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R L Winger

The poisoned chalice: Coaching the Dragons

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St George Illawarra lose again and by a convincing margin. Nothing new here, next sport story!

Sadly for proud and expectant Dragons fans, this is too common of a storyline.

Success has been as rare as hens teeth at Kogarah and Wollongong since the Wayne Bennett era. For Dragons fans, anything less than being a premiership threat will never be accepted.

St George fans demand success and will no doubt ask the club’s administration why it has accepted such lean returns in the past five or six years. Why has this once great club fallen so far considering the plethora of talent at its disposal?

A small part of the answer is that other NRL clubs have lifted their game and are operating in a far more sophisticated manner than they ever have before. The NRL standard of excellence has never been higher. The level of professionalism on the playing field and on the training field continues to evolve. Any club that does not evolve and adapt to these rising standards will perish.

Paul McGregor has had a solid career as an NRL coach, though at times through his tenure he has been unlucky. His win-loss record of 49 per cent is certainly not the worst in the NRL.

The man can coach. He has taken the Dragons to the top of the ladder, but the team found ways to not stay there.

McGregor’s win-loss record would be enough to get a contract extension at most clubs, but not at St George – not as far as their fans are concerned.

Therein lies the problem. The current culture at St George Illawarra and the expectations of their fan-base are poles apart.

Mediocrity will never be accepted by fans of the red V. The Dragons fan-base is the hardest in the NRL to keep happy. Being in charge of the St George Illawarra Dragons is a pressure cooker environment.

A blindfolded bat could see that extending the contract of a coach who has not taken the Dragons to the third or fourth week of a final series with such a talented player roster was a bad move by management. It was also perceived as an endorsement of a culture of mediocrity.

Dragons fans embrace mediocrity as much as Donald Trump embraces climate change.

If McGregor resigns or is sacked, whoever comes in to replace him will be stepping up to arguably the toughest coaching job in all of Australian sport.

There is one thing for sure. McGregor’s days at the helm at the Dragons are certainly numbered.

 


 

 

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Sometimes in these situations a change of direction is needed and a look outside the ex player route may be what's needed.

I know Bennett had other things going for him like the fact he's a bloody good coach, and he would have been well aware of the Dragons history and the baggage it brings but it wouldn't deflect him from doing his job his way and sod the destractors, where you find that type of coach I don't know there's only 3 that spring to mind; Bellamy, Stuart, and Shaun Wane and you can see the obvious problems regards all three! Things need to change certainly but to revert to type won't be the answer 😎

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Five things that are needed to fix the Dragons before the 2020 Season.

1.....The CEO needs to be replaced with a CEO of the Calibre of the Late Great Frank Facer.

2.....All under performing players need to be moved on and replaced with players that perform week in week out.

3.....The Jack De Belin saga needs to be finalised...If he loses his appeal in August that means he can not play till after his rape trial is finalised with a not guilty verdict, that can take up to another two years to be finalised...So therefore if he loses the appeal his contract needs to be paid out and he has to be cut loose for the good of the team.

4.....The Win Corporation that bought out the Illawarra Steelers side of the joint venture need to put in the funds promised to the St George Dragons or the St George Dragons should dissolve this partnership and go it alone again like they did from 1921 to 1998 

5.....The coach and his coaching staff needs to be moved on and a new coach with the runs on the board appointed...The old boys club has been calling the shots at the Dragons for far too long now. It is high time for a whole new 21st century approach.

Edited by R L Winger

 

 

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Just now on Fox Sports Au site:

”St George Illawarra powerbrokers considered 14 coaching options before rewarding Paul McGregor with a two-year contract extension in April.

Names like Geoff Toovey, Anthony Griffin, Trent Barrett, Jason Ryles and Adam O’Brien were all considered prior to the board rubberstamping McGregor’s tenure until the end of 2021.

With only two victories from their last 11 matches, you’ll be hard pressed finding a Dragons supporter who isn’t currently calling for Mary to be axed.”

Well That last bit reflects your thoughts exactly RLW.

As you imply the problem goes beyond who the coach is.


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15 hours ago, southwalesrabbitoh said:

St George and Illawarra should break up. 

Yep the team needs to revert back to the name St George Dragons and base themselves back in Kogarah in Sydney. The Illawarra Steelers are no longer a merger partner with the Dragons there 25% stake in the club was bought out by WIN TV last year.

Edited by R L Winger

 

 

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13 hours ago, Graham said:

Just now on Fox Sports Au site:

”St George Illawarra powerbrokers considered 14 coaching options before rewarding Paul McGregor with a two-year contract extension in April.

Names like Geoff Toovey, Anthony Griffin, Trent Barrett, Jason Ryles and Adam O’Brien were all considered prior to the board rubberstamping McGregor’s tenure until the end of 2021.

With only two victories from their last 11 matches, you’ll be hard pressed finding a Dragons supporter who isn’t currently calling for Mary to be axed.”

Well That last bit reflects your thoughts exactly RLW.

As you imply the problem goes beyond who the coach is.

You are 100% correct Graham the clubs problems are now far more than just a coach that has no idea how to motivate an NRL club,  The club needs a broom putting through the joint sweeping through the administration, playing and coaching staff.


 

 

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