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I like the look of this guy. I don't know if it's because he shares the same surname as me but he might be worth a shot. He looks more than just a bash and barge guy. 


IMO we have a few good young guys coming along who might surprise this year. 


Johnny Raper backs Dragons' raid for Storm coach Craig Bellamy

By Nick Walshaw
The Dragons want Craig Bellamy.

DRAGONS great Johnny Raper has welcomed his club's $6 million bid for Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, saying: "His signing would be like a warning shot to every single club in NRL."

As revealed in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday, St George Illawarra have launched an audacious bid to sign the Storm premiership coach for up to five years from 2014.

It's understood Bellamy could command up to $1.2 million a season for what, he said, would almost certainly be the last contract of his esteemed, and at times controversial, career.

"Craig Bellamy would be a wonderful addition to the club," Raper said yesterday.

"Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, the bloke doesn't mess around and I think that's exactly what the Dragons need. His other great asset is the way he takes ordinary footballers, blokes you and I have never heard of, and transforms them into genuine superstars. He's done that time and again at Melbourne and he'll do the same at St George Illawarra.

"His signing would be like a warning shot to every other side in the competition."

But can Bellamy recreate the success of fellow master coach Wayne Bennett?

Bennett secured a premiership in his second season of a three-year stay at the Dragons.

"I don't think you can say anyone is going to come in and just win you a competition," Raper warned.

"But what you can guarantee is that he'll get them close. And the following year . . . you know he'll have them looking better again."

Long regarded as one of the game's great minds, Bellamy cemented his legacy this season when he lead Melbourne to a premiership win that also buried the demons of those two titles stripped during the 2010 salary cap drama. 


NRL All-Stars Voting Down To Four

Monday 31 December 2012 12:45 PM

St George Illawarra Dragons quartet Ben Creagh, Trent Merrin, Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale have all progressed to Stage Two of voting to represent the Club at the fourth annual NRL All-Stars match at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday, February 9.
Dragons Player of the Year Brett Morris was the third-most popular overall player overall in Stage One voting across the 16 NRL Clubs.
He will be joined by fellow winger Jason Nightingale who proved to be the popular choice at the end of voting proceedings last season.[HR][/HR] Dragons captain Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin are also be vying to be the Red V Members and supporters overall popular choice and represent the Club at the pre-season spectacle..
Red V Members and supporters have until Monday, January 14 to be a selector in the Stage Two period of voting and can do so here .
NRL All-Stars Head Coach Wayne Bennett has a 64-man ‘shortlist’ from which the public will get a second change to pick 16 players (one from each Club).
They will join the squad’s two automatic selections as well as two remaining players selected by Bennett, which will form his overall 20-man squad, closer to kick-off.
Overview of NRL All Stars voting:
• The first player to be chosen in the NRL All Stars team will be the player who scores the highest number of overall votes in a position.
• Once a player from one club is placed in the team, no other player from that club can be selected.
• If a player withdraws from the team due to injury, he will be replaced by someone from the bench.
• The open bench spot will then be replaced by someone from the injured player’s club, depending on the position needed for the bench. 


St George Illawarra Dragons utility Bronx Goodwin is looking forward to a healthy season after an injury hit few years at the Club. Goodwin feels he is in the best shape of his life and is pumped to go out and establish himself at the club and show the fans what he can do.

This is another bloke who has potential but is so injury prone. 


Quinlan: Anything Can Happen This Year

Thursday 3 January 2013 7:00 AM

St George Illawarra Dragons utility Adam Quinlan is taking everything in his stride as he tests his mettle with the first-grade train-on squad.
The Culburra junior is one of several new additions to the first-grade ranks who graduated from the Dragons National Youth Competition team in2013.
[HR][/HR] Quinlan, 20, scored 13 tries from 17 appearances for the Young Dragons last term but knows he must continue striving if he is to achieve his goals.
“It’s been really tough but a real good experience to be training in such a high intensity environment with so many experienced guys around me,” said Quinlan.
“It’s good to have the other younger guys as they were the ones I knew to begin with and we all know it’s a great opportunity for us all.
“I was exciting to be offered an extension and just the opportunity which a lot of people don’t get and I might not get again you need to take it with both hands.
“Wherever the coach thinks I’m slot in but preferably either the fullback or five-eighth role would suit me.
“My goals are to try and step-up and test myself and if I get the chance in the NSW Cup with the Illawarra Cutters then that would be great too.
“If I have a good year there then I know anything can happen.”

