in the Jillaroos side which downed the Kiwi Ferns 28-8 at WIN Stadium last October.

    Indigenous Women's All Stars: Jasmine Allende, Shaylee Bent, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Quincy Dodd, Layla Fauid, Tallisha Harden, Jenni-Sue Hoepper, Caitlan Johnston, Bobbi Law, Tanika Marshall, Steph Mooka, Kelsey Parkin, Kaitlyn Phillips, Shaniah Power, Rhiannon Revell-Blair, Simone Smith, Shakiah Tungai, Rebecca Young.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/28/four-dragons-selected-for-indigenous-all-stars/
     

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