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hoping for a big year from Bronson Harrison

would be good if he had a "best buy of 2013" tag by the end of the year 


St George Illawarra Dragons second-rower Will Matthews is enjoying his second year with the first-grade side and feels he has settled down to life with the Red-and-Whites. Matthews missed a large chunk of last year’s pre-season training through injury and believes that a full off-season under his belt this term has helped improve his game.

I'm expecting a big season from Big Will ! 


[h=1]Vidot: Centre Of Excellence[/h]

Tuesday 5 February 2013 6:00 AM

St George Illawarra Dragons utility Daniel Vidot is hoping the transition from winger to centre will help him secure a berth in the starting line-up in 2013.
The Souths Acacia junior was a regular part of the Red-and-Whites attack last season with five tries from 20 starts to his name on the flank.
However, with teammates Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale both vying for the same roles this time around, a venture to the inside-edge may be the smart choice for the player in question.
“I’m training at the centres at the moment and trying to get a few things sharpened,” said Vidot.
“I used to play there when I was younger so it’s just trying to get my head around what I used to do.
“Training in general has been a lot better this time around compared to last season which was a bit hard for me.
“I had to balance trying to establish myself while trying to settle in and get used to everyone.
“The intensity has definitely lifted compared to last year and everyone is looking good.
“The new recruits like Gerard Beale and Tyson Frizell are both going well and ones to look out for this year.
“For me though, I just want to try and cement a spot in the team and help the team and do well.”


A clever move. By testing the waters in the centres it also gives us some idea if he can replace Cooper in 2014. Regardless of whether Coops says he can play long than this season i think there will be a backlog of young guys who might just have him retire indirectly unforced. 


Dragons Launch Friday Night Live

Tuesday 5 February 2013 11:00 AM

The St George Illawarra Dragons will help celebrate Friday Night Live when they line-up against the Brisbane Broncos for their home season opener clash at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Friday, March 15.
The Red-and-Whites opening home game of the season is part of a blockbuster double-header which will also encompass the Wollongong Hawks contesting the courts against the Sydney Kings (National Basketball League).
The Hawks will tip off the night at 6.00pm with their clash against the Kings at the WIN Entertainment Centre, Wollongong.
The Dragons will then follow suit with their first home game of the 2013 season against the Broncos at WIN Stadium, kicking off at 8.10pm.
"Friday Night Live is a great opportunity for the Illawarra community to come out in numbers to support their local sporting heroes,” said Dragons Chief Executive Officer Michael McDonald.
“We're excited to be opening the Dragons 2013 home season at WIN Stadium against the Broncos and look forward to our members and fans creating a great atmosphere"
A bundled ticket offer is available which entitles patrons a reserved seat at both the Hawks and Dragons events at WIN Entertainment Centre and WIN Stadium.
Special reciprocal offers for Hawks and Dragons members exist to attend each game as well.
Moving from the Hawks game at WIN Entertainment Centre to the Dragons game at WIN Stadium will be easy.
Express lanes will be set up at each gate for patrons holding both a Hawks and a Dragons Ticket.
So hang on to your tickets after the Hawks game, for an easy transition to the Dragons game.
“This will be our first home game of the season and I know all the boys will be excited to take to the field in front of so many Dragons fans.
“We’ve been working extremely hard during the pre-season so far and our new additions to the squad have settled in nicely.
“There’s definitely competition for places in the line-up so those who take to the field against the Broncos will be giving it their all.”
Extra activities in the Harbour Street precinct will be held prior to each event, making it the only place to be on Friday, March 15!
Friday Night Live will be an epic night as the National Basketball League and National Rugby League converge on Wollongong to battle it out on the court and field.

For more information about either Hawks or Dragons events, or the Friday Night Live bundled ticket offer, click here.
Friday Night Live is brought to you by the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Wollongong Hawks, WIN Sports & Entertainment Centres, and Destination Wollongong. 


