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Bennett all the motivation needed: Dragons

St George Illawarra insist playing against a Wayne Bennett-coached side is the only motivation they need heading into Saturday's showdown with Newcastle.
Bennett all the motivation needed: Dragons
by AAP

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, June 7 AAP - St George Illawarra insist playing against a Wayne Bennett-coached side is the only motivation they need heading into Saturday's showdown with Newcastle.

The Knights, in their second season under the seven-time premiership winning coach, entered 2013 with high expectations but have stuttered to a 6-6 record nearing the midway point of the season.

And the Dragons plan on using the weapon which was developed under Bennett - the great wall of defence - as a plan to derail the Knights' season when they clash at Hunter Stadium.

"Coming up against Wayne, the old coach, there's no more motivation than that," halfback Nathan Fien said during the week.

"He did tremendous things for our club.

"Tremendous things for all the players, and myself, individually.

"I guess it's ultimate respect, you play well against your former coach."

It's a factor which has helped drive the Dragons to three straight victories over Bennett's Knights since his defection at the end of 2011.

"Our record suggests that we don't do too badly," Fien added.

The Dragons have suffered back-to-back losses, but conceded just three tries a piece in each defeat.

"We're defending quite well at the moment but with the side, with so many dangerous players we're going to have to be on our game," Fien said.

"It's a work in progress. We'd like to score a few more points obviously but our defence is keeping us in games.

"It's what we built our club around the last few years. It's given us an opportunity (to win games)."

After briefly flirting with the top eight, following a brief run of wins, the Dragons have slipped back into 13th spot - but remain just two wins out of the NRL's top teams.

Fien says the Dragons don't feel out of finals contention by any stretch, and that others have proven a string of victories can have a dramatic impact on the ladder.

"That old cliche, you've got to take it one week at a time and just concentrate on what we're doing and what we're about - then the results generally take care of themselves," he said.

"We're sitting in 13th, but we're still only one or two wins outside the top six."




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