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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]

    ALL STARS


    Three Dragons selected for Maori All Stars
    Author
    Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 28 Jan 2020, 05:52 PM

    Maori All Stars coach David Kidwell has selected an imposing pack to lock horns with the talented Indigenous team at Cbus Super Stadium on February 22.

    The Maori side shouldn't lack go-forward with Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Adam Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich, James Tamou, Kevin Proctor, Briton Nikora, Zane Tetevano and Corey Harawira-Naera among an elite crop of big men chosen.

    "We wanted to have a bit of a narrative about being powerful, fast and dynamic. I think the team reflects that," Kidwell told NRL.com.

    The backline packs plenty of punch too. The dazzling Kalyn Ponga will play his natural position of fullback after struggling to impose himself on the game at five-eighth last year in a 34-14 loss.

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


    Team announcement: Indigenous All Stars v Maori

    "I think that's where he plays his best footy, he can sweep both sides of the field, he can inject himself where he needs to," Kidwell said of Ponga.

    "Touching on that forward pack, he can sniff around for the offload. Talking to him, he's really excited. He doesn't have to worry about leading the team around."

    Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Bailey Simonsson appear as the likely wingers, while Dylan Walker, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Brad Takairangi and Esan Marsters are centre options.

    Marsters, who had off-season ankle surgery, is in doubt to play and discussions with the Cowboys medical staff about his fitness are ongoing.

    Given Benji Marshall made himself unavailable for Maori selection to prepare for the upcoming NRL season with Wests Tigers, Jahrome Hughes and Kodi Nikorima will combine in the halves.

    Brandon Smith and the experienced Issac Luke will share the hooking duties.

    Raiders duo Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Joseph Tapine were initially named but were withdrawn.

    Kidwell, who has taken over the coaching duties from Stacey Jones, is elated to be involved with such a special fixture and believes his troops can match the Indigenous team in the entertainment stakes.

    "We're going to play a bit of an expansive style of football. I thought the Indigenous team, with the experience of having played it for nine years, really caught us off guard last year.

    "It's a different concept, it's a different way of playing football ... [But] you still have to execute and have a high completion rate, so it's about finding that balance."

    Kidwell hasn't settled on a captain but he said incumbent skipper Adam Blair "epitomises what the week's about."

    He added: "I've got some great leaders there and we'll talk about who's going to captain the side. But whoever does, it's going to be a great honour."

    Kidwell considered results from an online fan poll before settling on his final squad.

    [​IMG]
    In the women's All Stars clash the star-studded Maori side will feature Kiwi Ferns Krystal Rota, Raecene McGregor and Kiana Takairangi as well as Jillaroos Corban McGregor and Botille Vette-Welsh.

    Playmaker McGregor was part of the Brisbane side which stormed to victory in the NRLW grand final last October, scoring a try in the 30-6 triumph.

    After playing second fiddle to McGregor in the NRLW decider, Dragons youngster Maddison Weatherall will line up alongside the Broncos star for the Maoris.

    Coached by Rusty Matua the side features 10 players with NRLW experience.

    Maori Women's All Stars: Harata Butler, Sarina Clark, Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell, Laishon Jones, Amber Kani, Kerehitina Matua, Raecene McGregor, Corban McGregor, Capri Paekau, Krystal Rota, Christyl Stowers, Kiana Takairangi, Jonsal Tautari, Botille Vette-Welsh, Maddison Weatherall, Geneva Webber, Kathleen Wharton, Kat Wira-Kohu.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/28/three-dragons-selected-for-maori-all-stars/
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Wendell Sailor, Dean Young of St George Dragons visit fire-struck Cobargo | Video
    Local News
    [​IMG]
    HERE TO HELP: Dean Young and Wendell Sailor visit the Jessop family's farm outside Cobargo on Wednesday.
    Two of rugby league's greats were in Cobargo on Wednesday, with the aim of bringing whatever support they could to the bushfire-devastated region.

    Wendell Sailor and Dean Young were part of the St George Illawarra Dragons team that has been on a tour of the South Coast in recent days.

    On Wednesday, they stopped at the Jessop family's farm outside Cobargo, which was impacted by the New Year's Eve blaze, to bring helping hands to assist with tasks such as fencing on the property.

    "For us, we've seen what's happened with the bushfires and what the devastation is, so we thought we'd try and come down and lend a hand, come to some schools, and sort of put a bit of - I know there's always a positive spirit in the community - but hopefully put a few smiles on faces," Sailor said.