​I see a massive future for this guy. There is something very special about him, my gut is saying big things about him. I see five eight well within reach in a short while. 


He was playing fulback in Toyota Cup last year and was very impressive. My only concern was his lack of size. Do you know if he has played much 5/8? 


Apparently played in the halves as a junior. 


I can see him being more than a fullback. I can't see him being a receiver through a centre or Fullback i see him creating alot. I'm very interested to watch his journey indeed. He was even quiet small for TC standards but i'm sure 10 kg's will be quiet easy to gain over a couple of seasons. I've said before that it's his difference between him and the size of Nightingale.

10 cm and 10 kg's.

JT is around the low 80's. A tad taller though. 


Quinlan looks like a great prospect, but nobody seems to mention Evander Cummins. Cummins is knocking on the door, and hopefully he will get some good game time in the trials. 


Agree - he's got speed and that innate ability to follow the ball. He's small and nippy. I reckon he could be a half. 


Cummins has been mentioned a number of times. 


[h=1]Prior: No Guarantees In Second Row[/h]

Friday 4 January 2013 7:00 AM

St George Illawarra Dragons second-rower Matt Prior has been enjoying a competitive pre-season in what has become a back-row unit crowded with talent.
The Thirroul junior has ranked this year as one of the toughest pre-seasons he’s been involved but believes it is doing great things for all the players at the squad.
[HR][/HR] Prior is on the cusp of making his 100th first-grade outing for the Red-and-Whites and knows the hard work now will benefit him come season kick-off / “We’ve got five or six really good back rowers at the moment and anyone could get the spot to play,” said Prior.
“There’s a lot of competition there so it’s good for the team and good for the club that we can have a bunch of good players to choose from at the one position.
“This has probably been one of the hardest preseasons I’ve ever done, there’s been a lot of running and lot of hard work but the boys have all responded well and are in really good shape.
“I’ve been feeling really good this preseason; everyone is really fit this time of year and when it starts to heat up a lot around summer it gets very tough.
“There’s a special milestone coming up for me but I haven’t thought about it too much yet, it’s all about doing my best right now.” 


Old Dragons teammates become rivals


Jan. 2, 2013, midnight

[*] Dean Young takes a SG Ball training session in his new role as coach for the Illawarra Steelers. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON


After spending a decade together in the NRL, close mates Ben Hornby and Dean Young will meet as opponents for the first time this month.
The retired Dragons stars, who have both been appointed coaches for the joint venture's respective SG Ball teams, will go head-to-head as mentors on January 12, when Hornby's St George Dragons under-18 side take on Young's Illawarra Steelers in their opening trial fixture. The match promises to break uncharted territory for the two Illawarra products but neither is reading into the personal rivalry.
"I don't make too much of it really because Ben and I are both there to do the same job; we're both hired by the club to try and push our juniors along and try and help them come through the same program that we've come through," Young said.
"I suppose it's not really about me or Benny. We're both really competitive and we both want to win but in the end it's only a trial game and we're both working for the same club."
Hornby and Young spent the better part of 10 seasons at the Dragons, and were pivotal in securing the club's breakthrough premiership in 2010.
Both are among a growing rollcall of past Dragons players now imparting their knowledge in the competitive SG Ball competition, with Mat Head (Balmain Tigers) and Mark Riddell (Sydney Roosters).
"I'm pretty blessed to play 10 years of footy, doing something I love, and then having to walk away from that earlier than what I would have liked but into something that I'm equally passionate about," Young said of coaching.
"We didn't actually draw Benny's side in the regular competition because there's 18 teams in the comp and only nine rounds. We didn't get them in the draw but we have them in the first trial, which is always between those two teams."
Both competitive footballers, it seems little has changed for Hornby and Young as they enter the coaching ranks. But the same can't be said of the skill level and standard of the SG Ball competition, which Young admitted had changed drastically since he donned a junior jersey.

"The young kids coming through are a lot better than the guys I played with at that age - their skill levels have gone through the roof," Young said.
"They're bigger than first-graders, some of the kids in Benny's side.
"I don't have a lot of big boppers but they're tough and they have a crack." 


