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

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    McGregor heaps praise on Dragons' unsung hero McInnes
    Author
    Margie McDonald Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Sat 14 Apr 2018, 12:21 AM

    One of the unsung heroes in the unbeaten St George Illawarra team is hooker Cameron McInnes, and coach Paul McGregor made sure the 24-year-old didn’t miss out on his share of praise after the 20-point defeat of Cronulla at WIN Stadium.

    McInnes scored a slashing solo try in the 33rd minute when he spotted a small gap and sprinted past a couple of flat-footed Sharks defenders before leaving fullback Matt Moylan standing still and scoring in the right-hand corner.

    In doing so he became the 12th player in the Dragons' starting 13 to score a try in opening six rounds of the Telstra Premiership season. The only one who hasn’t registered a four-pointer is prop James Graham.

    McInnes dazzled the 17,882-strong Wollongong crowd with his sharp turn of speed and opportunistic instinct.

    "At training he's quite quick. He does a lot of work but probably doesn’t get to expose himself a lot with the footy,"McGregor said.


    "Cam’s a person that the team needs. If you look at our spine we’ve got two guys in Gareth [Widdop] and Ben [Hunt] that like to play on the ball.

    "You've got a fullback in Matt Dufty who is around the footy and you’ve got an unselfish player like Cam to give them the ball.

    "So the balance is there and no-one is fighting over it. And when he sees an opportunity, like he did tonight, he can finish them off."

    McInnes’ speed is not the only thing bringing a smile to McGregor’s face, as his team sits undefeated after six rounds. The fact his players can dig themselves out of any hole is a major fillip.

    "It’s pleasing that we’re winning back momentum during the game. That’s the most pleasing thing tonight and we had no injuries," the Dragons coach said.

    The same couldn't be said for the Sharks, who lost forwards Paul Gallen (knee), Andrew Fifita (knee), Wade Graham (hamstring) and Luke Lewis (hamstring/knee) on a demoralising night.

    Despite the Sharks' misfortune, McGregor said his side had to find something at stages and they did. "The energy they need to show at important times and composure is there," he said.

    That composure was on show after the Sharks had scored through Valentine Holmes and Ricky Leutele to claw their way back to 28-20 with 22 minutes to play and it was game on. The home side steadied and Jack de Belin stormed over from close range in the 64th minute to stretch the margin back to 14 points.

    "Some individual brilliance got us over the line tonight more than team talent – it was more individual talent," McGregor conceded.

    "The intensity and focus they have at the moment, not to be complacent or settling for anything but excellence, is real good. It’s about ‘we’ not ‘me’ in this team. They know if they put the team first they’ll get rewards individually."

    Dragons skipper Widdop said the most consistent start to a season he’s ever enjoyed – and that includes his years with Melbourne Storm – was built around that selflessness.

    "Just setting standards and at the moment we’re living them," he said. "We ask for best effort every week. Things don’t always go your way but if you’re working for your teammate and giving best effort, you’ll get rewards."

    "This first six weeks it’s about team-first actions and we’re doing them really well at the moment. If we continue to do them then better things will come. We’re still on a learning curve but it’s a very pleasing start."

    The Dragons can’t breathe easy yet. They face the undefeated Warriors in Auckland next Saturday and then a short turnaround – plus travel – back for the annual Anzac Day match against the Sydney Roosters.

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/14/mcgregor-heaps-praise-on-dragons-unsung-hero-mcinnes/
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    INTRUST SUPER PREMIERSHIP

    Dragons Hold on to Overcome Roos
    Author
    Stewart Moses NSWRL.com.au
    Timestamp
    Sat 14 Apr 2018, 05:05 PM

    St George Illawarra are the club that’s breathing fire at the moment – and not just in the NRL after their Intrust Super Premiership side continued to pile on the misery on the Wyong Roos’ 2018 campaign with a 20-16 win at WIN Stadium.

    Having led by 14 points during the first half, the Dragons had to withstand a determined Roos fightback to ensure the win that would see St George Illawarra join the Western Suburbs Magpies at the top of the competition table with today’s result.


    Conversely for Wyong, despite the determination shown to get back into the contest, the loss sees last season’s runners-up continue to languish near the bottom of the ladder with just the two wins after the opening six rounds, in what must be worrying times for coach Rip Taylor, who lost Chris Centrone (concussion) before half-time to rub salt into the wounds.

    The only sour note to come out of the Dragons win for coach Mat Head, would be the early first-half injury suffered by prop Joshua Kerr (knee).