    Dean Young, Wendell Sailor at Jessop family's Cobargo farm
    Young said the whole club had come south down the coast and had tried to spread themselves out over all the country towns.

    They were supposed to be in Bermagui on Tuesday night, but Young said a crash at Bodalla in which two people died, which was "another tragedy in this part of the world", had prevented them from reaching their destination.

    He said he was shocked by the drive south from Wollongong, seeing the devastation left by fires across the coast.

    "To the left and to the right just the burning trees, and then you see some of the houses that survived and you just take your hat off to all the firefighters and the people that have been fighting their own fires and keeping their properties away from the fire and keeping their families safe," he said.

    They had caught up with their friend and former Dragon Michael Weyman who lives in Moruya and had spent a month of being under threat.

    While his property was still standing, Young said they could see the toll it had taken on him.

    He said they did not want to tell the community how to stay strong, as they had not experienced the fires themselves.

    "We don't want to be standing here giving advice when we don't know what it's like," Young said.

    "We're from Wollongong and we haven't had to deal with too much of that.

    "So we're just here to show our support."

    "We can't come here and say we're here for you and that sort of stuff," Sailor added.

    "We're here; we can take your mind off it and talk a bit about footy.

    "But I think it's a two-way street, I think it gives us a lot of gratitude for what we have too.

    "We know it's just not going to be about today, it's going to be about the future."

    This story Wendell Sailor, Dean Young of St George Dragons visit fire-struck Cobargo | Video first appeared on Bega District News.

    https://www.naroomanewsonline.com.a...ragons-visit-fire-struck-cobargo-video/?cs=12
     
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  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    NRL COMMUNITY


    Bushfire relief tour brings devastation home to Dragons
    Author
    Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Wed 29 Jan 2020, 12:01 PM
    [​IMG]
    As they drove past the ruins of houses ravaged by bushfire, burnt out cars and blackened trees that continued for most of the seven kilometre drive from Yatte Yattah to Conjola, stunned Dragons players could scarcely believe what they were seeing.

    Many in the squad had holidayed at Conjola or neighbouring South Coast beaches but none had returned since the catastrophic fires on New Year's Eve that claimed two lives and destroyed 89 properties.

    Rookie halfback Jayden Sullivan’s family were among those evacuated to the beach and on Tuesday night he met many of the other survivors at a community barbecue attended by Dragons players as part of St George Illawarra’s South Coast Bushfire Relief Tour.

    “Coming down here as a kid and then coming here now and seeing all the houses burned down is a real shock,” Sullivan said.

    “My family was here over the Christmas break when the fires were happening, all of my younger brothers were here and they had to evacuate to the beach. The whole area was on fire – both sides [of Lake Conjola Entrance Road] and there was nowhere else to go.”

    Jason Saab, Tyson Frizell, Matt Dufty and Jayden Sullivan in Conjola.
    Dragons wellbeing officer Scott Stewart has been holidaying at Lake Conjola for 18 years but January’s annual pilgrimage had to be cancelled – although he plans to return before the NRL season starts in a bid to support local businesses suffering from the loss of trade during their busiest period.

    “Driving into the town I know what the area is like and I know that it is not peak holiday time now but there is just no-one around. It is like a ghost town,” Stewart said.

    “It just stuns you when you see it. There’s literally houses flattened and you can see from the road to the lake, whereas usually you can only see 10 metres into the bush because there is that much shrub.

    “As we were driving up, the boys said it looked like someone has just flattened the place with a bomb.”

    Dragons players Kezie Apps and Euan Aitken have also been impacted by the fires in their respective home towns of Bega and Pambula, while 2010 premiership-winning prop Michael Weyman remains on alert to defend his family’s property in Moruya.

    As communities along the NSW South Coast attempt to begin the recovery process, the visit by 70 Dragons players and staff to Batemans Bay, Ulladulla, Narooma, Bermagui and smaller towns in between was a welcome distraction from the constant threat of bushfires.

    We thank the waterbombing pilots from abroad for their efforts on the South Coast so far. Also, Horse has officially joined the bushfire relief tour! #redv pic.twitter.com/dcR0Wwfu0T

    — St George Illawarra Dragons (@NRL_Dragons) January 27, 2020
    They played cricket, touch, signed autographs, posed for photos and practiced skills but mostly the players just talked or listened and tried to put a smile on the faces of kids, while also offering support to the Batemans Bay Tigers, Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs, Moruya Sharks and Narooma Devils.

