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Rugby League Saints - 2018 - UPDATE

Discussion in 'St George-Illawarra Dragons' started by S J, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    https://pickle.nine.com.au/2018/01/10/05/28/nrl-wins-and-losses-volatility-throughout-the-nrl-era

    one of the news websites had a story about "consistency" or "inconsistency of Nrl clubs. The Dragons rated 15th for "low Volatility"?.
    One thing that can be said about the Dragons is apart from the aberration in 2010 they have been pretty consistent in finishing their season just out of or just in the 8.
    Hopefully this season they will have improved defence, offloading and discipline to finish higher up the ladder
     
  2. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Is that good or bad ?
     
  3. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Mary: the right choice ?

    After winning only four the last 12 matches in 2017, many questioned the wisdom of extending Dragons coach Paul McGregor’s contract for another two years.

    McGregor was far too timid last year in testing his up-and-coming players, focused primarily on defence, and left an uninspired attack to flounder.

    The off-season recruitment focused upon experience, with Ben Hunt and James Graham the stars, as well as forwards Jeremy Latimore and Mitch Allgood coming in.

    Accordingly, it seems unlikely given the emphasis on experience in recruitment that Lattimore and Allgood will not be preferred to promising Dragons forwards Luciano Leilua (who was entirely ignored at NRL level last year), Hame Sele and Jacob Host (who both saw considerable game time). If this is the case, then the Dragons will be missing the opportunity to blood good young players who might make a difference in tight games.

    One area where Paul McGregor will be forced to make a choice is fullback after the departure of Josh Dugan to Cronulla.

    Some pundits are suggesting McGregor may be tempted to follow Wayne Bennett’s lead from the World Cup and trial Gareth Widdop at fullback, leaving Matt Dufty, and other possible contenders such as Kurt Mann and Jai Field, to possibly fill the vacant five-eighth spot.

    The problem this year is that there is no Auckland Nines competition to give the young players a chance to show what they have to offer and at this stage the only trial matches are a World Cup challenge match against Hull and the yearly Charity Shield trial against South Sydney, which are both likely to be treated seriously rather than as trials.

    McGregor might be tempted to trial Widdop at fullback for at least a part of these trial matches, with a range of experienced and junior players being utilised in the second row and possibly front row during the latter part of the games.

    Come the opening match of the season in March against the Broncos, what can we expect?

    Ben Hunt will face off against his old club for the first time and is likely to have Widdop at five-eighth, because that is why McGregor bought Hunt and changing his mind is not something that comes easily to him.

    McGregor is also likely to revert to experienced players because of their perceived defensive prowess and toughness and it will be a hard path for the young players to fight their way into the 17 despite stellar performances in the NSW Cup.

    Broncos coach Bennett and assistant coach Jason Demetrio still have to make up their minds about Hunt’s replacement in the halves, with Kodi Nikorima possibly being preferred to Troy Dargan.

    Despite McGregor, I will tip the Dragons to win both their trial matches, to win at home against the Broncos and finally make the top eight in 2018 only to be knocked out in the first week.

    McGregor too will survive the season as coach, with the Dragons’ management being happy with mediocre results.

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

    If this happens he should be booted.
     
  4. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    I would say it is probably not as upsetting as having big expectations like the bulldog fans and not delivering:bag:
     
  5. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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  6. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the Dragons could offer the Coal Train a contract seeing he and the Wolf Pack have parted ways.
    He does like fishing and if he can stay away from the snow he might prove to be a good bench asset.:rolleyes:
     

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