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Rugby League Saints - 2017 - UPDATE

Discussion in 'St George-Illawarra Dragons' started by S J, Aug 30, 2016.

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  1. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    News for 2017 here please.

    Thanks to all sources for news - Illa Merc; nrl.com; many other news sites; and comment from members and fans.
     
  2. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    DRAGONS coach Paul McGregor believes powerhouse prop Russell Packer only scratched the surface of his potential in making a strong return the NRL in 2016 despite his season being cut short by shoulder surgery.
    Packer, who was jailed for assault in 2013, spent a year with the Illawarra Cutters after reforming his life last season and was rewarded with an NRL return this year. He was on track to play every game for the Dragons this season but, with his side out of finals contention, medical staff advised he undergo a shoulder operation in readiness for the upcoming preseason.
    “I think it’s been an outstanding season from Russ,” McGregor said.
    “Having not played [NRL] footy for three years and playing every game until we were knocked out finals contention for finals footy, with injuries, has shown he’s very tough and resilient in that way. Some of the footy he’s shown this year has been outstanding and he’s been exactly what we wanted for his first year at the club.”
     
  3. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Illa Merc:

    THE Dragons will be looking for a new halfback and hooker next season but coach Paul McGregor believes replacing departing forwards Ben Creagh and Mike Cooper will be just as important.
    Hard-nosed English International Cooper has been one of the club’s most consistent performers since arriving in late 2013 but will leave at season’t end with a year to run on his contract for personal reasons.
    Creagh last week announced his retirement after 270 NRL games leaving McGregor with just as big a void to fill up front with the club’s forward depth tested this season by injury and suspension at various stages.
    The Dragons have added Tariq Sims whose mid-season arrival to make an early start on a three-year-deal has been a bonus while giant prop Mose Masoe is still to debut for his new club after tearing his ACL late in the preseason. McGregor believes both players will go a long to filling the hole left by Creagh and Cooper.
    “Mike Cooper’s been outstanding for the club over the years he’s been here,” MCGregor said.
    “He came here to prove himself as an NRL player and is leaving as an International. We’ll have to replace him up front, getting Tariq [Sims] this year helped that to some degree.
    “We also haven’t had the services of Ben this year since round three against Souths. He’s been a huge loss because of his leadership values on the footy field, before the game and post-game.
    “Obviously Mose Masoe hasn’t played any footy this year so he’ll be an addition going forward as was Tariq halfway through this year.”
     
  4. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Also - with Rein and Marshall off we need a hooker and half.

    Not minor positions in an NRL team ... :)

    Not to mention some speed in the backline and a touch of flair.
     
  5. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    at least 2/3rds of players and staff along with management need to go unless they can find a coach who has a remote chance of making a silk purse out of pigs ear.
    The mcmerge has been on the decline since 2010 and you have to wonder how much further rock bottom is?.
     
  6. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Additions: (not including re-sign of juniors)

    Hooker - looks like it will be McInnes.

    Wing - Nene MacDonald

    -------------

    Gone:

    Half - Marshall

    Hooker - Rein

    Creagh / Farrell / Lafai / Cooper / Ikahihifo / Matautia / Quinlan

    (Should allow $1.5m at least).
     
  7. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    DRAGONS coach Paul McGregor has left the door open for Drew Hutchison to play NRL again next year, after being dropped for Benji Marshall’s farewell game at Kogarah.

    [​IMG]

    Wait and see: Dragons and Cutters playmaker Drew Hutchison.

    NSW representative forward Tyson Frizell is in serious doubt for Saturday’s final round game, after struggling with a leg problem in the loss to Parramatta, while Tariq Sims’s season is over after he aggravated an ankle injury.
    McGregor said Hutchison is aware of what needs to do during the off-season to gain a starting spot in the NRL again.

    “It was good for Drewy to get a game,” he said.

    “He knows how hard it is and what’s got to do, he’s got plenty of time to do that before next season.”

    Hutchison has instead been named at halfback for the Illawarra Cutters’qualifying final game against Wests on Saturday. Adam Quinlan, Kalifa Fai Fai Loa and Josh McCrone are among the NRL talent in the NSW Premiership team. The Cutters finished second on the ladder.
     
  8. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    Hutcho scored a try but it was hard to see if he could be any good in the halves as Parra's defence moved forward right into the Dragons faces so they couldn't do much with the ball from any set plays.
    When the defence gets up in your face ( something the Dragons should do often but do rarely) it limits your options and that's when you need a quick thinker in the halves who can change a play at the drop of a hat.
    The Dragons have been so structured sports journos could probably publish their game plane for sunday on a Wednesday.
     
  9. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    My Team of the Era selection:

    The St George Dragons had 42 players take part in the 11 Grand Finals during the historic Never Before, Never Again era which spanned from 1956 to 1966.

    During the function, the greatest 17 players from those 11 successful seasons will officially be announced and recognised as the TEAM OF THE ERA, as selected by an expert seven-man panel.

    The Expert Panel will consist of Geoff Armstrong, Peter Black, Ian Heads, Gary Lester, Roy Masters, Arthur Summons and Larry Writer.

    Red V Members and supporters alike have the opportunity to vote on their FANS TEAM OF THE ERA and nominate their starting 13 players as well as four interchange players.

    Submit your team now for the chance to win an Outdoor Corporate Box for eight people at the 2017 Charity Shield fixture !

    The FANS TEAM OF THE ERA will be announced on the Club’s Official Website prior to the Never Before, Never Again function on Thursday, September 8.

