Successful Dragons mean just one thing.
A surplus of dragon slayers waiting in the wings to take a shot at the wounded.
St. George has been a model of consistency all season, never out of the top four and on top much of the time, but they have slipped from first to fourth as knights, not necessarily the type from Newcastle, have led the Dragons to slump to the extent that since Origin III, the only club they have beaten is the North Queensland Cowboys.
St. George Coach Paul McGregor appears to be perplexed by the shift in the clubs fortunes and he admitted as much following a lopsided loss to the Sydney Roosters by the score of 36 – 18.
“Every team at different stages of the year are playing their best footy and I think the Roosters right now are getting close to their best,” McGregor said.
That quote seems tailor made for either outcome, a win or a loss, but it stings when uttered in connection to a loss.
“We were not at our best [on Sunday], so we paid the price, said McGregor. “Defensively they controlled the ball well in the tackle, which nullified us getting on the front foot, but in saying that we didn’t allow ourselves much either because our kicking game wasn’t where it needed to be.”
“It’s a bit deflating isn’t it,” McGregor admitted.
The tail end of the season is a poor spot for a crisis of confidence. You want to get those out of the way at the beginning of the season and save your best form for when it matters most, at the end and into finals.
With the Dragons’ demise, the Melbourne Storm seems to be building and they look good chances to become the first club to win back-to-back NRL Premierships since the 1993 Brisbane Broncos.
The Storm has been prevailing by stifling opponents with defense and the upcoming game with the South Sydney Rabbitohs might serve as a harbinger of things to come in the finals.