We're on fire I tell you ... :) 


Yeah, I am interested to see how Vidot would go in the centers too. But I don't want to be judging a center playing outside of Soward, it isn't fair on the center as Soward will not go to the line and draw and commit defenders before passing the ball to him. I certainally would not want to be judged as a center playing outside Soward. 


Our 2 wingers, arguably our best players, must hate it too. 


Doesn't DS like Jamie Soward. 


Seems to be the case but really all in jest, methinks! 


There was an artical in todays SMH about Matt Cooper. In the artical he talks about some players stepping up and taking on leadership roles now that Hornby, Young and Scott are not here anymore. The players that he mentioned were B Morris, Nightingale and Dan Hunt. I could not help but notice that he didn't mention Soward. lol 


BMoz, Nightingale and Hunt are all juniors. I think that plays a big part in what they mean. 


Dragons Welcome Doping and Integrity Investigation

Thursday 7 February 2013 2:30 PM

The St George Illawarra Dragons have welcomed the investigation announced today by the National Rugby League, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the Australian Crime Commission and the Federal Government into doping and integrity issues in sport.
“Today’s announcements certainly indicate that we have a major widespread issue for sport in this country and it is important that the relevant authorities have the necessary support and cooperation to deal with such issues,” said Dragons CEO Peter Doust.
“We are confident of our compliance and are committed to working with the relevant authorities at all levels to support our sport and ensure performance enhancing or illicit drugs are not part of our game”.
The National Rugby League has today joined all major sports, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the Australian Crime Commission, and the Federal Government in supporting a far-reaching investigation into doping and integrity issues in sport.
The National Rugby League has also appointed former Federal Court Judge, The Hon. Tony Whitlam QC to assist in the investigation process and to establish a permanent NRL Integrity Unit.
The NRL has today committed to:
- The establishment of a fully resourced NRL Integrity Unit;
- Conduct an audit and establish a register of personnel supplying performance services to players and or NRL Clubs;
- Sanctioning any Club or player found to have concealed information in relation to a breach of the NRL Anti-Doping Policy;
- Requiring team doctors to review any instance where supplements, substances or other procedures may have been administered without the prior approval of the team doctor;
- Introducing centralised testing for illicit substances to complement existing club programs.
NRL CEO, Mr Dave Smith, said Rugby League would be strong in meeting emerging threats in world sport.
“As sports we have to get this right and we will," Smith said.
“We are committed to working with ASADA and the Government in dealing with these threats and in addition to that will strengthen our own investigative capability.
“Regardless of the outcome of those investigations, there is an opportunity here to take the initiative in terms of the integrity of in sport.
“Our fans and the absolute majority of our players deserve nothing less.”
Doust also added that the Club was very disappointed by untrue and unconfirmed media reports today linking the St George Illawarra Dragons with a Sports Scientist, Stephen Dank, who has been linked to certain activities in sport.
“Our Performance Director Andrew Gray has been with our Club since the Joint Venture in 1999 and Stephen Dank has had no association with the St George Illawarra Dragons”. 


I think that you are wrong. 


You dont have much choice. Centres usually play outside the team halves[violin] 


:popcorn: ... ;) 


I don't think I am. 


[h=1]Community Carnival School Blitz Continues[/h]

Tuesday 12 February 2013 4:00 PM

The St George Illawarra Dragons continued their Community Carnival School Blitz in New South Wales today, visiting ten schools in the Illawarra region.
While a 25-man squad of Dragons are in Cairns preparing for the first trial match of 2013, Michael Weyman, Leeson Ah Mau and Evander Cummins spent the day spreading the word on tackling bullying.
“Some of our teammates have been spreading the anti-bullying message in Cairns today, and locally our focus has been on ensuring kids feel empowered to speak out against it,” said Weyman.
“We asked students what they know about bullying – what it looks like, who to speak to when they see it happen – and we also worked through exercises to boost their self-esteem, as this is also a big part of the solution.”
The Dragons will continue their Community Carnival School Blitz with several school visits throughout the St George region on Wednesday. 