    It was evident early on that the Dragons wanted to utilise their pacey wingers with Zac Lomax denied an opportunity to post first points, when he was bundled into touch by some desperate scrambling Roos defence just short of the try line.

    But the Dragons would not be denied in the 11th minute when prop Mitch Allgood combined with the five-eighth Jack Payne, who threw a long cut-out pass to put centre Reuben Garrick into space from short range to score out wide and give the home side a 4-0 lead.

    A spilled bomb from Centrone enabled the Dragons to double their lead six minutes when Lomax would not be denied a second time around, stepping inside two Wyong defenders to dive over out wide.

    The Dragons soon a third try on the board when Garrick dived over for his second of the afternoon from close range, with Lomax converting the extra two points to put the Dragons up 14-0, after regular kicker Darren Nicholls, had missed with his opening two attempts at goal.

    Wyong finally opened their account seven minutes out from the break with a barnstorming try to back-rower Sitili Tupouniua after Roos halves, Mitch Cornish and Lachlan Lam combined to put the edge forward on a powerful angled run to score to the left of the posts, and with Josh Mantellato’s conversion, the away side trailed 14-6.

    On the stroke of half-time Wyong got themselves well and truly back into the contest when a cross-field kick from Lam was batted back by centre Matt Ikuvalu into the waiting hands of Dean Matterson, who having been on the field for only a matter of minutes, crashed over out wide to reduce the gap to just four at the main break.

    But it was the Dragons who would come out of the sheds the quicker, when hooker Reece Robson opened up the Roos defence around the ruck before offloading to fullback Jai Field, who needed little invitation to streak away and score behind the posts to push the lead back out to 10.

    However the boys from the Central Coast set up a grandstand when they scored with 13 minutes remaining, after a sweeping backline move enabled Ikuvalu to score in the corner and duly converted magnificently from the sideline by Mantellato in swirling conditions, to trail by four once more.

    But despite getting some quality possession inside the Dragons half over the closing minutes of the game, the visitors were unable to score again, allowing the Dragons to take out a closely fought contest 20-16.

    Next up for the Dragons is a trip across the Tasman to take on the Warriors next Saturday, while later in the day, the Roos will host the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Berkeley Vale Oval.

    St George Illawarra Dragons 20 (R Garrick 2, Z Lomax, J Field tries; D Nicholls, Z Lomax goals) def Wyong Roos 16 (S Tupouniua, D Matterson, M Ikuvalu tries; J Mantellato 2 goals)


    https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2018/04/14/dragons-hold-on-to-overcome-roos/
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  4. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    COMMUNITY

    Dragons ambassadors win big at Commonwealth Games
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Sun 15 Apr 2018, 02:28 PM

    St George Illawarra would like to congratulate Dragons ambassadors Emma McKeon and Grace Stewart on their outstanding achievements at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

    McKeon – born and bred in Wollongong – was able to clinch six medals throughout her swimming campaign including four gold medals and two bronze.

    The 23-year-old was a key component of the Australian women's relay team where she captured a gold medal for each of her efforts in the 4x 100-metre freestyle relay, 4x 100-metre medley relay and 4x 200-metre freestyle relay.

    Her other gold medal came in the 100-metre butterfly, while her bronze medals were claimed in the 200-metre butterfly and 200-metre freestyle.

    Stewart claimed a silver medal for her role with the Hockeyroos, who fell short to New Zealand 4-1 in the final.

    The Dragons would like all our supporters and fans to join in and congratulate McKeon and Stewart on their achievements.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/04/15/dragons-ambassadors-win-big-at-commonwealth-games/
     
  5. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons face testing month
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    TOUGH STRETCH: James Graham (pictured) and the Dragons will face the most testing period of the season thus far over the next fortnight. Picture: Georgia Matts

    A 6-0 start to a season would be pleasing for any coach, but Dragons coach Paul McGregor says his side’s unbeaten start through six rounds is even more valuable given what’s set to be one of the tougher stretches of the year starting next week.

    They’ll head across the Tasman to take on the Warriors, who suffered their first loss of the season to Brisbane on Saturday, and then return to take on the Roosters in the traditional Anzac Day clash four days later.

    A one-point loss to the Roosters in the corresponding clash last year, and an injury to Gareth Widdop, brought a similarly hot start to last season undone.

    With a round four trip to Toowoomba to take on the Titans was the club’s only genuine road trip through the first six weeks, so the next fortnight will be a new test according to McGregor.

    “[Friday] was the start of a really tough month. We knew that earlier in the year, before the first five weeks,” McGregor said.

