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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    McInnes can raise NRL bar for St George Illawarra Dragons
    • Dragons Den
      [​IMG]
      Challenge: Coach Paul McGregor with Cameron McInnes during training at WIN Stadium last year. Picture: Adam McLean

    • As we edge towards the crossover of codes in the Illawarra, coaches of the Dragons and Hawks are reaching for the reset button.

      Paul McGregor obviously needs an impressive start to the Dragons' NRL campaign, to turn some of those critical brickbats into bouquets and save his career.

      Matt Flinn has had his own headaches at the Hawks, including the prolonged rehabilitation process and early exit by the No.1 NBA draft prospect LaMelo Ball, the focus firmly on maintaining the player's image.

      As they drift towards the wooden spoon, there's also ongoing uncertainty about what the Hawks ownership structure will look like next season, with Simon Stratford increasingly unlikely to maintain control next season.

      While the positive discussions at NBL headquarters and within the walls at the Snakepit suggest the Hawks will likely soldier on as the league's great survivors, there will inevitably come a point where the question is asked whether Flinn will remain in charge.

      The Hawks finish up their remarkably loveless season on Valentines Day.


      Ball may have offered Australian basketball some welcome exposure and impressive web traffic statictics.

      The NBL offered Ball the necessary highlight reel platform needed to show talent scouts he's worthy of being selected early in the NBA draft.

      But after single-handedly dragging the Hawks out of the mire a couple of times, his early exit, with the express approval of the NBL, even without telling his teammates, shows a lack of tact and professionalism.

      It's also a cautionary tale for the Hawks about how they use the Next Stars program as part of their recruiting in future.

      If Flinn has felt the pressure, he'd have been wise to have the ear of McGregor, who knows all too well how uncomfortable sitting in the hot seat can be.

      The Hawks were 5-19 before Friday night's game in Cairns, the Dragons limped to 8-16 to finish second last.

      The Dragons new campaign begins on March 15, and while it might seem obvious, the best decision they made was to appoint Cameron McInnes as captain.

      READ MORE: Dragons snare big name for NRL Nines tilt

      The rape allegations trial of Jack de Belin and co-accused Callan Sinclair start next week. De Belin's on-field absence due to the NRL's controversial 'no fault' stand down policy cast a long shadow over the Dragons last year.

      "I don't think it needs to be addressed, it's all out there, it's well documented what the process is going to be," McInnes said when appoin.

      "Jack's welfare is our concern and we'll deal with that but, when you walk through these gates, it's about doing what's important out on that field.

      "That's our job and that's what I expect from myself that, no matter what's happening, I get the job done out here. I expect that from everybody.

      "At the end of the day this is the job we do and we've got clock in, do it, and go home."

      McInnes can offer a level of certainty as they seek a fresh start this year, the kind of consistency fans of the Dragons - and the Hawks - are craving.

      Dragons players only need to watch the replay of his amazing charge down against Souths, or the remarkable one-on-one try-saver against Cronulla to see where the bar is set.

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...are-to-hit-reset-button-after-seasons-of-woe/
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    Frizell hopes to ink new Dragons deal before season kick-off
    Author
    Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Sat 1 Feb 2020, 07:33 AM
    [​IMG]
    Kangaroos forward Tyson Frizell hopes to finalise his future with St George Illawarra before the start of the season.

    Frizell, who is in the final year of his contract with the Dragons, said he wanted to continue playing for his junior club and confirmed negotiations were underway for a new deal.

    "I have been in negotiations and hopefully I can have that sorted out sometime soon," Frizell said. "I am able to talk to other clubs at the moment but hopefully it is here.

    "I'd like to do it before the season starts but these things do take time as well so I understand that from the club's point of view. The sooner I can get it out of the way the better it is for myself and for the club as well."

    The 28-year-old second-rower said he was fully fit after a horror run with injuries in 2019, which began when Frizell suffered a ruptured testicle during the opening-round match in Townsville, and he has put his hand up to play in the NRL Nines at Perth's Optus Stadium.

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


    Five key match-ups of the Dragons' 2020 draw

    The Dragons have been training hard under the direction of new strength and conditioning coach Adrian Jimenez, and players welcomed the opportunity to get away from WIN Stadium for two days on the club's South Coast bushfire relief tour.

    With former NSW Origin forward Trent Merrin returning and Issac Luke, Brayden Williame and Tyrell Fuimaono joining the club, the Dragons have greater depth but are still on the lookout for an experienced winger.