[h=1]Price: No Room For Distractions[/h]

Thursday 14 February 2013 10:00 AM

St George Illawarra Dragons Head Coach Steve Price admits his attention is solely focused on the upcoming opening trial fixture against the North Queensland Cowboys at Barlow Park, Cairns on Saturday.
Price has been under the spotlight in recent days over his coaching future at the Club but stated it has not been a distraction as he continues his team’s preparation for the upcoming 2013 campaign.
The Head Coach also admits he is aware of the on-going ACC Project Aperio investigation which includes a focus on the NRL.
“There’s been speculation about my role for a while now but it’s no issue to me,” said Price.
“I will be off-contract so the Club has every right to approach whomever.
“It’s important that we put on some good performances starting with the Cowboys this Saturday night.
“We’re focused on what we’re going to do.

“The cowboys are coming off a great season but for us it’s about working on our offence and defence and focusing our energies on what we can control.” 


Players behind coach Price: Hunt

By Michael Carayannis

Feb. 14, 2013, 6:30 a.m.

[*] Interaction: Dragons players Dan Hunt (left) and Nathan Green spread an anti-bullying message to pupils at Hurstville Adventist School yesterday. Picture: Anna Warr

DRAGONS prop Dan Hunt has thrown his support behind coach Steve Price, saying the embattled mentor had the approval of the playing group.


In the wake of Craig Bellamy’s decision to reject the Dragons, Hunt, who won a 2005 Jersey Flegg premiership under Price, said the current coach should be the club’s long-term option.
‘‘I’ve got a great relationship with him and he knows how to get the best out of me,’’ Hunt said.
‘‘I’d love him to stay as our coach. I don’t think there is a decision to be made. Pricey is our coach for 2013 and we’ll deal with whatever comes in the future.’’
The Dragons four-month pursuit of the premiership-winning coach ended when Bellamy committed on Monday to the Storm until at least the end of 2016.
Although St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust said he would work through potential coaching options, Hunt insisted the innuendo had not been a distraction.
‘‘We’ve got Pricey’s back all the way,’’ Hunt said.
‘‘We weren’t too worried about the Bellamy stuff; we don’t really buy into that type of stuff.
‘‘We’ve got our ranks pretty closed and we’re buying into what Pricey is coaching and we believe in him. I think it’s disrespectful to Pricey to talk about it; he is a really good coach.’’
A slight calf strain has kept Hunt, 26, in Wollongong as the bulk of his teammates prepare for their first hit-out of the season against North Queensland in Cairns on Saturday.
Hunt, fellow prop Michael Weyman (knee) and the overlooked centre Nathan Green are among the top players not travelling with the squad.
He expects to play in next Friday’s annual Charity Shield clash against South Sydney in what will be the Dragons final hit-out before facing Melbourne in round one on Sunday, March 10.
Weyman, who is returning from a knee reconstruction, will pack down once again alongside Hunt in the front-row.
NSW State of Origin prop Trent Merrin will switch to lock to replace retired Dean Young.
‘‘Losing Weyman hurt us a lot,’’ said Hunt, who helped spread an anti-bullying message at Hurstville Adventist School yesterday.
‘‘When you lose your main go forward, it does hurt you and takes you a while to find your feet.
‘‘I thought we finished off the seasons strong and me, Trent and Mick all feed off each other.
‘‘I think we’ve got one of the best forward packs in the competition.’’
The Dragons have altered their pre-season in a bid to avoid missing consecutive finals for the first time in the joint-ventures history. Skill work and the volume of training have increased.
‘‘We’ve upped the ante a bit,’’ Hunt said. ‘‘We’re doing a lot more skill and pass and we’re doing a lot of pre-line passing.