    'Something our town has needed'
    At the peak of the fire emergency, more than 10,000 people sheltered at the Hanging Rock Sports Complex in Batemans Bay or in 2,500 caravans parked on the site.

    Many residents returned on Tuesday for a family fun day with Dragons players, including Malua Bay RFS volunteer Warren Harper, who had unsuccessfully tried to defend the house he built 17 years ago after relocating his wife, four children and six grandchildren to the evacuation centre.

    “I was on the back deck, some Malua Bay RFS guys and [NSW] State Forestry guys arrived but it just came out of the Mogo State Forest and hit us like a ton of bricks,” Harper said of the fire.

    “It just took the whole house within half an hour. I’ve never seen a fire as fierce. It seemed like it was determined to take whatever was in its path. It was just racing and it just couldn’t be stopped.”

    [​IMG]
    Corey Norman does his bit to lift spirits.
    Harper managed to grab a few possessions – including some boxes of Dragons’ tissues but not his wife’s china – and spent 10 days at the evacuation centre before finding temporary accommodation.

    “A lot of people lost their homes and businesses are suffering so to have the Dragons here means a lot to the community,” he said.

    Batemans Bay Tigers and Group 16 official Dave Ralston said the fires had also effected local sport and kids had not been able to enjoy their summer school holidays.

    He said at least four of the club’s junior players had lost their family homes or most of their possessions.

    “On New Year’s Eve we had no power, the smoke was everywhere and no matter where you went you were trapped,” Ralston said.

    “Having the Dragons here after what the town has gone through the last seven weeks with the fires has just made the kids forget about it for a while.

    “These kids have all lost something but you can’t see that in their faces today. To have the big stars come here is a great thing and something our town has needed.”

    'Our sponsors are struggling'
    Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs have also had four players whose homes were destroyed and the mental anguish of driving past the burnt out remains of their houses kept some away from the barbecue organised by the club on Tuesday night.

    In addition, the Bulldogs are facing a financial hit as many of their sponsors are local businesses who are suffering from the lack of visitors to the area during the holiday period.

    “We have made the decision that whether they can afford to pay or not we are still going to put them on our gear and advertise for them. If they can pay something during the year, then all good,” Bulldogs secretary Sharon Dowton said.

    With the club expecting an increase from last year’s 341 registered players due to the introduction of tackle competitions for girls, costs are set to increase for playing kits and a decision was made before the fires to give every player a training shirt this season.

    Dowton estimated the cost of playing kits would be about $17,000, while a further $7,000 will be needed for the training shirts.

    [​IMG]
    Illawarra codes unite for bushfire relief golf day
     
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  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Pt 2

    A likely sacrifice will be plans to create additional dressing rooms for female players by converting two storage containers into away sheds.

    “That’s up in the air now but the one good thing to come out of this is that it has united the town,” Dowton said.

    “We’ve had four players from the club that we know of so far who lost everything and others that partially lost homes. One parent I was speaking to today said they have been evacuated five times from their property and they had fire coming to within two metres of their house.”

    The visit by the Dragons players to Lake Conjola was kept as a surprise from the club’s three Under 10s team-mates Koby McSpadden, Tristin Brown and Josh Thompson, who delivered groceries to elderly residents at Fisherman’s Paradise unable to leave their homes.

    “We went to every house and asked if they needed any supplies and we delivered 15 trolleys full or maybe more of toothbrushes, hair brushes, pharmaceuticals and food,” Brown said.

    “We had no electricity for eight days, it was scary. The only thing you could hear was all the generators.”

    'I was just trying not to cry'
    Kezie Apps and Euan Aitken have been able to draw on their own experiences and believe that everyone in the small communities impacted by the fires has been effected in some way, even if they didn’t lose anything.

    “While our family hasn’t been directly affected, you are affected by everyone else who has been affected,” Apps said.

    “We have a farm on the outskirts of Bega and at one stage we did get told to evacuate when the fires were getting close but thankfully the wind changed and pushed it back towards the mountain.

    “My brother phoned my dad, saying he had just had the police come to the property to say we should evacuate and what should we do because we had just finished milking the cows.

    “They were then deciding what to do with the cows and we were going to take them down to the river, not that there was much water in the river for 600 or 700 cows.”