    "It is good to have Mez back, we all know that he loves the club and he is a big part of the club," Frizell said of Merrin.

    "He is looking forward to putting the jersey on again, and getting back to playing the footy he knows he can play.

    "Issac, Bradyen and Tyrell are quality players so it is good to have those guys in the squad. They will all be pushing for a spot in the top 17.

    "There's still a couple of weeks of pre-season left but we are doing everything right at this point in time and training really hard. There has been a bit of change with the way training has been going and we are all looking forward to some games

    "I want to play at the Nines, it's something different and it will be enjoyable to go to Perth. That is our first game of the year so I am looking forward to that."

    Frizell said the visit to the South Coast had been an "eye-opener" for the players and they had hoped to provide a distraction from the constant threat of bushfires for people in the region, as well as provide an economic stimulus.

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


    Illawarra codes unite for bushfire relief golf day

    "The whole way down the coast it was just black and you can't understand how tough it would have been for the people trying to defend their houses," Frizell said.

    "I don't know how they did it, the amount of courage it would have taken to stay back and look after their houses. Obviously the fire fighters had to go through that too and it is pretty amazing to see some of the houses that are still standing with black trees around them.

    "I guess in Sydney you get the smell of bushfires but you are not at risk so it's not until you drive through that road [the Princes Highway] on the way down and see the devastation that you realise what some people have gone through.

    "I think it would be very traumatic for any family to go through it and you don't know when it is going to happen so we a we are trying to be that distraction that they need and take their minds off the tough times they have gone through."


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/02/01/frizell-hopes-to-ink-new-dragons-deal-before-season-kick-off/
     
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  3. Dragonsamy

    Dragonsamy Bench

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    Good on you Tyson .
    Just do it
     
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  4. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    @getsmarty there was an article posted by Buzz on the top 100 players last night and how the salary cap isn't working. Makes for an interesting read. Any chance you might be able to link it? I can read it on my phone but can't open it on the PC to copy the content across.
     
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  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Ranking every club's goal-kicking stocks
    Author
    Chris Kennedy NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Sun 2 Feb 2020, 02:01 PM
    [​IMG]
    Goal-kicking is a crucial part of any NRL club's finals ambitions and with plenty of off-season player movement affecting who will kick for each team, NRL.com Stats has run the rule over how each club is placed heading into 2020.

    You only have to ask Cronulla – who lost four games in five weeks last season despite scoring more tries than their opponents – how crucial a missed kick can be. The Sharks would have finished top four if they kicked a few more goals last season.

    The Roosters, Wests Tigers, Panthers, Cowboys, Titans and Dragons are among the clubs whose goal-kicking stocks will be significantly impacted by roster changes.

    NRL.com Stats has ranked all 16 clubs based on a variety of factors such as career percentage of the main kickers, their 2019 records, depth and experience.

    This is why, for example, the Rabbitohs are above Penrith; Nathan Cleary is the best kicker in the competition but has no recognised back-up, whereas Souths have three front-line kickers in their starting 13.

    If it seems odd the Raiders and point-scoring sensation skipper Jarrod Croker a are below Manly and Parramatta, consider Croker's 2019 average was well down on his career average and no-one else in the team's best 17 has ever kicked a goal.

    [​IMG]
    1. South Sydney Rabbitohs
    • Adam Reynolds: 644/784, 82.1%
    • Latrell Mitchell: 209/281, 74.4%
    • Ethan Lowe: 69/90, 76.7%
    Picking up Roosters' front-line kicker Mitchell is a huge coup for the Bunnies. Mitchell isn't as proficient as Reynolds, who is among the best in the NRL, but as a back-up kicker it's a massive luxury. As is having incumbent Maroons kicker Lowe – who shapes as a starting big-minute player this year – as third choice. Three top-line kickers in the starting 13 gives Souths both quality and depth and is enough for us to rate them the strongest of the 16 clubs.

    2. Penrith Panthers
    • Nathan Cleary: 243/285, 85.3%
    • Jarome Luai: 8/11, 72.7%
    Cleary is arguably the best kicker in the competition (88% success rate in 2019) so even losing Maloney – who was fourth-best among regular kickers with almost 86% – won't hurt unless Cleary misses significant game time. Luai shapes as the understudy but questions over what happens if or when Cleary misses a game means we have ranked the Panthers just under the Rabbitohs.