‘‘I don’t want to steer away from what works for me which is running hard and making sure my workrate is high but if I can add a few components to my game, it’ll go a long way to advancing me as a player.
‘‘If you can have that pass or an off-load, it’s going to make you a better player.’’ 


[h=1]WIN TV: Price and Nightingale[/h]

Thursday 14 February 2013 9:00 AM

WIN TV Cairns checked in with Head Coach Steve Price and winger Jason Nightingale this morning as the Dragons prepare to take to the field on Saturday at Barlow Park, Cairns, against the North Queensland Cowboys.
As part of their week-long camp in the far north Queensland city, the Dragons have been training daily to help condition themselves for the warmer climate and honing their skills ahead of the fixture.
Price admits it will be the first opportunity for him to observe his players in a competitive fixture leading into the 2013 season.
One off-season signing expected to take to the field for the first time in the famous Red V this week is fullback Gerard Beale.
“It’s a great opportunity for all 25-players who travelled up here to get an opportunity to show what they’ve been working on during the pre-season.
“It’s important that we go out there and compete very hard and show the skills that we’ve been working on to carry out on to the field.
“Beale’s an exciting talent and works extremely hard on his game.
“He brings a certain element that we sort of lacked at different stages last year including great special awareness of the football.”
Joining Beale in pushing for an opportunity to impress the Coach are new recruits Bronson Harrison and Josh Drinkwater, while NYC graduates Charly Runciman and Adam Quinlan will be eager to perform in a first-grade trial.
Since arriving in Cairns on Monday, Price says he's been impressed by the level of support for the Dragons from local St George Illawarra fans leading up to the match.
“The guys are excited to be playing the Cowboys so hopefully we can get a big crowd turn out for a good spectacle," said Price. 


[h=1]Cummins to make his mark for Dragons[/h] [h=2]By ADAM PENGILLY[/h]Feb. 13, 2013, 4 a.m.

[*] Dragons players Michael Weyman and Evander Cummins with some of the kids at Mount Terry Public School.Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

It could be one of the most highly anticipated debuts for Dragons followers in years, but boom fullback Evander Cummins says there will be no magic formula to pressing his NRL claims.

Set to shadow new recruit Gerard Beale (Brisbane) for the No 1 role in the early rounds, Cummins, 19, said he was relishing the transition to the full-time squad.
"I love it - this is where I want to be," said Cummins, a member of last year's National Youth Competition Team of the Year.
"I've only done one pre-season but this has by far been the toughest. Pricey has been emphasising working more and bettering ourselves each session.
"All I want to do is keep working hard and improve my game each week.
"If I get the chance, I'd love to take it with both hands. I'll work hard and as soon as Pricey gives me the OK, I'll be sure to rip in."
Cummins, who has represented the NSW under-20s State Of Origin team, cut swathes through opposition NYC defences last season.
So rapid was his development he was plunged into the Illawarra Cutters' NSW Cup side, where his try-scoring heroics continued unabated.
He said his graduation into the full-time ranks had been made easier with a slew of ex-Dragons under-20s players joining him in the pre-season.
"It's good having a lot more younger boys around - you can just relate to them a bit more," he said.

Cummins joined representative prop Michael Weyman and fringe first-grader Leeson Ah Mau at Mount Terry Public School yesterday to spread the anti-bullying message."We can have a bit of fun together outside of footy as well as inside footy."
As part of the NRL's One Community Carnival, the players not involved in the North Queensland trial visited several Illawarra schools to tell about their own experiences with bullying. 


