Well the new NRL season is slowly getting closer and the St George/Illawarra Dragons are feeling pretty good about themselves, as they always do this time of the year.
They’ll be the Premiers by March, just you watch.
Anyway they recently showed off their new, but unfinished renovations to Oki, Win, Jubilee stadium, or what ever its called this week, and to be honest it still looks like an old cricket oval with a tiny “grand stand” and very little else.
Apparently its the type of stadium other teams will envy…..3rd grade bush teams I guess.
The Dragons have also been talking up their chances of attracting the likes of Darren Lockyer, Karmichael Hunt and Benji Marshall to the club because of the influence of Wayne Bennett. As soon as that boast was made Darren Lockyer all but asked for a lifetime contract to stay at the Broncos!
It will be interesting to see how Wayne Bennett goes at the Dragons. I’ve recently been reading his book “Man In The Mirror” and its interesting to see the mindset he takes.
Througout the book Bennett talks as though he is fighting the great fight to keep the Broncos competitive. Fighting against so many influences all hell bent on dulling the Broncos competitive edge.
However, thought the book, he talks about picking up players like Wally Lewis, Glen Lazarus, Gene Miles, Kevin and Kerrod Walters, Trevour Gilmeister, Gorden Tallis and the like, players other clubs would have killed for, and yet Bennett had these players at his disposal through his entire Broncos coaching career.
One former test player leaves the Broncos, they went out and bought btwo or three replacements.
He wont have that same advantage with the Dragons in Sydney. Its no longer one club for one city (Or the entire state as he had at the Broncos for around 10 years). The market for players, even juniors in Sydney is vastly different than that in Queensland and its going to be interesting to see how Bennett manages with that change.
Do I think much will change at the Dragons? Its hard to say.
The culture at the club is terrible, the inmates have been running the asylum there for well over a decade. On top of that, the club is run by idiots. Not all of them are idiots of course, but the ones that have the right number of votes are.
That’s a lot for any coach to have to work against, and it would take a good core of senior players to keep everything on track, and that’s something the Dragons just don’t have.
So I don’t expect too much to be different at the Dragons. I think we’ll see improvement just based on the fact that Bennett is a good coach, but I think we’ll see many of the problems that have plagued them in the past simply because Benny won’t be able to change things over night.
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