    “We go from [Friday night] to travel on Wednesday into a tough game on Friday, traveling home on Saturday into a game on Wednesday before we get some sort of recovery.

    “You’re talking about a game like [Friday night’s], a derby game, traveling to New Zealand to take on a team that’s been equal first in the competition.Then we’ve got a four-day turnaround, with travel, into the Anzac Day game and everyone knows what they’re about.

    “It is a tough month but we started it really well with a win. The boys will have a coupe of days off to enjoy it and we’ll be back in Monday to really knuckle down to get the job done overseas.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5343385/dragons-face-testing-month/?cs=3713
     
  6. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    JUNIOR REPS

    Illawarra, Dragons to clash in Tarsha Gale Cup semi
    Author
    Jack Brady
    Timestamp
    Mon 16 Apr 2018, 09:53 AM

    St George Dragons and Illawarra Steelers' Tarsha Gale Cup outfits will collide this weekend in a do-or-die semi-final clash at Leichhardt Oval.

    Scheduled to kick-off at midday on Saturday, April 21, the Steelers and Dragons will fight for survival in the second season of the Under-18s women's competition.

    The Dragons were able to beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 54-8 last Saturday afternoon in Leichhardt to set up the clash, which came about following the Steelers' heartbreaking last-minute 33-32 loss to the Wests Tigers.

    It was further bad news for the Steelers' Harold Matthews and SG Ball sides, with both sides eliminated from the finals by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

    Despite being up 28-12 at half-time, the Steelers Harold Matthews side were unable to stop the Bulldogs from scoring 20 unanswered points in the second stanza.

    The SG Ball Steelers never had a say in their own Bulldogs clash. Down by 30 at half-time, the Under-18s male outfit were outclassed 56-12 in the end.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/04/16/illawarra-dragons-to-clash-in-tarsha-gale-cup-semi/
     
  7. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Former State of Origin coach Laurie Daley: NSW Blues hooker should be Cameron McInnes
    LEAGUE
    April 15, 2018 6:33pm EDT April 15, 2018 5:33pm EDT The former coach has spoken
    [​IMG]


    Angus Reid



    Published on Apr. 15, 2018

    Former NSW coach Laurie Daley believes that St George-Illawarra Dragons' number nine Cameron McInnes deserves to be the Blues hooker when State of Origin rolls around.


    Following the New Zealand Warriors' loss to the Broncos last Saturday, the Red V are now the only unbeaten side in 2018 and sit two points above the chasing pack on the NRL ladder.

    Much of the praise has been heaped on the new halves combination at the Dragons, with Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop taking the competition by storm.

    But 24-year-old McInnes has quietly turned into one of the NRL's most damaging No.9s, and his exploits are starting to be noticed.

    New Origin coach Freddy Fittler has a number of selection dilemmas in regards to the makeup of his Blues squad, but the hooker position is one of the most open battles.

    Incumbent Nathan Peats, Souths' Damien Cook, Manly's Api Koroisau and McInnes are the front-runners at this stage, and Daley believes the latter has the appropriate game for representative football.

    “I like Cameron McInnes because I think he’s a long solution, a long-term hooker for New South Wales,” Daley said on the Sunday Footy Show.

    “Service is the number one priority, particularly at Origin level you’ve got to make sure every pass hits the spot.

    "He's got the best service out of those guys.

    Amazingly, the Dragons have scored 194 points in their opening six fixtures.

    That's 52 more points than the next best-attacking side.

    In what may be the best match of 2018 to date, the Red V will take on the Warriors in round seven over in New Zealand.

    The Kiwi club are easily the highest placed team the Dragons have faced so far this season.

    Who should play No. 9 for NSW? #9NRLSFS pic.twitter.com/Vu59r8zR9F

    — Sunday Footy Show (@SundayFootyShow) April 15, 2018
    2018 STATE OF ORIGIN FIXTURES
    Game one - Wednesday, June 6. MCG, Melbourne.

    Game two - Sunday, June 24. ANZ Stadium, Sydney.

    Game three - Wednesday, July 11. Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

    http://www.nospam47.com/au/league/n...-peats-damien-cook/1ckbsjj5o93j0177s98vdfrwlo
     
  8. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    JUDICIARY

    Sims takes early guilty plea
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Mon 16 Apr 2018, 01:42 PM

    St George Illawarra back-rower Tariq Sims has taken the early guilty plea on a grade one dangerous contact charge following the Dragons' 40-20 win over the Sharks on Friday night.

    Sims was charged with elbowing Sharks halfback Chad Townsend in the face with the ball in-hand midway through the first half.