    3. Manly Sea Eagles
    • Reuben Garrick: 65/85, 76.5%
    • Daly Cherry-Evans: 123/171, 71.9%
    When Cherry-Evans was injured last year he eventually returned to find the team had a new front-line kicker in Garrick. It means when fully fit the side will have two genuine options off the tee. DCE kicked at just over 80% last season while Garrick was still one of the better kickers in the NRL at over 76%.

    4. Parramatta Eels
    • Mitch Moses: 246/325, 75.7%
    • Clint Gutherson: 60/85, 70.6%
    • Blake Ferguson: 22/32, 68.7%
    One of just two clubs (the Raiders were the other) at which one player took every goal attempt in 2019. Mitch Moses slotted them at 78%, making the Eels sixth-best last season. His past four years he has averaged around 80%, well up on his early-career efforts. Gutherson is a solid back-up if needed, having slotted them at over 75% in 2017 when he was the full-time kicker, while Ferguson has also kicked.

    5. Canberra Raiders
    • Jarrod Croker: 744/929, 80.1%
    • Sam Williams: 25/30, 83.3%
    Last season the Raiders had a back-up kicker with a career percentage over 80%. This year with Aidan Sezer gone, there is no player in Canberra's best 17 who has ever kicked a goal other than captain Croker. Williams has never kicked other than a short stint in 2018 and will not be in the starting side unless one of the other halves is injured. Croker took every kick for the Green Machine in 2019 but had a down year by his standards, landing just under 74% – the fourth-worst overall percentage of the 16 clubs, which is why the Raiders are ranked below the Sea Eagles and Eels.

    6. Brisbane Broncos
    • Jamayne Isaako: 150/184, 81.5%
    • Kotoni Staggs: 14/21, 66.7%
    • Anthony Milford: 36/53, 67.9%
    Isaako is a reliable kicker but depth is an issue for any games he misses. Staggs will improve while Milford hasn't kicked since 2017. The returning Jordan Kahu is a solid kicker but unlikely to command a regular place in the starting side.

    7. Newcastle Knights
    • Kalyn Ponga: 75/97, 77.3%
    • Mason Lino: 49/60, 81.7%
    • Mitch Barnett: 3/5, 60%
    With Ponga improving to nearly 83% in 2019 and Lino kicking at just over 84%, the Knights were the second-best side off the tee last year. Lino is no guarantee of a spot but if Ponga maintains his 2019 form the Knights will be well-served again.

    8. Canterbury Bulldogs
    • Nick Meaney: 33/43, 76.7%
    • Kerrod Holland: 76/97, 78.3%
    • Joe Stimson: 3/5, 60%
    Meaney is a decent kicker but will face challenges for his wing spot, while Holland is even less of a guarantee to be in the starting team week to week. Stimson should be in the 17 when available but has barely kicked at NRL level. As long as one of Meaney or Holland are in the 13 the Dogs are well-served.

    9. Melbourne Storm
    • Cameron Smith: 1209/1616, 74.8%
    • Paul Momirovski: 21/28. 75%
    • Cameron Munster: 16/29, 55.2%
    • Ryan Papenhuyzen: 2/3, 66.7%
    It's rare the Storm need anyone other than Smith to kick, which is probably a good thing with no established back-ups on the roster. However likely loan signing Paul Momirovski is a genuine back-up if he makes the starting side. Smith has kicked at around 80% the past three seasons, well up on his career average.

    10. St George Illawarra Dragons
    • Zac Lomax: 26/32, 81.2%
    • Tim Lafai: 25/39, 64.1%
    • Corey Norman: 14/24, 58.3%
    • Issac Luke: 204/283, 72.1%
    Gareth Widdop was the only regular kicker to record a higher percentage than Panthers ace Nathan Cleary last year and leaves a big gap to fill. Lomax was the second-choice last year and will be called upon to step up. Luke kicked a lofty 85% at the Warriors last year but may struggle for game time.

    11. Cronulla Sharks
    • Shaun Johnson: 371/495. 74.9%
    • Chad Townsend: 119/181, 65.7%
    • Matt Moylan: 29/47, 61.7%
    Cronulla's 2019 goal-kicking woes are well-documented but with Johnson as a frontline option and Townsend in support it really shouldn't be that big of a problem. Overall the Sharks were second-worst for accuracy in 2019.

