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Opinion

For Dragons fans, 2021 can't come soon enough

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Roar Pro
20th September, 2020
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I thought the game against Canberra last week was hard to watch but this week’s game against Newcastle was one of the worst performances in the joint venture era.

Newcastle have their own deficiencies which is why they didn’t put on 50+ points. The Dragons have never lost the McKinnon Cup before, which is a very telling statistic.

A few things became obvious to me on Sunday.

When the rumour broke last week of the Dragons interest in Josh McGuire, there were some in the Dragon faithful who said no.

But the Dragons desperately need some mongrel up the middle. Teams know the Dragons are soft so they keep charging up the middle and they keep scoring tries.

Our pack doesn’t have a leader. Paul Vaughan has disengaged at a time when we really need him the most. I’m genuinely concerned about Blake Lawrie and Jackson Ford – maybe they are just not up to it? Perhaps we’ve over hyped them?

Anthony Griffin needs to recruit at least two or three new hard nut forwards to toughen us up. The current pack is a joke. Perhaps we will get Jack de Belin back which would be awesome but otherwise Griffin needs to recruit forwards, which should be his number one priority.

Kalyn Ponga will not have a long career in the NRL. He’s going to get bashed out of the game by continued concussions. He’s brave and takes on the line but he’s targeted.

Over time it’ll catch up with him. Newcastle’s premiership window is smaller than what people think.

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All the hype around the Dragons youth coming through is real. All faith has to be placed in Griffin to develop them in 2021. Cody Ramsey is an obvious fire cracker. Max Feagai looked right at home in first grade. Hopefully Max gets a longer run next week against Melbourne.

Brayden Williame and Tyrell Fuimaono are jokes. They are total duds. This is what happens when Ian Millward is left unsupervised with money to spend.

Hopefully Griffin will stop these antics. Thankfully both are out of contract next year, so all parties can move on.

Ben Hunt had an opportunity to make a statement at 7 but he failed. I only remember him taking on the line once in the first half otherwise he was only catching and passing.

Even under Griffin, surely Adam Clune deserves to be the starting 7? We need a bigger body at 13 so that puts McInnes to 9 and Hunt at 14 or out the team.

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Just because Hunt is on so much money that shouldn’t guarantee him a starting spot in the side regardless of form.

Norman looked better against Newcastle. His passing and running game was an improvement. Perhaps Griffin can get something out of him next year.

Anthony Griffin

Will Tony Griffin turn the Dragons around? (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

With Ben Hunt being such a bust it’d be great to get more production out of Norman in 2021 while Jayden Sullivan spends time developing in Canterbury Cup.

Zac Lomax is absolute class. Our best players in 2020 and one of the better players in the NRL. He is still so young with his best years ahead of him. Future Origin rep without doubt. If Lomax misses out on Origin this year I hope he at least gets brought in to the extended squad for experience.

Matt Dufty must be feeling some pressure from Ramsey, which is causing him to lift his game. Ramsey I think is quicker and more rounded than Dufty it’ll be fun watching those two fight it out next year.

Any lingering doubts fans might have had about Dean Young missing out on the top job to Anthony Griffin should now be put to rest.

The Dragons were a rabble against the Raiders and worse against the Knights and other than changes necessitated by injury the team selections were uninspired. Blood the youth, Dean, leave a coaching legacy behind you.

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We all know the Dragons are going to get smashed next week against Melbourne so at least take some positives from it and blood more youth. If Williame and Fuimaono are picked again next week, I’ll refuse to watch the game.

In Hook we trust.