On the surface, it would appear that perhaps the Dragons season has already peaked.
A thrilling win in a hard-fought contest away from home against the Broncos, but the big downside is losing Gareth Widdop to a serious injury.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor said he had the side that would contend this year, and rightly so.
Look at the players every other team would want in their side: Tyson Frizell, Gareth Widdop, Paul Vaughan and Corey Norman.
Gareth Widdop has made a tremendous contribution to the Dragons team since he’s been there.
The belief he brings the side and his control of the game in pressure moments has been outstanding.
In the semi-final against Souths last year, if he was on the field, the Dragons win.
However, the most important signing the Dragons have made in the last five years is Corey Norman.
And it will be Norman’s influence that will bring the Dragons a premiership this year, or at least go very close.
Many people will stop reading at this point and will go to the comments section to start roaring.
I would’ve been doing the same if someone said that to me even two months ago.
Most Dragons fans were wondering why on earth ‘Mary’ McGregor signed Corey Norman.
Sure, he had talent, but the baggage he brings in off-field dramas and inconsistent form surely should’ve made any team want him to stay at Parramattta, except Parramatta.
Do you remember the off-field headlines about Norman during the off-season this year?
There wasn’t any that related to recent times.
Do you remember the on-field headlines about the talent he showed in the first two games this year?
There wasn’t any.
Do you remember the headlines about the on-field blunders he made in the first two rounds?
There wasn’t any.
Do you remember what he did in the game against Broncos before the clock hit 79 minutes and 50 seconds?
Probably not, as he was solid but not outstanding.
The point is that he’s a changed player. Norman is no longer doing it all himself but is playing the team game.
It would appear that off the field he’s got it together as well.
If you watch the footage when he kicks the field goal to win the game, you see the reaction.
He wasn’t celebrating alone like he won the game.
The look in his eyes said it meant something for the team.
A player with natural ability who knows how to the play team game is an awesome prospect.
Norman maybe believes this is his last chance to do something with his career and this will benefit the Dragons.
Also, in the absence of Widdop, the spine will get Matt Dufty back!
Can you imagine what an attacking machine the Dragons will be?
Every other NRL coach will be nervous.
An old quote comes to mind: “A champion team will always beat a team champions”.
The Dragons proved that at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, and it will proved throughout the year.