Something is wrong at the St George Illawarra Dragons. Something is very wrong. I’m a die hard fan of the Dragons, and have been for as long as I’ve watched league.
I have seen so many things go downhill since the premiership win of 2010. Mainly though, the attitude on the field.
It’s disappointing, to say the least.
Let me attempt to figure out the problem. I’ll start with what I know the least about, the internal operations of the club.
Rumour has it Peter Doust, CEO of the club, is not liked and is not good at running a club.
It is a serious issue that the Dragons cannot attract any big names. Last year it was announced that the Dragons were chasing Cooper Cronk and later, Craig Bellamy.
That went well didn’t it?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the entire thing on Doust.
In fact none of it may be his fault.
However it is somewhat concerning that his club is unable to attract marquee signings. Some sort of change has to be made.
I also have to question the tactics the Dragons use on the field. It seems like Wayne Bennett’s defensive style is still being used.
The team can no longer defend like they used to and that means the opposition can no longer be choked out of a game.
It’s time for a change.
The few times we have seen the Dragons throw the ball around is when they have been at their best.
It’s time for Steve Price to change the tactics of the Dragons. More tries need to be scored.
The club ranked 16th for points scored in 2012.
Not too good for a team boasting two international wingers and plenty of representative players.
Additionally, there has been a major lack in aggression lately. The players don’t look like they care most of the time.
Runs at the line are soft, chasers put in less effort than they should and tackles seem like a chore rather than a chance to put the opposition down.
My main concern with the club is it’s player roster. There are players there that I do not believe deserve to be playing.
Firstly, Jamie Soward. This may put me offside with some Dragons fans but I think that Soward fails more than he succeeds.
His defence is poor, kicking game can be questionable and most of all some of his on-field decisions astound me.
The amount of times I curse a Jamie Soward pass, kick or run is getting ridiculous.
Soward is far too inconsistent and is too unreliable, especially considering he is running the game from five-eighth.
Matt Prior is another I don’t think should be playing in the team.
His 2012 season was terrible. He made errors frequently, gave away penalties and was even, at times, questioned by his teammates. I would not play him in an NRL level team.
Personally, I think it is time for Nathan Fein to move on or play as a reserve. While I don’t dislike him and he is more consistent than Soward, the Dragons are better off going with their younger players.
This is my ideal Dragons line-up.
1. Gerard Beale
2. Brett Morris
3. Chase Stanley
4. Matt Cooper
5. Jason Nightingale
6. Kyle Stanley
7. Josh Drinkwater
8. Dan Hunt
9. Mitch Rein
10. Trent Merrin
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Ben Creagh
13. Daniel Vidot
14. Cameron King
15. Michael Weyman
16. Leeson Ah Mau
17. Bronson Harrison