    The Fijian international will line up against the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night but has racked up 90 demerit points as a result of the charge.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/04/16/sims-takes-early-guilty-plea/
     
  9. Old Kogarah Boy 1

    Old Kogarah Boy 1 Bench

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    Laurie should keep quite..... he’s had his time and failed.

    Let Freddie do his thing. Pick Cook.
    I’m greedy, l want our players picked but then again, l don’t.
     
  10. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    MEMBERSHIP

    Members only post-match function (Round 9)
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Mon 16 Apr 2018, 05:50 PM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons will be holding a Red V Members post-match function in Kogarah on Sunday, May 6.

    Red V Members are encouraged to attend, meet and mingle with the Dragons' ambassadors, NRL and ISP players following our Round 9 clash with the Melbourne Storm at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah.

    There will also be opportunities to win lucky door prizes.

    The Red V Member event will be held from 4pm until 6pm at the St George Leagues Club in the Riviera Room.

    To access this event, all you need to do is show your membership card upon arrival – no RSVP needed.

    For other member event information, please click here.


    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/04/16/members-only-post-match-function-round-9/
     
  11. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    DRAGONS

    How Dufty's greatest critic kept him at Dragons
    Author
    Dan Walsh
    Timestamp
    Mon 16 Apr 2018, 08:01 PM

    Matt Dufty's biggest critic is the reason why the game's most in-form fullback is running around for the Dragons, despite ''a lot of interest'' from the Warriors before he had played a game of first grade.

    Ahead of a showdown with Kiwi custodian Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in a bumper Friday night clash, Dufty has spoken for the first time on the Warriors' approach to him when he was still plying his trade in the Red V lower grades.

    Despite carving up with 54 tries in 65 under 20 games, more than any player in the Holden Cup's history, Dufty was unsure where he stood with his junior club when the Warriors came calling.

    Still just 20 and with star fullback Josh Dugan seemingly entrenched in the No.1 jumper, Dufty gave the approach serious consideration.

    Until Ben Hornby, the then-SG Ball coach who demoted Dufty to 18th man duties the first game he coached him, made a call of his own.

    ''I was coming off an injury and was off contract at the Dragons and they hadn't talked to me, so my manager just said we'll go have a talk around," Dufty said.

    Inside the NRL - Episode 6

    ''The Warriors showed a lot of interest because someone was injured over there. I thought it was a realistic thing but then Mary [coach Paul McGregor] and Benny Hornby came up to me and said 'there's no way we're letting you go'. That was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.

    ''I was a bit worried and I didn't know if the Dragons wanted me or not. I was still in 20s … your career's definitely not set in stone then. I didn't know what to think but obviously it all worked out in the end.''

    Dugan joined the Sharks this season and Dufty has made the fullback spot his own, with a contract extension landing before a ball was kicked this year and six tries for the season - second best in the NRL.

    Hornby, who wore the same No.1 with distinction for half his own storied Red V career, ranks as one of Dufty's oldest mentors and is still in his ear now as an assistant to McGregor.

    It's a relationship the 22-year-old is clearly fond of, which famously started with Hornby dropping the youngster back in 2013 when his attitude had got beyond his 17-year-old boots.

    ''Inside the club he's my biggest critic,'' Dufty grins.

    ''He tells me everything I do wrong, he has no problem saying it. That's the type of relationship we have.

    ''But he even said today he's over the moon for me and he's really happy and he just wants to see me keep getting better. That means a lot having someone in my corner like that.

    "Besides my parents he definitely criticises me a lot, from a good place.''





    [​IMG]

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/16...ufty-couldve-joined-the-new-zealand-warriors/
     
  12. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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  13. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Dragons young gun Dufty reveals how he was once almost a Warrior
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    It was a stroke of good fortune two years ago which saved the Dragons from losing a restless heir to their No.1 throne – and now Matt Dufty has revealed how serious the Warriors were about poaching one of the NRL's most exciting young guns.

    On the eve of an unlikely top-of-the-table clash with the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night, the jet-heeled Dufty has told of how unsure he was about his standing at St George Illawarra as an injured and off-contract under 20s star that he mulled a move across the Tasman.

    No Warrior: Matt Dufty came close to a move across the Tasman.

    Photo: NRL Photos
    And instead of potentially coming back to haunt the Dragons in the match of the round at Mt Smart Stadium, Dufty has been a revelation for the unbeaten table-topping Red V, who have surged into premiership favouritism as they chase a seventh straight win to start the season.

