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McCullough

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by brissiedragon, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    [​IMG]

    DRAGONS


    Old mates help make McCullough's Dragons move seamless
    Author
    Chris Kennedy NRL.com Reporter
    Timestamp
    Fri 19 Feb 2021, 02:01 PM
    [​IMG]
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    New Dragons hooker Andrew McCullough only met some of his new teammates 24 hours before taking the field with them in Thursday night's trial, but that won't be the case when he runs out with one of his oldest mates in round one.

    McCullough's transition into the Dragons playmaking line-up will be boosted by his long history with halfback Ben Hunt. They played together at the Broncos for nine seasons from 2009 having first paired up on the field as 11-year-olds.

    He also spent four years alongside Corey Norman at Brisbane, the club where current Dragons mentor Anthony Griffin was head coach from 2011 to 2014.

    While getting the feel for how the rest of the Dragons pack likes to play will take some time, when it comes to building combinations with his halves, he has a big head start.

    McCullough comfortably got through 20 minutes in his new side's trial against the Eels on Thursday night in his first footy since rupturing a hamstring for the Knights last July.


    "The ball stuff and combinations won't take as long because I've played with Benny and Normy a fair bit," he said.

    "The Benny one will be easy for me and Normy as well. Forwards-wise they'll take a bit of time and gelling but certainly with regards to having Benny and Normy there it will come a lot easier than it would with other clubs.

    "It helps having Hook as the coach as well. Benny's an easy one. We've been together since we were 11.

    "That will click into gear a lot quicker than the forwards but if we don't hang onto the ball and complete well we'll be on the back foot.

    "[It's about learning] what people want, different expectations than what I want. It's a long year. For me personally it's about getting my defence right early then the same again next week.

    "I just met some of the guys 24 hours ago. [The trial] certainly was just that contact, having a little blow and having that first game, obviously it's been a little while for me.

    "It was good to get back out that and have that run and be better for it."

    Despite it being an injury comeback, McCullough said he was totally unfazed about his hamstring given the injury was originally from being caught up in a tackle rather than straining it while running.

    "I was pretty relaxed, there wasn't any drama with it," he said.

    "The way I got caught, it wasn't like I was sprinting, it was just one of those freak things that I got caught. I was pretty happy, I just got into it.

    "It's been good, I've been back full training for a while now. Obviously not here at the Dragons but at the Broncos I was doing everything possible, the staff there did a really good job to get me back in good shape."

    [​IMG]
    Feagai brothers coast to coast effort gives us the opener


    Feagai brothers coast to coast effort gives us the opener

    McCullough expected to lift his minutes significantly in next Saturday's Charity Shield trial against the Rabbitohs in Mudgee.

    "Probably a lot more. I'm not too sure. Maybe the hour mark. We'll see how it goes, I got through 20 or 25 [against the Eels]," he said.

    "The intensity will pick up again next week with full squads. I was pretty happy to get that one done."

    https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2021/02/19/old-mates-help-make-mcculloughs-dragons-move-seamless/
     
  2. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    McCullough leans on Hunt to gel at Dragons
    Scott BaileyAAP
    February 19, 2021 3:28PM
    Topics
    Rugby League
    Andrew McCullough expects Ben Hunt's presence to expedite his bid to settle in fast at St George Illawarra after joining the club just three weeks before the season starts.

    McCullough got through his return match unscathed on Thursday night, playing 20 minutes in the Dragons' pre-season NRL trial loss to Parramatta.

    That came just two days after he touched down in Sydney to link with the club after being released by Brisbane earlier this week.

    But working in his favour is the fact he joins a spine full of ex-Broncos under former Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin.

    McCullough and Hunt played 168 games together at the Broncos, including the ride to the 2015 grand final.

    Corey Norman also played alongside the pair between 2010 and 2013, making life easier again for the 31-year-old McCullough.

    "The ball stuff and combinations won't take as long because I've played with Benny and Normy a fair bit," McCullough said.

    "The Benny one will be easy for me and Normy as well.

    "We've been together since we were 11. That will click into gear a lot quicker than the forwards.

    "It helps having Hook (Griffin) as the coach as well."

    Hunt has been helping McCullough feel at home off the field as much as he has on it.

    McCullough's wife will remain in Brisbane for another three months completing a floristry course, with the player living in an apartment in Wollongong in the meantime.

    But with a three-year deal on the table and the chance to take his career into a 16th year, McCullough said there was never a second thought about moving down.

    "There will be tough times," McCullough said.

    "But I've got Hook, I've got Benny and Normy. I haven't gone to somewhere I don't know anyone.