    12. Gold Coast Titans
    • Tyrone Roberts: 244/328, 74.4%
    • Ash Taylor: 94/137, 68.6%
    • Tyrone Peachey: 6/7, 85.7%
    The Titans were one of the better teams last year for goal-kicking, largely thanks to the now-retired Michael Gordon. Roberts should be the main kicker in 2020, Taylor is a serviceable back-up while Peachey has shown promise in limited chances.

    13. New Zealand Warriors
    • Chanel Harris-Tavita: 24/30, 80%
    • Patrick Herbert: 15/21, 71.4%
    The Warriors were one of five sides to kick at over 80% last year but their two best – Adam Keighran (90%) and Issac Luke (85%) – won't be kicking in 2020. Luke has left the club while Keighran has dropped well down the halves pecking order. Even then, Harris-Tavita is no certainty to start if Kodi Nikorima and Blake Green are the first choice halves. The Warriors could well climb this list if CHT nails a starting berth.

    14. Sydney Roosters
    • Kyle Flanagan: 19/31, 61.3%
    • Siosiua Taukeiaho: 38/54, 70.4%
    Flanagan was a point-scoring prodigy at junior level and is far better than his current record of 61% indicates. He will replace Latrell Mitchell as the main kicker while Taukeiaho is more than handy as a back-up. The Tricolours could shoot up this list once Flanagan finds his range.

    15. North Queensland Cowboys
    • Valentine Holmes: 51/69, 73.9%
    • Esan Marsters: 96/135, 71.1%
    • Jake Clifford: 18/26, 69.2%
    • Kyle Feldt: 21/33, 63.6%
    The Cowboys were third-worst off the tee last year at around 72%. Marsters and Holmes boost their stocks in place of Jordan Kahu, with averages suggesting Holmes should be the first-choice kicker despite a year out of the game. Marsters kicked at less than 66% last year as the Tigers struggled for goals.

    16. Wests Tigers
    • Moses Mbye: 111/159, 69.8%
    • Adam Doueihi: 10/16, 62.5%
    • Benji Marshall: 402/565, 71.2%
    The Tigers had the worst goal-kicking record of any club in 2019 and things aren't exactly looking up, with both first-choice kickers – Esan Marsters and Paul Momirovski – departing. Mbye kicked above his career record with 10 from 13 (77%) in limited chances last year and should be the one to step up. Marshall has kicked plenty in his career but has not taken a shot in seven years, meaning Doueihi is more likely to be the back-up.


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2020/02/02/ranking-every-clubs-goal-kicking-stocks/
     
  7. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    Monday Buzz: Proof the NRL's salary cap isn't working.

    The NRL salary cap is not working.

    This list of arguably the top 100 players in the competition shows a significant gap between the top and bottom sides.

    It demonstrates the premiership heavyweights have up to four times more elite stars than many of their struggling rivals and that the talent pool is lopsided, even with all teams spending $9.5 million.

    The NRL will reasonably argue there have been seven different premiers in the past 10 years, that success goes in cycles, and that no sporting competition will ever have completely level rosters.

    However, the New Zealand Warriors, the Gold Coast Titans and the Canterbury Bulldogs are clearly off the pace, with a combined eight players in the top 100. It is hard to believe they spend the same amount as the glamour clubs.

    The Penrith Panthers and the Newcastle Knights have only four top players each.

    Warriors recruitment chief Peter O’Sullivan has been in the NRL for 25 years and knows the business better than most. He has offered huge money to Matt Lodge, David Fifita and other big names in recent times with no results.

    “They haven’t needed to move to get the bigger dollars,” O’Sullivan said.

    “We have to develop them. We have to buy undervalued players and local kids and turn them into top 100 players.

    “We are confident we are heading in the right direction.”

    At the other end of the scale, premiers the Sydney Roosters still have the most elite players along with the Melbourne Storm, despite the retirement of Cooper Cronk and the departure of Latrell Mitchell.

    The Canberra Raiders and the South Sydney Rabbitohs are the next strongest in the top 100.

    It highlights the importance of having a coach who can attract players, or a smart one like Ricky Stuart who made a raid on Great Britain’s best talent to build his magnificent Raiders roster.

    There are three coaching standouts in recruitment — Trent Robinson, Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett. Players will accept less to join their clubs because of their track records.

    You then look at the Wests Tigers and coach Michael Maguire who, until signing the unwanted Joey Leilua last week, couldn’t attract a decent player.