    "It was a couple of years ago and I was coming off an injury," Dufty said. "I was off contract at the Dragons and they hadn't talked to me. My manager said we'll talk around and the Warriors showed a lot of interest. I thought it was a realistic thing, but Mary [Paul McGregor] and Benny Hornby came up to me and said, 'there's no way we're letting you go'. It's probably the best thing that has happened.

    "I was a bit worried and I didn't know if the Dragons wanted me or not. I was still in my 20s and your career is definitely not set in stone then. I didn't know what to think, but it obviously all worked out in the end."

    I thought it was a realistic thing, but Mary [McGregor] and Benny Hornby came up to me and said, 'there's no way we're letting you go'

    Matt Dufty
    Josh Dugan's exit to the Sharks has paved the way for Dragons junior Dufty, 22, to trail only Warriors speedster David Fusitu'a as the NRL's leading try scorer after just six rounds. But still he is demanding more improvement from his own game.

    In his own words, Dufty was "buzzing" after arguably his best NRL performance yet in the Dragons' 20-point romp over the Sharks last Friday night. It precedes a difficult fortnight with a trip to New Zealand followed by the bumper Anzac Day clash against the Roosters.


    [​IMG]
    Match report
    Saints march on while Sharks could barely hobble
    Asked whether he expected opposition teams to place more focus on him after an impressive start to the year, Dufty said: "I don't know what other teams do video on during the week, but we've got two of the best halves [Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop] in the comp. I reckon doing video on them would be better than doing it on me.

    "Coming into pre-season [the halves dynamic] was something everyone was a bit unsure about, but they're firing. Our whole spine is firing. Our whole team is firing. To have Benny and Gaz– there managing the team when things go wrong it definitely keeps everyone calm and focused on the job.

    "We haven't put a number on [how many games we can go unbeaten], but we know if everyone comes out and does their role week to week we'll have a good chance of winning. How many years do you go 6-0 to start the year? The boys are pretty humbled about it. We just get to training and go about our business like we do every week.

    "It's not about wins or losses for us – obviously everyone wants to win – but if everyone does their job we know we'll win."

    Tyson Frizell and Nene Macdonald are battling illness to start the week, but both are not considered in any doubt for the Warriors clash. The Dragons have won 13 of their last 14 clashes against New Zealand, who will be hoping to bounce back from their only loss this year against the Broncos last week.


    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/dr...as-once-almost-a-warrior-20180416-p4z9y3.html
     
  14. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    DRAGONS

    Traditional Anzac Day clash set for SCG in 2019
    Author
    Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
    Timestamp
    Tue 17 Apr 2018, 09:28 AM

    The St George Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and the SCG Trust have reached a three-way agreement to play the traditional Anzac Day fixture at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the next three seasons.

    Following the recent announcement regarding the New South Wales Government’s redevelopment of Allianz Stadium at the end of the 2018 NRL season, an agreement to play the Anzac Day fixture at the SCG made perfect sense.

    The Anzac Day traditional fixture will return to Allianz Stadium for the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season upon the completion of a new world-class facility.

    St George Illawarra Dragons Chairman Brian Johnston was pleased the biggest regular season game on the NRL's calendar would remain in the SCG precinct.

    "The traditional Anzac Day match between the Dragons and Roosters has been in place since 2002 and is one of the biggest games on the NRL calendar each season," Johnston said.

    "The Dragons have worked in partnership with the Roosters and SCG Trust to ensure this feature match continues to be played in the SCG sporting precinct over the next three years.

    "We also look forward to the Anzac Day match returning to be played in a new world class stadium from 2022 onwards once Allianz Stadium is redeveloped.

    "Continued proximity to the Sydney CBD and the traditional Anzac Day March was a particular consideration to cater for both acting servicemen and supporters alike."

    Sydney Roosters Chairman Nick Politis AM recognised the history both clubs share with the SCG and was pleased to partner with the Dragons and SCG Trust to ensure the traditional Anzac Day fixture remains within the Moore Park precinct in the coming years.

    "This is the 17th year that the Roosters and Dragons have featured in the traditional Anzac Day fixture," Politis said.

    "While we look forward to the Anzac Day match returning to a new world-class Allianz Stadium from 2022 onwards, it’s wonderful that in the interim, the traditional Anzac Day match will be played at the spiritual home of rugby league.

    "The Sydney Cricket Ground has been home to some of the most iconic moments in the history of not only the Roosters and Dragons, but also the game of rugby league.

    "We are delighted to enter this partnership with the Dragons and SCG Trust to ensure that this traditional Anzac Day fixture remains in the SCG precinct for the next three years."

