It’s a terrible time to be a Dragons fan

Michael Ehmer Roar Rookie

By Michael Ehmer, Michael Ehmer is a Roar Rookie

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32 Have your say

    Jamie Soward and Dean Young. AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan

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    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

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    The Crowd Says (32)

    • Roar Guru

      March 16th 2013 @ 10:25am
      mastermind5991 said | March 16th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      How tough can times be. Like you, I am a lifelong Dragons fan and we have been through a lot since the premiership glory of 2010.

      But it’s natural in sports that great things have to eventually fall.

      Look at the Brisbane Lions in the AFL for example – triple-premiers in 2001-3, went close to winning a fourth flag in 2004, and now they have only made the finals only once since. They have not finished any higher than 13th since 2009.

      Another example – Ana Ivanovic in women’s tennis. After her French Open title in 2008, everything went downhill and only last year did she reach another Major quarter-final (at the US Open). Though she’s rising back again, it’s unlikely she will regain her best form. Read one of my articles about her from earlier this year and you’ll see where this is coming from.

    • March 16th 2013 @ 10:47am
      oikee said | March 16th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

      I think your being a little bit tough on the Dragons. Much like the Broncos, they dont have a superstar or two.
      Nathen Fien is a good bench player and they really need a half to help out Soward. If Drinkwater turns out ok, they should be right.
      The Broncos were desperate to win that game. The fans are turning on them as well. I did not see anything different about the Broncos, they were just going through the motions to win against a Dragons team that lacked a bit of halves direction.

      Mate, dont get angry at the Dragons, they look pretty good. Beale looks like he is settling in pretty good.
      The Dragons and Broncos need to go after star players.
      The competition is now too close and stars feel like they can win at any club, that is what has changed.
      Complacency. Both clubs are guilty of this and are now paying the price of losing good players.
      Wayne Bennett has benifited from both our clubs, Gagai’s and Costigan, Smith and Scott.

      Time to fight fire with fire. Both clubs need to be more aggressive with player recruitment.

      • March 16th 2013 @ 12:26pm
        Michael Ehmer said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        It’s disappointing though. There are so many class players at the club yet we can’t get over the line. Perhaps things will click later in the season but right now, much like last year, things aren’t working.

    • March 16th 2013 @ 11:22am
      Big Time said | March 16th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      Being harsh, I don’t think u can suggest they are not trying. Forwards look really good. We r still struggling to score tries. Obviously something needs to be jiggled there. Unfortunately Price might be an excellent assistant and not a head coach.

      As a fan you have to take the good with the bad. We have been successful for a lot of years. There is some good young players there though, and I can see things turn around in the next year or two. Maybe Sheens could be the right man for the job.

      Nothing worse as a player when “fans” start questioning your effort and are quick to bag you when you are going bad. Real fans stick solid.

      • March 16th 2013 @ 12:24pm
        Michael Ehmer said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        I am sticking sold. Are fans of Australian cricket no longer fans just because of the poor decisions lately?

    • March 16th 2013 @ 11:25am
      Big Time said | March 16th 2013 @ 11:25am | ! Report

      By the way do you watch the game. This BS about Soward being a poor defender, is getting old. Only last night he pulled up Sam Thaiday one on one before the line. Honestly Dragon “fans” like you p*ss me off. Can you tell?

      • March 16th 2013 @ 12:20pm
        Michael Ehmer said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        Soward is a poor defender. Better than he was no doubt, but he is still a weak point in the line.

        • Roar Guru

          March 16th 2013 @ 2:55pm
          Bazzio said | March 16th 2013 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

          Soward is a 10 times better defender than Nightingale, who is useless when the attack comes his way.

          • March 18th 2013 @ 4:17pm
            Terry Kidd said | March 18th 2013 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

            Agreed … Jamie Soward does not shirk the defensive work

    • March 16th 2013 @ 11:28am
      Big Time said | March 16th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      Also Prior has been one of best first two games. F*uck me!! Yeah he was rubbish in 2012, but he will probably admit that himself.

      Fans like you are the reason the likes of Ryles and Barrett had to get out. Bust there arse for the club but copped it supreme because we did not win a comp. Only one side a year can win!!

      • March 16th 2013 @ 12:22pm
        Michael Ehmer said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

        Yeah I’ll admit Prior has been better this year. However we have better players that could take his position.

        You surely haven’t seen how much Trent Merrin puts in 120% every week and only 2 or 3 other players stand up with him. It’s a big issue.

    • March 16th 2013 @ 11:48am
      Bearfax said | March 16th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      Cant understand Price. He has a good back line that needs someone to set them up. Their try scoring efforts against Brisbane were like firing blanks. They relied on one or two of their big forwards to crash over for their four pointers.

      As a Manly supporter I well know the talents of young Drinkwater. He was a stand out in Manly’s juniors last year and the only reason his team won quite a few games. The kid would be in Manly’s first grade right now if Cherry-Evans hadnt been there. A lot of us Manly supporters were not happy to see Drinkwater go. He is a potential top line half back.

      Then why, if St George grabbed him, arent they using him. The half back combination I saw yesterday was workmanlike but not inspirational and they werent giving decent service for Cooper, Nightingale and Morris to get a bit of space to challenge. That’s what Drinkwater was good at, setting up his players. Use Fien as a substitute hooker, but get Drinkwater in there now and then you might see the Saints starting to score tries again.

      Mind you I must commend Brisbane for one of the best defensive efforts I’ve seen in a long while, albeit with the help of some predictable St George attacking efforts. At half time all the commentators were saying Saints would win. I was convinced Brisbane would run away with it and they did. They are a good side.

      • March 16th 2013 @ 12:45pm
        eagleJack said | March 16th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        To be fair to Price he did say he was heading along to Belmore today to watch Drinkwater in action.

        The ball is firmly in Josh’s court. Perform today and he will find himself in the NRL next week.

        • Roar Guru

          March 16th 2013 @ 3:01pm
          Bazzio said | March 16th 2013 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          I would have thought that any coach would already have 1st hand knowledge of ALL contracted players, newer players especially.

          • March 16th 2013 @ 5:06pm
            eagleJack said | March 16th 2013 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

            In reality most of it is 2nd hand knowledge especially for players in NSW Cup. They often play on different days in different cities. They can get told by other coaches, advisers of their progress, read the stats and watch a tape of the game. But nothing comes close to seeing the game in the flesh and focussing all your attention on one man

            From what I saw of the game today Price would have been impressed by Drinkwaters efforts. I’m guessing he will get the call up this week.

            • March 16th 2013 @ 5:32pm
              Dr Chop said | March 16th 2013 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

              Didn’t Drinkwater go down injured in the NSW Cup game?

              • March 16th 2013 @ 6:49pm
                eagleJack said | March 16th 2013 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

                Geez yeah you are right, injured his shoulder. I only watched part of the game and thought he was doing ok. Certainly enough to get the call up, on a nothing to lose scenario. Poor bloke hope he isn’t out too long.

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