    Mitchell rejected Maguire’s $4 million offer over four years to accept an extraordinary $3.3 million less — a $700,000 one-season deal at the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

    Boom forward Ryan Matterson broke his contract and walked out on the Tigers because he didn’t want to play under the 2014 premiership-winning coach. So too did powerful centre Esan Marsters.

    Titans forward Jai Arrow took $200,000 a season less than he could have earned at the Wests Tigers to join the Rabbitohs. It’s said Maguire’s punishing approach at training is a turn-off for potential recruits.

    Penrith’s Ivan Cleary is another who has struggled to attract top talent. He left the Wests Tigers in a terrible mess by paying way over the top for the likes of Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer and Ben Matulino.

    He has also released top 100 players Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Waqa Blake and Reagan Campbell-Gillard from the Panthers.

    Back-to-back premiers the Roosters are often accused of rorting the salary cap. Yet they rarely get into bidding wars to keep players.

    Mitchell was offered $800,000 a year for two seasons but knocked it back. They withdrew the offer.

    They let Roger Tuivasa-Sheck go in 2016 because they refused to match the Warriors offer. The same with James Maloney, who was released in 2015.

    It is a fact that elite players will accept less to play under Robinson, who has won three premierships in seven years.

    Even youngsters like boom 17-year-old halfback Sam Walker will take less to play at Moore Park, for the opportunity to learn from the three-time premiership coach. He could have got $200,000 more at Belmore.

    At the Roosters you are also almost guaranteed to play finals football and it increases your chances of playing State of Origin or Test football and getting the bonuses that go with it.

    At the same time, the weaker clubs often have to pay overs to sign the bigger names — and that weakens the rest of the roster.

    The Knights have a ‘‘big three’’ — Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga and Dave Klemmer — but have struggled to build a competitive roster around them because the funds have not been available.

    That might change this year with the appointment of the highly regarded coach Adam O’Brien, although he will have basically the same roster that Nathan Brown failed with.

    At least he’s come out of the Storm and Roosters systems — they are the best in the business.

    NRL’S TOP 100 PLAYERS


    Brisbane Broncos (7): David Fifita, Payne Haas, Matt Lodge, Anthony Milford, Corey Oates, Tevita Pangai, Kotoni Staggs


    Canberra Raiders (9): John Bateman, Nick Cotric, Jarrod Croker, Josh Hodgson, Josh Papalii, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Elliott Whithead, Jack Wighton, Joseph Tapine


    Canterbury Bulldogs (3): Will Hopoate, Josh Jackson, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak


    Cronulla Sharks (6): Wade Graham, Andrew Fifita, Matt Moylan, Shaun Johnson, Bronson Xerri, Chad Townsend


    Gold Coast Titans (3): Jai Arrow, Jarrod Wallace, Alexander Brimson


    Manly Sea Eagles (7): Daly Cherry-Evans, Addin Fonua-Blake, Curtis Sironen, Marty Taupau, Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic, Dylan Walker


    Melbourne Storm (11): Josh Addo-Carr, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich, Dale Finucane, Felise Kaufusi, Ryan Papenhuyzen,


    Cameron Munster, Brandon Smith, Cameron Smith, Suliasi Vunivalu


    Newcastle Knights (4): Dave Klemmer, Mitchell Pearce, Kalyn Ponga, Daniel Saifiti


    North Queensland Cowboys (5): Valentine Holmes, Kyle Feldt, Josh McGuire, Michael Morgan, Jason Taumalolo


    Parramatta Eels (9): Waqa Blake, Dylan Brown, Nathan Brown, Blake Ferguson, Clint Gutherson, Mitchell Moses, Maika Sivo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Ryan Matterson


    Penrith Panthers (4): Nathan Cleary, James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau, James Tamou


    St George-Illawarra Dragons (6): Tyson Frizell, James Graham, Ben Hunt, Tariq Sims, Paul Vaughan, Cameron McInnes


    South Sydney Rabbitohs (8): Tom Burgess, Damien Cook, Dane Gagai, Latrell Mitchell, Cameron Murray, Adam Reynolds, James Roberts, Cody Walker


    Sydney Roosters (11): Boyd Cordner, Angus Crichton, Jake Friend, Luke Keary, Joseph Manu, Brett Morris, Victor Radley, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves


    New Zealand Warriors (2): Blake Green, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck


    Wests Tigers (5): Luke Brooks, Benji Marshall, Moses Mbye, Joey Leilua, Adam Doueihi
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    thanks for posting True_Believer...
     