[h=1]Creagh: Shaking Off The Cobwebs[/h]

Friday 15 February 2013 9:00 AM

St George Illawarra Dragons captain Ben Creagh admits that the entire team are keen to shake away the cobwebs when they take to the field for their opening trial clash against the North Queensland Cowboys at Barlow Park, Cairns on Saturday.
The NSW Blues representative is part of a 25-man squad who have travelled to the far north Queensland city for a week-long camp ahead of the opening trial fixture.
The Red-and-Whites have been training daily to help condition themselves to the warmer climate whilst also honing in their ball skills ahead of the anticipated clash.
“We’ve been working on our various combinations in attack and defence and we’re all looking forward to getting a competitive game under our belts,” said Creagh.
“It’s been a while since we’ve hit the field so it’ll be good to shake the cobwebs.
“It’s all about competing and getting some match fitness in our legs this weekend and fine-tuning things for the opening round of the season.”
The Dragons have swapped the fields for the classrooms this week to help support the Community Carnival School Blitz’s anti-bullying message.
The Red V visited over 20 schools throughout the region this week and met dozens of Dragons supporters in the process.
“We’ve had a very long pre-season and it’s been nice changing up our regular routine by getting out and about around Cairns,” said Creagh.
“We’ve had a few community events that the players have been involved in this week including visiting over 20 schools in the local area.
“We saw a few Dragons fans during our travels which was great to see and hopefully they cheer us on against the Cowboys come Saturday.”


Dragons veteran breathes easily with new-found underdogs tag


February 24, 2013

Adrian Proszenko


Trapped … Trent Merrin offloads under pressure. Photo: Brendan Esposito

IT USUALLY kicks in about now. With the season about to begin, the stifling pressure of expectation should be weighing down on all those wearing the Red V.
But for the first time in his illustrious 13-year career, Matt Cooper can't feel it. St George Illawarra have been all but written off by fans and punters alike. And Cooper couldn't be happier.
''It's good,'' Cooper chuckled. ''Every year we've got a lot of pressure on us.
''This year we're pretty much underdogs for the season. I'm happy with that tag - it takes a bit of pressure off us. I've been here for so long, I'm used to it.
''The young boys are going good; they don't buy into that sort of stuff. We just concentrate on what we need to do at training and on the field. If we keep working hard, we're going to be good.''
Cooper (calf) was one of four players taken off early in Friday night's Charity Shield loss to South Sydney due to injury. However, the former representative centre, Jason Nightingale (hip cork), Cameron King (concussion) and Mitch Rein (shoulder) are likely to all be fit for the opening round of the season against Melbourne. ''Overall, we have a few bumps and bruises but nothing that will stop players from training and preparing for the season ahead,'' said Dragons performance director Andrew Gray.
No other team has a tougher start to the season. They take on the reigning premiers at AAMI Park in round one, host the Broncos in round two, face bogy team Canberra away in round four before taking on the Sharks and Newcastle.
Even if he has his full complement to choose from, St George Illawarra coach Steve Price admits he has some selection headaches before finalising his best 17.
''There's definitely a number of positions up for grabs, especially the right centre and edge back-rower,'' Price said. ''There's a couple of reserves [spots] available, too. I haven't made my decision but will in the near future.''
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire has a few selection headaches of his own, albeit pleasant ones. Bryson Goodwin performed solidly after replacing Nathan Merritt, who was dropped to feeder team North Sydney for disciplinary reasons.
''Right across the team I've got some pretty big decision to make for our first-round game,'' Maguire said.
''The way the front-rowers are playing, it's just a real competitive bunch at the moment.''
Rabbitohs captain Michael Crocker said the side, having grown accustomed to Maguire's methods, were ahead of where they were 12 months ago. ''We're a little bit ahead because we've had that full season [behind] us,'' Crocker said. ''Last year we were learning our structures and combinations and now we're pretty settled.''


[h=1]Smith Visits Dragons

Tuesday 26 February 2013 3:00 PM

NRL CEO David Smith has made his first official visit to the St George Illawarra Dragons on Tuesday and stopped to talk with DragonsTV.
Smith and interim CEO Shane Matiske travelled to Wollongong to meet with Dragons Staff and Players as well as the Dragons Board and Executive Management.
Hit the link to hear what Smith had to say about his Dragons visit.


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