    Aitken was at his parents' place in Pambula when the fires flared up.

    “It came very close and at one stage I couldn’t even leave,” he said. “South Pambula is on the hill and you couldn’t go west or south from there so it was pretty scary. For a couple of days, it was pitch black from all the smoke.

    “I was thinking ‘how am I going to get back to training’ but there was nothing I could do. I have a lot of friends on the hill who weren’t so lucky. It is a rebuild stage at the moment and obviously the fireys are doing an amazing job but they can’t protect every property.

    “For a lot of people it’s been an anxious period over the summer. That is why mental health is such a massive thing. People are worried about their property so they haven’t had the chance to go on Christmas holidays because of the fires and you can see the kids are affected, too.

    “Obviously they don’t talk about it as much as adults but I am sure they have missed out on holidays so it is devastating for all those communities and the effect it has had on people.”

    Apps said there was a feeling of helplessness but people within communities were doing their best to support each other.

    “Our community has been fantastic in Bega and the surrounding areas, like Cobargo,” she said. “That was just unbelievable what happened there.

    “When I drove through it for the first time I was just trying not to cry. As you go up the coast you can see how much has actually burned, and the loss of houses and animals. I think it is going to be like this for the rest of the summer or until we get decent rain, which everyone is praying for.”





    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/30/bushfire-relief-tour-brings-devastation-home-to-dragons/
     
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  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    NRL COMMUNITY


    Dragons to replace goal posts burned in school fire
    Author
    Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Thu 30 Jan 2020, 08:01 AM
    [​IMG]
    St George Illawarra CEO Brian Johnston pledged to buy a new goal posts for St Marys Star of the Sea Milton after being told the previous set had burned down in a fire that nearly claimed the primary school.

    Only the efforts of a staff member who lives nearby and local residents prevented the fire from advancing beyond the sports oval and trees surrounding the school.

    However, upon returning from their summer holidays this week students asked principal Lindy Nelson for a new set of posts and Johnston agreed the Dragons would meet the cost when he joined players at the school on Wednesday.

    “The players, coaches and administrative staff wanted to help out,” Johnston said. “Some have been prepared to contribute money and time as well. This was requested by them to come down the South Coast and get involved.

    “The coaches were a driving force behind it as well, and I have just told the principal that the club will ensure they get new goal posts.

    “The South Coast is a development area for our club and an area we take great pride in. We want boys and girls on the South Coast to aspire to play for and to support the Dragons.”

    St George Illawarra stars Tyson Frizell, James Graham, Matt Dufty and Jayden Sullivan joined former winger Jason Nightingale for a series of activities with the students on the oval.

    Graham even took time for a one-on-one session with one young boy.

    [​IMG]
    Dragons forward James Graham. :copyright:Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos
    Nearby, earth moving equipment was clearing trees that had previously lined the back fence of the school, while the school’s play-ground and jumping pillow were out of bounds because of fire damage.

    “When the kids arrived at school this morning they were very excited to hear that the Dragons were coming and that is just a bit of joy in our school at the moment which the children need,” Nelson said.

    “Our kids just idolise these guys, it’s a heartland here and we’ve just had the good news that the Dragons are going to help replace the goal posts.

    “Our whole oval was burned here so we have worked really hard to get a bit of green back and the boys asked me first thing this morning ‘when are the footy posts going back in’.”

    [​IMG]
    Illawarra codes unite for bushfire relief golf day


    Illawarra codes unite for bushfire relief golf day

    A grass fire started by embers threatened the school but RFS volunteers were trying to save a nearby petrol station and had no resources to help.

    “The fire came up the front of our hall and it burned all around it,” Nelson said.

    “One of our teachers lives in the sub-division nearby and the guys from the sub-division were brilliant. They saved our school.

    “The local community has been great, we have been inundated by offers of help and our staff came up here when the road was blocked and they fed everyone [stuck in traffic] on the highway.

    “Our kids were there too, handing out water bottles. I am so proud of them all.”


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/30/dragons-to-replace-goal-posts-burned-in-school-fire/
     
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  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Aitken keen to take opportunities
    • Local Sport
      [​IMG]
      Attack:Euan Aitkin believes to be strong in attack their defence must improve.Picture John Veage
      Off contract St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken believes he can regain representative form as he chases a new NRL deal.