  9. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    NRL star Jack de Belin rape trial to begin
    National
    [​IMG]
    NRL player Jack de Belin has pleaded not guilty to allegations he sexually assaulted a woman.
    St George Illawarra NRL star Jack de Belin is scheduled to face court in Wollongong for the start of his rape trial.

    De Belin has pleaded not guilty, along with co-accused Callan Sinclair, over allegations he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman at a Wollongong unit in December 2018.

    His trial before Judge Andrew Haesler is expected to last a fortnight.

    De Belin was stood down by the NRL after he was charged more than 12 months ago.

    His case was a major driver in NRL CEO Todd Greenberg and then ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie introducing the game's "no-fault" stand-down policy.

    De Belin became the first player to be sidelined under the hardline rule which allows the game to stand aside players facing serious criminal charges.

    At the time, he had earned a reputation as one of the game's premier back-rowers, having made his NSW State of Origin debut in 2018 and was being touted as a future Australian representative.

    In May 2019, his Federal Court challenge against the NRL and ARL Commission was dismissed by Justice Melissa Perry.

    De Belin, 28, has been allowed to train with his teammates while he awaits trial.

    If found not guilty, he will likely be allowed to return to the field in time for the Dragons' NRL pre-season trial against Newcastle in Maitland on February 22.


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/6610064/nrl-star-jack-de-belin-rape-trial-to-begin/
     
  10. BLM01

    BLM01 Bench

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    Geez a similar article comes out every year about the unevenness of the salary cap put out by the same paper that top 100 is debatable but if it's fact it's another blight on our coach we have nearly 1/2 our side in the top hundred and we still languish down the bottom
     
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  11. kit66

    kit66 Juniors

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    If you list those in order of most ( in top 100 ) to least you've pretty much got the ladder as it stood at Round 25 2019. It will likely be the case again this year.
    Also shows that with our cattle we should be doing much better.
     
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  12. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    Agreed. A couple of things stand out in the article.

    1. As @BLM01 points out, the list is purely opinion based, however if you were to run with this list, as you say, we should be doing better.
    2. O'Sullivan indicating that he is finding it difficult to recruit over there indicates to me recruitment is not the deciding factor
    3. Even Buzz says "It highlights the importance of having a coach who can attract players, or a smart one like Ricky Stuart who made a raid on Great Britain’s best talent to build his magnificent Raiders roster."
     
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  13. denis preston

    denis preston Bench

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    Heat on Dragons coach Paul McGregor with hard road ahead
    After the Dragons’ 15th-place finish in 2019, many believe Paul McGregor was lucky to survive the club’s end-of-season review. There can be no room for any excuses this year.

    Paul Crawley, The Daily Telegraph
    Subscriber only
    |
    February 3, 2020 9:40am

    Paul McGregor has done his best to stay out of the spotlight this summer.

    But as of this week the embattled St George Illawarra coach is well and truly back in the thick of it.

    Jack de Belin is due to face court today for the start of a two-week trial after pleading not guilty to aggravated sexual assault charges.

    Meanwhile, McGregor is under more pressure than any other coach heading into the season. He must steer the club through a busy pre-season and not let the elephant in the room distract his players.

    After the Dragons’ 15th-place finish in 2019, many believe McGregor was lucky to survive last year’s end-of-season review. That decision was made because there were a lot of things out of McGregor’s control that led to the team’s poor performances.

    But there can be no room for any excuses this year.


    Dragons coach Paul McGregor is feeling the pressure. Picture: AAP
    Make no mistake, McGregor had plenty of legitimate excuses last year. Losing de Belin to the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy cost the Dragons one of the game’s best middle forwards. You just can’t fix that on a short turnaround.

    On top of that McGregor also had to contend with the long-term injury to skipper Gareth Widdop, while there were a stack of other key injuries throughout the season.

    But Dragons fans could argue Des Hasler also had plenty of legitimate excuses at Manly, yet still found a way to get the best out of his squad.

    At South Sydney, Wayne Bennett lost Greg Inglis after the opening rounds and basically had Sam Burgess playing busted for the entire season. Yet the Rabbitohs still made it to one game short of the grand final.


    This year Widdop is gone for good, and that is only going to increase the pressure on Ben Hunt and Corey Norman.

    McGregor has stuck up for Hunt in the past but this year it just has to work, or it will be the coach who cops it.