    SCG Trust Chairman Tony Shepherd AO congratulated the Roosters and Dragons on returning Anzac Day rugby league to the SCG while a new Allianz Stadium is under construction.

    "Easts and the Dragons played their first Anzac Day match at the SCG in 1959 and we are delighted that next season, the two clubs and their many thousands of fans will once again pay tribute to our servicemen and women at the SCG – a place that began its life as a military sporting ground," Shepherd said.

    "In 2002, the Roosters, Dragons and Trust established the Anzac Day Cup – breathing new life into a wonderful sporting tradition. It is now, without question, the largest and most significant match outside of the finals series.

    "Returning to the SCG for three seasons will give the clubs, players and fans the chance to reflect on the enormous history of the game in the SCG precinct – from the Dragons’ 11-straight premierships to those wonderful Easts teams of 1974 and ’75 that convinced a pioneer Nick Politis to become rugby league's first sponsor."

    This year's clash, the final to be played at Allianz Stadium in its current format, is shaping as one of the games of the season to open Round 8 of the Telstra Premiership.

    With plenty of great seats still available, both sets of supporters are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets.

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2018/04/17/traditional-anzac-day-clash-set-for-scg-in-2019/
     
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    SCG to host Anzac Day clash
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    Jake Friend, Jason Nightingale and the Anzac Day Cup. Photo: Fairfax Media

    THE traditional Dragons-Roosters Anzac Day clash with have a new home, with the match traditionally held at Allianz Stadium shifted next door to the SCG.

    The agreement with the SCG Trust to play the next three clashes at the iconic ground as the state government goes ahead with plans to knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium at the end of the season.

    The match will return to the refurbished Allianz Stadium in 2022. Dragons Chairman Brian Johnston was pleased the biggest regular season game on the NRL's calendar would remain in the Moore Park precinct.

    “The Dragons have worked in partnership with the Roosters and SCG Trust to ensure this feature match continues to be played in the SCG sporting precinct,” Johnston said.

    “Continued proximity to the Sydney CBD and the traditional Anzac Day March was a particular consideration. We also look forward to the Anzac Day match returning to be played in a new world class stadium from 2022.”


    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5346744/scg-to-host-anzac-clash/?cs=3713
     
  16. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Tough month ahead for St George Illawarra Dragons
    • Dragon's Den
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      Wary: St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor is wary of the Dragons' difficult few weeks with the Warriors up next. Picture: John Veage

    • Dragons coach Paul McGregor is wary of his side’s difficult month ahead which features matches against top quality opposition and a tricky travel schedule.

      Top of the table after six rounds, St George Illawarra face the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on Friday night on the back of a derby victory over Cronulla.

      The Dragons were to fly out for New Zealand on Wednesday and will return to Sydney on Saturday, essentially giving them three days to recover and prepare for their Anzac Day clash with the Sydney Roosters.

      “Tonight was probably the start of a really tough month. We knew that early in the year before the first five weeks,” McGregor said.

      “[Play against the Sharks], travel on Wednesday, into a game on Friday, into travel on Saturday home, into a game on Wednesday before we get some sort of recovery which is a 12-day recovery before we play the Storm.

      “So a game like [against Cronulla], a derby game. Travel to New Zealand against a team that [were] equal first in the competition. And then a four day [turn around] plus your travel into the Anzac Day [game] and we all know what that’s about. Then we have a nice spell before we play the Storm at home.

      “It is a tough month but the start of it went really well against Cronulla with a win. And the boys will have a couple of days off to enjoy that, then we’ll come back and knuckle down.”

      The Warriors have also enjoyed an impressive start, sitting in equal second coming off their only loss of the campaign so far against Brisbane.

    • https://www.theleader.com.au/story/5343957/red-vs-tough-month-ahead/?cs=3833
     
  17. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Wayne Bennett’s Broncos successor unclear after Paul Green commits to Cowboys
    Broncos
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Finding the successor to Wayne Bennett as coach of the Broncos shapes as one of the club’s toughest challenges in the next 18 months. Photo: Glenn HuntSource: AAP
    IT shapes as the most critical decision facing Broncos hierarchy.

    How do you replace the greatest coach the game has ever known?

    When Wayne Bennett left to join first St George Illawarra and then Newcastle in 2009 the Broncos first turned to Ivan Henjak and then 12 months later Anthony Griffin.

    Griffin blooded many of the young players that now form the nucleus of the Broncos squad in 2018 and in his first year in charge took Brisbane all the way to the preliminary final.