      Aitken has received interest from other clubs but wants to remain with the Dragons despite a frustrating 2019 season where St George Illawarra regularly played off the back foot,conceding too many points in their second half efforts.

      Aitken told NRL.com that he just wants to do what he's capable of and if he does his best and it doesn't come his way,he will accept it.

      "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," Aitken said

      "I've always got that strong self-belief that I can play great footy and I think it's just getting back to performing as a team and on the back of that I can perform."

      For the Dragons to be strong in attack, Aitken knows their defence must improve,they conceded 23.9 points per game last year - only the last placed 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 and thinks Flanagan's combination with Dean Young are going to be their strength in their defence.

      "I think he 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.

      St George Illawarra toured bushfire-ravaged towns on the NSW South Coast including Batemans Bay, Narooma and Lake Conjola this week and its 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 to be held on Monday February 3 at Wollongong Golf Course.

    • https://www.theleader.com.au/story/6604536/off-contract-centre-chases-new-dragons-deal/
     
  7. Dragonsamy

    Dragonsamy Bench

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    Don't talk about it Euan just do it.
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    TBH Samy, I think we have got past the talking stage. I think we need to move on from both our current centres. If they want to stay, offer them 100 K each or they can look elsewhere.
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    MEDIA RELEASE


    NRL expands Road to Regions program
    Author
    NRL Media Release NRL Media
    Timestamp
    Thu 30 Jan 2020, 10:16 AM

    The game's leading players will embed themselves in bushfire affected and drought stricken communities across the eastern seaboard over the next month after the NRL expanded its annual Road to Regions program.

    A number of clubs have committed their playing squads to provide assistance and lift spirits in bushfire affected communities across NSW and Victoria while groups of players have committed to visiting drought affected areas in Western Queensland.

    The annual Road to Regions program – designed to give rural residents an opportunity to meet players - traditionally spans one week but has been expanded to five in the wake of the bushfire emergency.

    The expansion of Road to Regions is part of rugby league's whole of game response to the bushfire crisis.

    As part of the joint approach, the NSW Origin Squad will host a junior rugby league clinic in Bateman's Bay on February 1 to lift the spirits of locals.

    The St George-Illawarra Dragons have spent most of this week in Ulladulla, Milton, Lake Conjola Batemans Bay, Mogo, Narooma, Bermagui, Quaama, Wandella and Cobargo assisting communities.

    The South Sydney Rabbitohs visited Bateman's Bay last week.

    NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said the response from the rugby league community had been overwhelming.

    "It was a simple decision to expand Road to Regions from one week to over a month because so many clubs, players and coaches have called me wanting to make difference in these communities,'' he said.

    "Many of our players are from rural and regional Australia and still have family in these regions. These areas are the home of grassroots rugby league and we'll never shy away from the responsibility we have to these areas.

    "I've said from the start we want to make a practical difference to these communities. Rugby league is part of the social fabric of rural and regional Australia and our players will be on the ground lending a hand and lifting spirits wherever we can."

    NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder said the Road to Regions tours were an opportunity to spend time amongst some of the communities that had battled hard over the past few months.

    "People talk about our rugby league players being heroes, but the real heroes are the ones we're visiting as part of these tours," Mr Boland-Rudder said.

    "Road to Regions is one of our most successful initiatives. It gives communities who seldom get to see the game's biggest stars an opportunity to meet them in the flesh. After what has happened in recent months, this program is more important now than ever.

    "We thank all the clubs for their agreement in expanding the program from the first week of February to throughout February - it shows the commitment of our clubs, players and coaches to making a difference in these communities.

    "For fans wanting to support rugby league's response to the bushfires and drought, we encourage you to dig deep and donate to The Salvation Army's Rural Assistance Appeal at salvationarmy.org.au/nrl. All donations received will go towards helping those rural communities and individuals who've been hit hard by the drought and bushfires at the moment."

    The NRL has already announced it will transfer the 29 February trial match between the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels to Bega in a bid to bring visitors back to the South Coast of NSW.

    NSWRL have relocated the Andrew Johns Cup and the Laurie Daley Cup from Wollongong on the same day.

    Further announcements, as part of the game's whole of game response to the bushfire emergency, will be made in the coming weeks.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/30/nrl-expands-road-to-regions-program/
     
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  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    COMMUNITY


    Dragons bring joy to South Coast on bushfire relief tour
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Thu 30 Jan 2020, 04:22 PM


    The St George Illawarra Dragons' community relief tour of the South Coast concluded on Wednesday; the club spending three days covering off 200 kilometres of the bushfire-ravaged area.