    The Dragons also simply have to make it work in the forwards, regardless of de Belin’s fate. While Trent Merrin is a handy pick-up, there remains serious concerns about their middle-forward depth.

    James Graham has been one of the great warriors but he copped a few more worrying head knocks while playing for Great Britain at the end of last year. His wellbeing is crucially important.


    There are also some serious questions hanging over several positions in the outside backs. McGregor has stated that Zac Lomax would get first crack at fullback ahead of Matt Dufty, while they really lack a top-notch winger and Euan Aitken’s place was also under review at the end of last year.

    While McGregor doesn’t have overall authority of the roster — that belongs to recruitment chief Ian Millward — ultimately it is a head coach’s job to get what he wants and make it work. This will be McGregor’s seventh season in charge after taking over from Steve Price in 2014.

    He has to make a statement in 2020 and it has to start with a bang.

    Looking at the Dragons’ draw, McGregor will be under the pump almost immediately.

    They kick off against Wests Tigers followed by Penrith and then comes Canberra, Parramatta, the Warriors, South Sydney, Sydney Roosters and Melbourne. That’s five of last year’s top-eight teams including both grand finalists.

    In recent seasons McGregor has been able to get his team firing best in the early rounds.

    It was the reason he won himself a two-year contract extension last year.

    But this year it will be imperative that he does it again, or else that contract could be up for an early review.


    Crawley , was one of the bastards who kept giving him these excuses ! Different story now ( and as we expected ) that his brother has been given the flick !
     
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  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    thanks for posting...the tide is turning...About time...
     
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  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    COMMUNITY


    Illawarra Codes Combined golf day raises $75k
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 4 Feb 2020, 04:28 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons, Illawarra Hawks and Wollongong Wolves have announced that the Illawarra Codes Combined golf day raised $75,000.

    Players and coaches from all three Illawarra codes convened at Wollongong Golf Club on Monday in name of raising funds for those affected by the recent bushfires across the country.

    The $75,000 was distributed evenly and presented to representatives of the Australian Wildlife Rescue (WIRES), the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Appeal and the NSW Rural Fire Service, at Wollongong Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon.

    The Dragons, Wolves and Hawks thank all 21 paying teams for their contribution and participation at the Illawarra Codes Combined golf day. They were: TDK, MMJ, Integrity Pumps Sales, WIN Corporation, Finlay SMSFund, PeopleCare, RAMS Home Loans, Illawarra Hawks, Boab Services, St.George Bank, CBC Facilities Maintenance, QMC, St George Leagues Club, TomKat Roofing, Fenner Dunlop, Astute Financial, Wests Illawarra, Port Kembla Golf Club, CDN, Coal Coast Stone and the University of Wollongong.

    The Dragons, Wolves and Hawks also wish to thank all 19 hole sponsors for their contribution on the day: Venues NSW, i98FM, Bankstown RSL, Supercharge Batteries, TomKat Roofing, 1st Choice Asbestos Removal, St George Leagues Club, QMC Group, Swysh, CBC Facilitates Maintenance, Bankstown RSL, Commonwealth Private, Paul's Customs and Forwarding Solutions, Boab Services, Floormania, KPMG, Integrity Pumps Sales, Astute Financial and WIN Corporation.


    [​IMG]
    Illawarra Codes Combined bushfire appeal golf day

    2/15
    Dragons coach Paul McGregor, Wollongong Wolves Coach Luke Wilkshire and Illawarra Hawks coach Matt Flinn handover $25,000 respectively to members of the RFS, Wires and Salvation Army.
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    Illawarra Codes Combined bushfire appeal golf day

    3/15
    It was beautiful weather to get outside for a good cause.
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    Illawarra Codes Combined bushfire appeal golf day

    4/15
    Korbin Sims out on the course.
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    Illawarra Codes Combined bushfire appeal golf day

    We also thank the following sponsors for offering their services to the Illawarra Codes Combined golf day: Lion Nathan, Schweppes, Cool Ridge, Gatorade and Pepsi, CMG Audio Visual, Southern Style Events and Best Signs.

    Finally, the Dragons, Wolves and Hawks wish to thank Wollongong Golf Club for their efforts and execution of the Illawarra Codes Combined initiative.

    The three codes collectively donated a framed piece of all three of the team's playing strips to the golf club for their contribution on the day, which was promptly offered up for auction by the club's general manager Leigh Hingston.