    Bennett’s return in 2015 resulted in the club’s first grand final appearance since their 2006 premiership and with a year to run on his current deal, the question as to who comes next has arisen again.

    Reports that a third party had inquired as to Paul Green’s potential interest in succeeding Bennett clouded his future at the Cowboys but now that he has inked a new three-year deal Brisbane’s ‘Plan B’ must now be explored.


    According to former Broncos prop Ben Hannant, the solution is staring them in the face.

    Hannant was at the Cowboys when Jason Demetriou was recruited to Green’s coaching staff in 2015 and given his success since and current post with the Broncos, Hannant is in no doubt that he should be given a chance to prove himself at the NRL level.

    “Jason Demetriou is the man,” Hannant emphatically told foxsports.com.au.

    “Jason Demetriou will get an NRL gig and when he does he will kill it.

    “His track record speaks for itself and after taking over the attack from ‘Kevvie’ (Kevin Walters) I could notice a change even against Newcastle with how the forwards were using the ball and playing to their strengths.

    “I have nothing but massive raps on Jason Demetriou as not only a man manager but as a tactician as well.

    “Blokes want to play for him and tactically he knows rugby league so well.

    “I wish I could have been coached by him in first grade.

    “Whoever gets him, they’ll win comps. He’s the real deal.”

    Like batting after Bradman or following ‘The King’ at karaoke, coaching the Broncos in the post-Bennett era is viewed by some as an unwinnable assignment.


    The biggest brand in the NRL demands a head coach with a high profile and the gravitas to match, an argument that falls on deaf ears when put to Hannant.

    “You need whoever the best man for the job is,” said Hannant, who spent three seasons under Bennett in his 245-game career.

    “Would you have been happy at the Roosters when they got Trent Robinson from Super League? First year, won a comp. What more can you ask for?

    “The game changes and evolves.

    “There’s a reason why Wayne has been involved in this game for more than 30 years. He’s an outstanding man manager and he gets good people around him.

    “He gets smart people around him who are experts in their field and that’s what the Broncos need.”

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nr...s/news-story/90d25bc522d5e392aec176ce8c67446f
     
  18. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    [​IMG]
    DRAGONS

    "It was the best thing for me": Why Widdop left the Storm
    Author
    Brad Walter Senior Reporter
    Timestamp
    Tue 17 Apr 2018, 08:04 PM

    As he prepares for his 100th game in the famous Red V of St George Illawarra against the Warriors on Friday night, Gareth Widdop has admitted he wouldn’t be the same player if he hadn’t decided to leave Melbourne.

    Widdop, who joined the Dragons in 2015 and has been captain for the past three seasons, was third in last year’s Dally M medal, arguably the player of the World Cup and has been one of the stars of the Telstra Premiership’s opening six rounds.

    Yet few players thrive outside of the Storm environment and it was a big decision for Widdop to move away from a team in which he was the fourth member of an all-star spine with Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.

    “At that stage of my career it was a big move,” Widdop said. “Melbourne are obviously a great team. To leave that behind and to move was difficult but at the same time I knew, for my football career, it was the best thing for me.

    “I suppose I moved here to take the next step in a leadership role and become more of a dominant ball player and if I’d stayed in Melbourne I probably would’ve sat back a bit.”

    Widdop: We've still got improvement in us

    While the Storm won last year’s premiership and were runners-up in 2016, the Dragons are now this season’s favourites after being the only remaining unbeaten team following the Warriors loss to Brisbane last weekend.

    They are also six points clear of fifth place and on track for a finals berth that wouldn’t have alluded them last season if Manly’s salary cap breaches had been unearthed sooner.

    Widdop said it was the form the Dragons displayed last season and the recruitment of halfback Ben Hunt from Brisbane that convinced him to extend his contract with the club until the end of the 2021 season.

    “We showed last year what we could do at times and I knew I wanted to be a part of this team and lead it moving forward,” he said.

    “Being made captain of such a proud club with a big history has been an honour and a privilege and it is great I get to run out with a great group of blokes each week and we have got a team now which is playing with a lot of confidence.”

    Since Widdop’s arrival in 2015, there are only four other survivors – Jason Nightingale, Tyson Frizell, Jack de Belin and Leeson Ah Mau - of the team which was coached by Steve Price before Paul McGregor took over midway through the season.

    “There’s been a hell of a lot of change in coaches and players since I move here, it is practically a new team,” he said.

    “The recruitment side of things have done a good job to get to where the side is now, with the players they’ve brought in.