    Select Dragons representatives spent Monday in Moruya before the entire club's playing squad, football and administration staff convened at Batemans Bay's Hanging Rock Sports Complex on Tuesday for an afternoon of activities and a meet and greet.

    [​IMG]

    Batemans Bay family fun day



    7/21
    [​IMG]
    Batemans Bay family fun day

    8/21
    [​IMG]
    Batemans Bay family fun day

    9/21
    [​IMG]
    Batemans Bay family fun day


    While the tragic double fatality in Bodalla later on Tuesday prevented the club from staying in their planned accommodation in Narooma and Bermagui, members of the playing squad and staff still travelled south on Wednesday to fulfil the majority of the scheduled community events.

    Wednesday saw the Dragons take part in a number of community activities that included setting up animal food stations in Milton, feeding giraffes at Mogo Zoo, fixing fences on the Jessop and Salway family farms in Cobargo as well as visiting schools and community centres from Lake Conjola to as far south as Quaama.

    The Dragons' major partner St.George Bank also donated $2000 to Cobargo Public School to help buy new goal posts after their old ones were destroyed amongst the bushfire devastation, while the club funded a community BBQ as part of the Cobargo Co-Op.

    A broken down bus at Narooma impacted a number of Dragons players and staff members on Wednesday afternoon – of which we thank Davis and Herbert Timber and Forestry mill for their assistance – but that was nothing compared to the suffering caused within this segment of the club's catchment.

    Dragons Community have already committed to continually frequent the South Coast 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.

    As announced on Thursday, the Dragons' community relief tour acted as an extension to the NRL's Roads to Regions program that will commence in mid-February.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/30/dragons-bring-joy-to-south-coast-on-bushfire-relief-tour/
     
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  12. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 First Grade

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    The Daily Smelligragh has this article.
    Can anyone open it?

    6E80AC3E-7707-4DB1-BC5F-78EDBC4A5694.jpeg
     
  13. ViceVersa

    ViceVersa Juniors

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    The ‘animal’ who gave Trent Merrin five stitches in training bloodbath

    Michael Carayannis, The Daily Telegraph
    January 30, 2020 3:50pm

    If Trent Merrin needed any reminding that he had returned to the NRL it came last week and resulted in a black eye and five stitches.

    The 30-year-old St George Illawarra forward is still celebrating his comeback to the club he won a premiership at in 2010. His joy, strangely, was exacerbated by the heavy shot he received from his former Panthers teammate Tyrell Fuimaono who has joined him at the Dragons.

    “We’ve been physical at training and he got me a beauty,” said Merrin, who is still sporting the bruise over his right eye lid. “It shows the intensity we’ve been training at. It was a tough session. The boys were ripping in. Tyrell is an animal. He is a hundred miles an hour. I felt him coming.

    “It made me feel great. Coping a whack like that, you’re giving it a crack. It actually felt good to cop one.”

    While Merrin was relishing the contact he has not been shirking his duties on the training paddock. He has dropped about six kilograms – weighing 98kgs.

    “I’ve been ripping into training,” Merrin said. “It’s more a mental thing. Just being mentally free and being home. Being comfortable but in a professional way. It’s a breath of fresh air to be back where we are. It was a tough year last year but just that mental stress being away from it.

    “It’s happiness now.”

    Merrin will play his first game for the Dragons since leaving them for Penrith at the end of 2015. Despite a stint in England last year, Merrin had always wanted to finish his career at the club he made his debut at in 2009.

    Merrin said he has been envisioning what it will be like when he gets to run out for the club again.

    “When I walk out onto the field sometimes I have a look around and it gives me goosebumps and some good memories,” Merrin said. “I want to get this club back to where I know it can be. I want to finish my career on a high. I know I have so much more in the tank

    “I’ve been on a rollercoaster the last few years but I’ve found home. I know I can add so much to the team. It’s refuelled me. When you start your career you always have your individual goals to reach, now being away from it all it’s all about the team and getting this club to some glory again.”

    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/s...h/news-story/a185aa5bc4a23f3fdde213e4c5cce0ad
     
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  14. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 First Grade

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    Very refreshing to hear that Metin feels content being back.
    That should be reflected in his playing quality.
     
