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Discussion in 'St George-Illawarra Dragons' started by S J, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Illa Merc:

    ST GEORGE Illawarra prop Russell Packer has spoken of his desire to once again don the Kiwi Test jumper, six years after playing the last of his two Tests for New Zealand.

    The 27-year-old has endured a roller coaster career since taking part in the 2011 Four Nations tournament but has come into the 2017 season in career-best shape and form.

    He ran for a whopping 174 metres in his side’s round one demolition of Penrith and, like most of the Dragons forwards, is averaging 120 running metres a game in the middle of the park.

    As a member of the Dragons leadership group, he’s also played a major role in mentoring the club’s young brigade and could play a similar role at Test level should Stephen Kearney make the call.

    With the obvious exception of skipper Jesse Bromwich, the Kiwis front-row stocks have been uncharacteristically skinny of late, with Adam Blair, Greg Eastwood and young-gun Joseph Tapine forming the middle rotation in last year’s Four Nations final.

    With May’s mid-season Test fast approaching, Packer could add some much-needed muscle and experience to the Kiwi pack ahead of the World Cup at season’s end.

    “Test football is one of those things that’s a privilege,” Packer said.

    “Obviously it’s a goal but I haven’t put too much thought or energy into it at this stage.

    “You’ve just got to play well for your club and if I’m lucky enough to get selected to represent my country it’d be a dream come true again.

    “It’s a while away, we’ve still got a few more games before that Test so I’ve just got to keep putting in consistent efforts every week and if I keep my performances up, who knows.

    “It’s a big goal, with the World Cup this year as well so hopefully I can improve on my form and do enough to get selected somewhere.”

    Packer has been part of what is arguably the form pack of the competition over the opening four rounds, with a poor effort against Parramatta in round two the only speed bump in a 3-1 start to the season.

    They face Wests Tigers, who may or may not have a new fulltime coach, at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

    In stark contrast to last season, they are also the first team to post 100 points this season, with their differential equal to that of competition leaders Melbourne.

    They’ll have the chance to win three games in a row for the first time since round nine 2015 when they take on the Tigers and Packer said it’s important his side start building a consistent platform.

    “It’s been a good start to the season, three out of four games won, but the challenge is to back it up.” Packer said.

    “Our forward pack’s playing pretty well, Vaughany’s [Paul Vaughan] is playing really good and all the boys are tucking it up and ripping in.

    “It’s been a strength of ours for the last four games and it’s an old cliche but if your forward pack’s not going good, it’s hard for the team to to do well so we’ve got keep it up.

    “We’re scoring points pretty freely at the moment but more importantly our defence is standing up and we’re not giving up as many points. That’s what we’ve been working hard for all preseason, working hard for each other in defence, and it’s good that it’s paying off for us so far.”
     
  2. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    I like that part of the story BUT they have to stop clocking off or getting lazy in defence at times and standing back to often.
    Apart from then giving the opposition a lot of metres when they do it you cant rely on holding tight when the attacking side is at the 10 metre zone.
    Packers "come back" in itself is a good story and congratulations to him.
     
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  3. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    DRAGONS Origin hopeful Jack de Belin says it’s disappointing Canterbury’s City-Country snub has overshadowed the build up to what will be the final instalment of the traditional clash at Mudgee in two weeks’ time.

    The Bulldogs have drawn widespread condemnation for their decision to pull their players from the contest, citing a short turnaround into their round 10 clash with North Queensland, with many calling on the NRL to force the club into a back down.

    ARLC chairman John Grant said on Wednesday that the NRL did not have the power to force the Bulldogs hand, with the decision likely to stand unchallenged.

    De Belin made what many considered a long overdue debut for Country last season, earning players’ player honours in a 44-30 defeat at Tamworth. The Cootamundra Bulldogs product missed the next five weeks with a torn rotator cuff but said he wouldn’t hesitate to pull on the jumper again this season.
     
  4. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    City V Country used to be a valued opportunity for higher rep honours but is ending as a bit of a joke.
    some players not allowed to play, others still cherishing selection and "retired" players like Gallen re selected obviously because in 16 clubs there are no NSW and only Qld forwards that are any good
     
  5. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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  6. ALX22

    ALX22 Well-Known Member

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    Country to destroy City.
     
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  7. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Australia

    Josh Dugan
    Tyson Frizell

    New Zealand

    Russell Packer

    Junior Kangaroos

    Blake Lawrie
    Jai Field
    Reece Robson

    Junior Kiwis

    Patrick Herbert
    Steven Marsters

    Fiji

    Taane Milne

    Tonga

    Siliva Havili

    Samoa

    Tim Lafai
    Leeson Ah Mau

    City Origin

    Cameron McInnes
    Hame Sele
    Jake Marketo
    Jacob Host (18th man)

    Country Origin

    Tariq Sims
    Jack de Belin
    Paul Vaughan
     
  8. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    ST GEORGE Illawarra coach Paul McGregor says he never considered pulling any of his players out of this weekend’s City-Country clash that has been marred by the decision of a number of clubs to pull their players from the contest.

    Dragons players Paul Vaughan and Jack de Belin retained their Country jumpers while Tariq Sims will make his sixth appearance for Country despite also named in the Fiji Bati squad. Euan Aitken and Joel Thomnpsons were withdrawn through injury. Hooker Cameron McInnes will play for City where he’ll directly oppose Souths hooker and Helensburgh junior Damien Cook, while Hame Sele and Jake Marketo also earned City call-ups.

    Tend to agree with him.
     
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  9. stanleyg

    stanleyg Well-Known Member

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    Could also involve money....or lack of it. A lot of players would have "bonus" codicils in their contract if they gained representative selection and a few clubs would have to be right on the edge of their salary cap or over it.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
  10. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    True.
     
  11. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Our Juniors this weekend:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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  13. ALX22

    ALX22 Well-Known Member

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    Plus the 3 or 4 to be named in the NSW U20's.
     
  14. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    True - I thought Vaughan was unlucky too.
     
  15. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Saints will have five players feature in the Under-20s State of Origin fixture at Suncorp Stadium on May 31st. Dragons quartet Blake Lawrie, Jai Field, Reuben Garrick and Reece Robson will don the New South Wales jumper in the State of Origin I curtain raiser.

    Lawrie, Field and Robson's selection in coach Danny Buderus's side follows their integral role in the Junior Kangaroos' big win over New Zealand in recent weeks. Garrick has shared his time between the Holden Cup and Intrust Super Premiership in 2017 and will look to build on his impressive season thus far.

    The four New South Welshmen will match up against Tristan Sailor, who has been picked in coach Justin Hodges's Under-20s Queensland squad.

    Sailor has been the Dragons' Under-20s Mr Fix-It this season, having played at fullback, five-eighth and on the wing throughout the season.
     
  16. ALX22

    ALX22 Well-Known Member

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    Sailor will be on the wing for QLD.
     
  17. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Junior Dragons trio Aaron Schoupp, Max Feagai and Blake Dowel have been selected in the NSWRL under-16s team to play Queensland in the curtain raiser to State of Origin III.
     
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  19. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    Congratulations to young Dragon Zac Lomax, who was earlier this week named in the Junior Kangaroos side. Also Duges and Frizz.
     
  20. S J

    S J Mod Squad Staff Member

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    PM's side with Duges. Quite a rise from 2016.

    [​IMG]
     

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