    Mark and the team at TDK won out with a $10,000 winning bid, before shockingly donating it back to the Wollongong Golf Club. We thank TDK and everyone associated for their remarkable charity on the day.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/02/04/illawarra-codes-combined-golf-day-raises-$75k/
     
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    DRAGONS


    Illawarra Codes Combined bushfire appeal golf day
    Tue 4 Feb 2020, 04:59 PM
    The Dragons joined forces with the Illawarra Hawks and Wollongong Wolves to host a charity golf day, eventually raising $75,000 for the local bushfire appeal. Here are some of the best photos from the wonderful event at Wollongong Golf Club!

    [​IMG]
    Paul McGregor and a representative from the Rural Fire Service.


    Dragons coach Paul McGregor, Wollongong Wolves Coach Luke Wilkshire and Illawarra Hawks coach Matt Flinn handover $25,000 respectively to members of the RFS, Wires and Salvation Army.
    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/02/04/charity-bushfire-appeal-golf-day/
     
  18. jeffdragon

    jeffdragon Juniors

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    It's the other players who need to pull their fingers out.
     
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  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


    Kelly to consider longer deal with Dragons after Nines
    Author
    Brad Walter NRL.com Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Wed 5 Feb 2020, 09:57 AM
    [​IMG]
    Jillaroos star Isabelle Kelly plans to use her stint with St George Illawarra at this month's NRL Nines to determine whether she wants to join the club on a permanent basis.

    Kelly, who was the 2018 Golden Boot winner as the world's best female player, has switched from Sydney Roosters in a stunning coup for the Dragons.

    While Kelly has only signed with St George Illawarra for the tournament in Perth on February 14 and 15, Dragons coach Daniel Lacey hopes to secure the services of the star centre on a longer term deal for this year's NRLW competition.

    "I just wanted to try something new and I think the Nines is the perfect format to trial a club and see how I feel there," Kelly said.

    "I think there are a few girls who are trying a new club for the Nines. If you love it, you stay there and so far I am really enjoying my time at the Dragons. I don't want to think too far ahead but at the moment it is going pretty well."

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


    The top NRLW tries from the 2019 season

    Kelly insists she had been happy at the Roosters and enjoyed her time at the club during the first two seasons of the Holden NRL Women's Premiership.

    However, Lacey had been trying to convince her to pull on a Red V jersey since the NRWL concept was first mooted and long-time NSW teammates Kezie Apps, Sam Bremner and Maddie Studdon helped sell the virtues of the Dragons to the recently married 23-year-old.

    "I love the Roosters and I have no problem with the club or the players or any of the coaching staff," Kelly said. "It was more an opportunity to get outside my comfort zone and trying to find my love for footy again.

    "The club, the coaches and the players at the Dragons have been very welcoming. It is a bit handy that I have played with a few of the girls before so it is not as daunting as starting into a new team.

    "Kezie is a good mate so she sent me a few messages but no one pressured me or anything like that. It was completely my decision and she just let me know what the club was like."

    Kelly is also looking forward to playing alongside Dragons superstar centre Jess Sergis, who won every available honour in 2019 after an outstanding season with St George Illawarra, NSW and Australia, including the Dally M and Golden Boot awards.

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


    The best hits from the 2019 NRLW season

    The Dragons will have strike across the field at the Nines, with Bremner making her comeback after taking 12 months off for the birth of son Reef, alongside the likes of Kelly, Apps, Studdon, Botille Vette-Welsh, Shakiah Tungai and Brittany Breayley.

    "I think the Nines is going to be a lot of fun getting out there and playing together again," Kelly said. "I only get to play with them in the representative jersey, they are an awesome bunch and they all love footy so it's a mix of serious and fun at the same time.

    "Having Sam back is awesome, she has trained so hard and it is good to see that she is showing girls you can have a baby and come back to play."


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/02/05/kelly-to-consider-longer-deal-with-dragons-after-nines/
     
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    DRAGONS


    Gallery: Dragons South Coast bushfire relief trip
    Wed 5 Feb 2020, 03:05 PM
    Over 70 Dragons players and staff traveled to the South Coast with the aim of putting some smiles on faces and injecting some money back into the bushfire affected communities. Take a look at our movements on day 2 of our trip from behind the camera lens.

    [​IMG]
    12 Dragons players and staff traveled to the Salway family farm in Cobargo.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/02/05/gallery-dragons-south-coast-bushfire-relief-trip/
     

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