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  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    NINES


    Dragons coup: Kelly joins star-studded Nines squad
    Author
    Alicia Newton & Brad Walter
    Timestamp
    Fri 31 Jan 2020, 12:01 PM

    Jillaroos superstar Isabelle Kelly is on the move in 2020 after signing with St George Illawarra for the upcoming NRL Nines in February.

    Kelly, who recently married partner Jake Callister, will join a star-studded Dragons outfit for the two-day tournament in Perth, while her long-term future with Sydney Roosters now appears uncertain after two seasons with the club in the Holden Women's Premiership.

    The addition of Kelly and inaugural St George Illawarra captain Sam Bremner headlines a strong squad named by the 2019 NRLW runners-up, which includes Golden Boot winner Jessica Sergis and fellow NSW stars Kezie Apps, Maddie Studdon and Shakiah Tungai.

    Kelly, Bremner and Illawarra product Kaarla Cowan are the only other members of the 16-player squad who did not feature in St George Illawarra's grand final team.

    Bremner, who is returning after missing the entire women's calendar in 2019 following the birth of her first child, Reef, in August, said she was looking forward to playing alongside Kelly – the 2018 Golden Boot winner as the world's best female player.

    "Isabelle, myself, Kezie and Maddie have played together a fair bit and we are all really good friends so it is going to be great to have her in our team for the Nines," Bremner said. "Nines is her forte so it is going to be exciting to play with her in Perth."

    [​IMG]
    Sam Bremner takes on the Brisbane defence. :copyright:Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos
    The Dragons squad had their first training session for the Nines under coach Daniel Lacey last Saturday and Apps said Kelly had immediately fitted in with her new team.

    "It's a very big positive for our team, she is a beautiful person and a fantastic athlete so I am very happy that she is at the Dragons," Apps said.

    "I feel like the people around her will help to bring the best out in her, hopefully she has fun and it translates into her footy as well.

    "I have been speaking a little bit to her about it before she did sign and Lacey has obviously done a really good job so I feel she will be comfortable with the girls that we do have in our team.

    "There are a lot of girls in our team who she has played with, we have that connection and that friendship so that has probably helped a little bit for her to come across.

    "She had a really good relationship with all the girls at the Roosters too but sometimes a change is good and we'll see how she goes."

    Lacey said the signing of Kelly was a coup for the Dragons and he hoped she would now stick with the Red V for this year's NRLW campaign.

    "Isabelle was on the top of our list to come to the club for the first NRLW season, and I never gave up hope of her becoming a Dragon one day," Lacey said.

    "It speaks volumes for what we're doing as a club for her to want to jump ship and get an insight into how we operate.

    "She's only committed to the Nines for now but hopefully we can sit down at some stage and look at her future with the Dragons."

    With Kelly and Sergis in the centres, Bremner sharing the fullback role with Botille Davis-Welsh, and Shakiah Tungai, Studdon and Keely Davis also in a potent backline, the Dragons will have plenty of strike power at the NRL Nines.

    "We've got quite a good side so it is pretty exciting and it will be fun too," Bremner said. "It is such a great way to start the season so I am excited that this is my first game back. I love the Nines, it is just a bit of fun to start my career off again."

    Cowan is the only member of the squad without NRLW experience but she has previously represented the NSW City team at the National Championships as well as the Prime Minister's XiII team in Papua New Guinea.

    [​IMG]


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/01/31/dragons-coup-kelly-joins-star-studded-nines-squad/
     
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  17. BLM01

    BLM01 Bench

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    They probably got in each others road doing one of our great attacking block plays.
     
  18. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 First Grade

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    Well fudge me............ Mcidiot gave him a lot more time that he was surely due ..... and he still wants to whine.

    Aitken said new assistant coach Shane Flanagan has already made a big difference to their structures, aggression and attitude without the ball and thinks Flanagan's combination with Dean Young are going to be their strength in their defence.

    What a load of codswallop ........... Young has been there for years and done squat.
    The only person who may achieve is Flannagan ..... and that is only if McIdiot doesn't whiteant him.
     
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  19. Gareth67

    Gareth67 First Grade

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    Good to see the boys putting a smile on the kiddies faces and doing what they could for the unfortunate folk in the bushfire zones .

    Well done lads and also to the individual who came up with the original idea .
     
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  20. Dragonsamy

    Dragonsamy Bench

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    It was actually at tackle a bit of a Head and shoulder Clash etc
     
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