    “I’ve had six or seven partners in the past so, in adding Ben there in the halves, it was good knowing I’d have stability for the next four or five years.

    “We have got a lot of depth in the squad, we have got a lot of youth coming through and we have got a lot of experience so we have got a good balance at the moment.”

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/04/17...same-player-if-hed-stayed-at-melbourne-storm/
     
  19. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Widdop leaves premiership predictions to the punters
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    BIG MILESTONE: Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop will play his 100th game for the club against the Warriors on Friday. Picture: Adam McLean.

    Gareth Widdop didn’t listen to the bookies when they tipped his side to miss the finals, and he’s not about to start now they’ve made the Dragons premiership favourites.

    Paul McGregor’s men were largely friendless in premiership betting prior to season kickoff, but have firmed into title favouritism on the back of a red-hot 6-0 start to the year.

    Widdop has led the charge – sitting second in Dally M voting and leading the competition with 78 points – but the Dragons skipper said he’s happy to leave title predictions to the punters.

    “They jump on it quick when you’re winning don’t they,” Widdop said.

    “We all play this game to win premierships, there’s not doubt about that, but it’s about the process first. We’re certainly happy with the way we’ve started the season but there’s still areas we need to work on and improve.

    “[Favouritism’s] a little bit different but we’re not worried about what people say externally. Everyone’s voicing their opinion and that’s fair enough but we’ve always said we can only control what we do internally.”

    The Dragons will meet the third-placed Warriors in Auckland on Friday in what will be Widdop’s 100th game for the club since shifting from Melbourne at the end of 2013.

    Recent history is littered with players who’ve left the Storm only to see their form plummet of a cliff, but Widdop believes it’s been the making of him.

    “It’s gone quick when you say it’s a hundred games already,” he said.

    “It feels like yesterday that I got here. At that stage of my career it was a big move, I had a few kids and a fair bit of support down in Melbourne.

    “Melbourne are obviously a great team as well. To leave that behind and to move was difficult but at the same time I knew, for my football career, it was the best thing for me.

    “I moved here to take the next step in a leadership role and become more of a dominant player and. If I’d stayed in Melbourne I probably would’ve sat back a bit.

    “I’ve certainly enjoyed my time here so far and being made captain of such a proud club with a big history has been an honour and a privilege.”

    It hasn’t all been smooth sailing since making the move, with just one finals appearance in his four seasons amid large-scale changes in coaching and playing personnel.

    However, having inked a four-year contract extension in 2017, Widdop said things have rarely looked as rosy as they do in his fifth season with the club.

    “It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster but, with that, you learn to adapt to change and you learn to deal with things that don’t go your way,” Widdop said.

    “There’s been a hell of a lot of change in coaches and players since I came here in 2014 but the recruitment side of things have done a good job with the players they’ve brought in. .

    “It’s been mentioned a lot I’ve had six or seven partners in the past so, in adding Ben [Hunt] there in the halves, it was good knowing I’d have stability for the next four or five years.

    “We showed last year what we could do at times and I knew I wanted to be a part of this team and lead it moving forward.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au...talk-a-matter-for-the-punters-widdop/?cs=3713
     
  20. getsmarty

    getsmarty Coach

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    Ah Mau packing big interchange punch
    Dragons Den News
    [​IMG]
    BENCH WEAPON: Leeson Ah Mau crashes over for a try in the Dragons' win over Newcastle at WIN Stadium in round four. Picture: AAP

    HE’S played a number of roles in his seven seasons with the Dragons, but Leeson Ah Mau says the role of bench super-sub suits him just fine.

    The 28-year-old powerhouse is clocking less than 40 minutes a game, but is averaging a career-high 118 metres per game, packing a serious punch from the interchange bench.

    It’s been enough for the off-contract Samoan International attract interest on the open market, with reports Newcastle are particularly keen to lure him north.

    We’re all about team first at this club so I’m just trying to come on and lift the boys in the middle.

    Leeson Ah Mau
    In a Dragons pack stacked with talent, Ah Mau said he’s willing to do anything asked of him by coach Paul McGregor.

    “Whatever the team needs, that’s my role,” Ah Mau said.

    “We’re all about team first at this club so I’m just trying to come on and lift the boys in the middle. With everyone playing well, we’re just trying to do our own jobs and make sure the whole team is working hard for each other.

    “The boys worked hard through preseason so it’s good to get these wins. We knew the players we’ve recruited were going to come in an add a lot to the team that we’ve got and we’re really excited about the start we’ve had.”

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5346754/ah-mau-packing-big-punch/?cs=3713
     

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