    Your team is;
    Fullback Graeme Langlands
    Wing Johnny King
    Centre Reg Gasnier
    Centre Ken Maddison
    Wing Eddie Lumsden
    Five Eighth Brian Clay
    Halfback Billy Smith
    Prop Harry Bath
    Hooker Ken Kearney
    Prop Kevin Ryan
    Second Row Elton Rasmussen
    Second Row Norm Provan
    Lock Johnny Raper
    Interchange Robin Gourley
    Interchange Dick Huddart
    Interchange Monty Porter
    Interchange
    George Evans
     
  10. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Never Before, Never Again tells the remarkable and timeless story of how the men of St George accomplished a sporting miracle from 1956 to 1966, and what became of them in the years that followed.

    This is a book of two parts. Larry Writer takes us through the 11 premiership-winning years, recalling some of the greatest matches and most poignant moments in league history. Then, having interviewed the major players and officials, reporters, fans and family members, he profiles each of the greats: men such as Norm Provan, Johnny Raper, Billy Smith, Ken Kearney, Ian Walsh, Reg Gasnier and Harry Bath. Their stories are funny and raw, and occasionally heartbreaking.

    Revised and updated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 11th premiership, this special edition features new forewords by two modern-day Saints heroes, Craig Young and Mark Gasnier, and ends with an emotional postscript built on an exclusive interview Writer conducted with Johnny King and Eddie Lumsden, the champion wingers from the glory days. The spirit of ’56–66 lives on, and must never be forgotten.

    Title: Never Before, Never Again
    Sub-title: The Story of St George’s 11 Straight Rugby League Premierships, 1956–66
    Author: Larry Writer
    Format & Dimensions: Paperback, 232 x 153mm
    Page extent: 528 pages
    Photos: Colour & black-and-white, in two eight-page sections and throughout the book
    End Matter: Includes a statistics section, bibliography and index
    Paper stock: 90gsm woodfree
    Binding: Perfect bound

    -------------------------

    I actually have the leather bound edition.
     
  11. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    SELFLESS: Retiring Dragons stalwart Ben Creagh has knocked back a "token" final appearance saying he doesn't want to let the team down. Picture: Adam McLean

    HE’S spent his entire career putting the club before himself and departing Dragons great Ben Creagh remained selfless to the end saying he won’t make a “token” farewell appearance at UOW Jubillee Oval on Saturday
     
  12. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    If his knee was up to it he should at least be in the run on side to take the kick off then retire to the bench.
    The loss of one interchange player would hardly make much difference to the Dragons and his presence might actually inspire some to have a good game.
    You don't get to many one club players these days.
     
  13. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    The trouble with the Dragons 11 premierships and picking a team is always who do you leave out and why?
    All the players come from different times during the long march of the Saints.
    You could argue for hours on whether the Killer or Ian walsh should be in the side or Billy Wilson.
    I always liked Elton and happy he is in the side. He was Queenslander like a few Saints players speaking of which John Wittenberg was another good Qld player.
    He unfortunately was a victim of not being allowed to play and had to sit out the 67 year where a combination of Kevin Ryan and rule changes probably resulted in Wittenberg not playing in a Premiership win and the saints making it 12 in a row. A front rower like him would have made all the difference to the Saints in 67
     
  14. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    This was my pick - I went through the options - it was hard - and picked the above. Not sure what the final team will be.

    Agree on Wittenberg.
     
  15. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    I like your team selection especially Eltons inclusion. The actual side could be one long argument by those that were around in those glory days.
    The real challenge would be making up a side from late 60's to mid 80's. We had some fine players during those years but they didn't gel like the previous sides.
     
  16. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Rumour Mill: Luciano Leilua to announce he'll be sticking with the Red V. Jackson Hastings & Cam McInnes are also set to join the club for 2017.
     
  17. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    According to the fox commentators last night Lucky was still heading to the Dodgies.
    If Hastings comes back it cold solve a few issues in the halves.
     
  18. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    THEY’VE had little to smile about this season but the Dragons could finally afford a few laughs as they enjoyed the time-honoured rugby league ritual Mad Monday, yesterday.

    The fourth time in five years, the club won’t see finals action but finished on a winning note with a 28-26 victory over Newcastle on Saturday. It was a final game-day farewell for departing club-captain Ben Creagh who enjoyed a final bonding session with his teammates on Monday.

    “It is fair to say the entire playing group would have much rather been on the training field today preparing for the finals but unfortunately that is not the case,” Creagh said. “We have a great group of blokes at the club, we have certainly shared many highs and lows and today is probably the last time that we will all be together as a group so we will enjoy each other’s company.”

    While they players enjoyed a day of dress-ups and end-of-season shenanigans, the rest of the week may look pretty bleak for the club as they look back over the 2016 season. Creagh has experienced all the highs and lows with the club in his 12-year career amid the scrutiny that goes with playing for one of the game’s most famous clubs and is confident the club has brighter days ahead.

    “It definitely hasn’t gone to script this year, it’s been a tough year for the boys,” Creagh said.

    “It’s unfortunate things haven’t come together for the boys. I’m sure there’ll be a fair bit of honesty in the off-season with a lot of players and hopefully with that comes, not so much change but improvement at the club.

    “If you brush over things that went wrong this year and act like they didn’t happen the club will be in the same position next year but I think at the end of the season when the dust settles a lot of people will get their opportunity to speak and there’ll be a lot of improvement next year.”

    “In saying that I think the future’s bright. We’ve got players coming through from the 20s who’ve had a great season. A guy like Luciano Leilua’s been great coming in. He’s a huge talent and he hasn’t even had a preseason yet so give guys like that a preseason and a bit of confidence and we’ll have a really strong side next year.”
     
  19. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    LOOKING THE PART: Will Matthews, Tyson Frizell, Jake Marketo and Ben Creagh in character for Mad Monday.
     
  20. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the Dragons played well enough to have a "mad Monday" and should have spent the day sorting out the clubs internal issues behind closed doors followed by some Fairy bead and a swim
     
    ALX22 likes this.
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