[h=1]Ah Mau: New Kid No More[/h]

Saturday 5 January 2013 9:00 AM

St George Illawarra Dragons prop Leeson Ah Mau is confident he has laid the foundations for a successful campaign wearing the famous Red V jersey in 2013.
The Otahuhu junior is in the midst of his second pre-season with the Red-and-Whites having made 11 first-grade appearances in his maiden campaign last year.
[HR][/HR] Ah Mau, 23, believes he is well-adjusted to his surroundings now that he is in his sophomore season with the Club and is focused more than ever in showing Head Coach Steve Price what he is made of.“Training has been going well but it’s been tougher this year with higher intensity,” said Ah Mau.
“I’ve been trying to do some extras after training to build-up my fitness and I feel that it’s all paying off.
“It helps me in playing well and consistently – two things I intend to do this season.
“I’ve been here over a year now so I feel like part of the team and not the new kid – someone else can be that person.” 


I think Leeson will have a massive year, he is my bolter for the year to go leaps and bounds. 


He had a good game in the last round against Parra, probably the best he had all season. It gives me confidence that he could become a regular first grader. 


He played great in that game, hope he can show that form all year. I see him as a very handy bench prop for us this year. 4 props on rotation - Weyman, Merrin, Hunt and Ah Mau would suit me just fine with De Belin, Creagh and Prior our starting second row. 


We have a few who need to step up IMO. They have the ability - it is now up to them.

I don't want to see 3 out of 4, or 2 out of 3 good games. I want to see commitment and consistency for the season ! 


i'm still not 100% sold on Ah Mau

hope i'm wrong though! 


He reminds me of Craig Smith somehow, same build, capable of a well timed off-load and deceptively strong. Also looks a very reliable defender, could end up in the back row if needed. I think he'll turn out to be a very handy addition to the team if he becomes a regular. 


He looked a little slow for a backrower - correct me if I'm wrong perhaps better suited to front row??? 


[h=1]First Trials Arrive For 2013[/h]

Monday 7 January 2013 3:07 PM

Trials for all four St George Illawarra Dragons Junior Representative teams commence this Saturday, 12 January, at WIN Stadium #2, Wollongong.
At 4.00pm the Adam Bezzina/Michael Stone coached Illawarra Steelers Harold Matthews Cup (U16’s) teams take on their Graeme Wynn coached St George counterparts, and at 5.15pm the SG Ball Cup (U18’s) trial commences. This latter trial will see two former Dragons team mates, Dean Young (Illawarra Coach) and Ben Hornby (St George Coach) pitted against each other for the first time as coaches.
Dragons HPU Coach Ben Haran said today “Whilst the trial is about the players, and what they can and cannot do, and not the coaches, I’m sure there will be more than just a passing jibe between Dean and Ben on the day. They’ve always been competitive, and I don’t think either one will let the opportunity pass if there is a chance to exchange a friendly word on Saturday”.

St George Harold Matthews Cup trialists hard at work in pre-season training

Haran added that the trials are a fantastic opportunity for the players to cement a position in the final teams to represent the Dragons in the prestigious 2013 Junior Representative competitions. “A good showing on Saturday will allow the players to build on a successful pre-season training period, and take further steps to them possibly wearing the famous Red V of the NRL Dragons in years to come”.
Entry to WIN Stadium #2 is free on Saturday to all Dragons friends and supporters.


[h=1]Dragons On Top Of NSWWRL Table[/h]

Wednesday 9 January 2013 2:00 PM

The St George Illawarra Dragons Wheelchair Rugby League team will return to competition this weekend sitting on top of the table and undefeated.
The Dragons kept their perfect New South Wales Wheelchair Rugby League (NSWWRL) season in tact by downing local rivals, the Sharks, 52-4 in their round eight clash in December.
The team is now looking to maintain its winning ways when competition resumes on January 13, 2013.
NSWWRL Table after 8 rounds
Dragons - 16 points
Roosters - 12
Knights - 9
Panthers - 9
Raiders - 9
Rabbitohs - 5
Eels - 4 points
Sharks - 0 points 


Ah Mau is definitely a prop but if needed he could probably handle back row I think. I want him as a bench prop first and foremost though. 

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