    "It could be a lot worse."


    https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/r...-leans-on-hunt-to-gel-at-dragons-ng-s-2050215
     
  3. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    George Sancti and possm like this.
  4. Jersey No 14

    Jersey No 14 Juniors

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    Injury Free - Will free up Hunt to do his thing
     
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  5. Forbes Creek Dragons

    Forbes Creek Dragons Bench

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    What is Hunts thing? Drift sideways and turn it inside followed by gentle bomb to the fullback?
     
    redVinme and R&WTILLIDIE like this.
  6. R&WTILLIDIE

    R&WTILLIDIE Bench

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    That was a bomb? I thought it was a changeover and he was giving the fullback the ball so they could start their set
     
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  7. Forbes Creek Dragons

    Forbes Creek Dragons Bench

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    He’s rubbish, at least when Clune come on he had a bit of go about him and looked like he was trying to make things happen.
     
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  8. R&WTILLIDIE

    R&WTILLIDIE Bench

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    Hunt is rubbish...Clune isn’t much better...wouldn’t crack first grade in any other team.
     
    Wacky, Mjab and Blood Shot Eyes like this.
  9. blacksafake

    blacksafake Guest

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    I wouldn’t be relying on Clune, His defence is pretty ordinary. I think last night showed us that he’s probably the backup dummy half which may suit him.
     
  10. Forbes Creek Dragons

    Forbes Creek Dragons Bench

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    That’s good because we can only hold out Sullivan for so long.
     
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  11. DragonInTheInnerWest

    DragonInTheInnerWest Juniors

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    People are wrong about Clune. He’s not a flash player but is a very good, smart footballer. As a half, he works very well with a flair player. Doesn’t lack for intent in his defensive work. He will be beaten on strength as much as any player his size is beaten on strength. Physics is physics. They are all beaten regularly enough.

    That’s not to say his defence is suddenly up to the rigours around the rucks. He’s a tough cookie but it would be a bridge too far to expect him to handle a hooker’s defensive load. He may be a better hooker than McCullough but that doesn’t make him a good hooker necessarily.

    McCullough is the real worry in all of this. Was this bloke ever a good player with ball in hand? What does Griffin hope he is suddenly capable of at the age of 30? He’s tough and he’ll make his tackles. He is also a decent kicking option. But in all other area he’s a massive comedown from McInnes. When he tries to get involved in attacks, he just kills the play.

    Watching him up against Cook yesterday ... fair dinkum. Tortoise and the hare in every department. This could rank as our worst signing since Simon Woodford. It’s certainly looking sillier than signing Isaac Luke last season.
     
    R&WTILLIDIE, hewi, be55 and 1 other person like this.
  12. be55

    be55 Juniors

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    Spot on mate...

    When the talk started that we were in the market to try and pick him up i went back and watched a few of his games for Newcastle last year...

    His service is average at best...he gets through his defence like you said...but what struck me was his sluggishness around the ruck...He genuinely has no zip what so ever...There were times when he couldn't even keep up with the defensive line off the kick off he is that slow...

    And that was before he ripped his hamstring off the bone...

    Reading some of the comments on this forum about "game management" and "pass selection" had me thinking that our supporters had no real idea as to what we were buying...

    As i posted when we signed him, signing McCullough to a three year deal is one of the most ridiculous recruitment decisions we have ever made as a club...

    Mate...i noticed you mentioned Alvaro in another thread...he's another absolute slug...he looks like he should be at Menangle trots with his running style...no leg speed at all and struggles to cover the ground...just the kind of player that is going to be left behind with the way the speed of the game is changing...like you said an absolute plodder...

    Some truly bizarre recruitment decisions, to say the least, by our new coach...
     
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  13. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer First Grade

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    Interesting that some are already into McCollough, so here are some stats for his game v Bunnies.

    Played 61 mins
    6 runs for 40 metres
    17 pcm
    TB = 1
    100% tackle efficiency
    41 tackles made
    2 kicks for 106 metres
    0 errors
     
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  14. Super Owl

    Super Owl Juniors

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    #bam
     
  15. getsmarty

    getsmarty Referee

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    Yep...I thought he looked alright for his 1st hit out with us...I guess some people will make him into our new whipping boy alongside Hunt.
     
    Gareth67, Inisai Toga and jak like this.
  16. st.phil

    st.phil Bench

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    I can't get my head around 3 years for Macca - he is the complete opposite of new school hooker
     
  17. Forbes Creek Dragons

    Forbes Creek Dragons Bench

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    His kicking game is quite good, he will get better if our forwards start rolling.
     
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  18. Forster Dragon

    Forster Dragon Juniors

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    He has got some very average forwards around him.
     
  19. mightydragon

    mightydragon Juniors

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    Good stats considering he was playing amongst a forward pack that wouldn't have busted a grape on the weekend, The same is for Hunt. Unless your forwards make ground and win the ruck, he is up against it. Norman did nothing as usual. We have one aggressive player in Tariq. No one else strikes fear into any opposition.
     
  20. FlameThrower

    FlameThrower Bench

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    Bump.
    WOW what a difference he has made to them team. I was very sceptical of his signing- then Cam injured and out for the rest of the season.
    Since then we’ve almost completely forgotten Cam tackling himself into the ground.
    I think Hook & Co made the right decision and poor Cam has not been spotted or spoken off since start of the season now....
     
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