Dragons to continue their grinding style of play

Dragons, NSW and Australian centre Matt Cooper says that his club will stick to the grinding style that won them the 2010 NRL premiership despite many critics describing their play as boring.

The style, which aims at shutting down the key players from opposition teams, as well as tiring oppositions over a shorter period complements the Dragons strong defence and their scintillating attack.

“I don’t know about that,” Cooper said when asked about the possibility of a more expansive game in 2011.

“We’ve shown what works the last two years. We’d have to see what Wayne’s plans are in the new year but at the moment we’re just concentrating on getting our bodies right, getting our minds right.”

The Dragons, who are already back in intense pre-season training, don’t look set to slow down anytime soon as they aim for a repeat season in 2011.

Generally, when the fitness regimes are tough, player disharmony is more frequent and player morale is down, but Cooper says that in this case, given the strong ties between the players, the training is made easier as a result.

“Usually you come back to pre-season dreading the training and the break’s not long enough, but this year I was keen to get back just to see all the boys and reminisce about the grand final,” Cooper said.

“The monkey’s off our back and you just felt that relief as soon as that siren went in the grand final.”

Perhaps the question on everyone’s tongue in the NRL at this stage is whether or not Dragons coach Wayne Bennett will remain with the Dragons beyond 2011.

Reports are imminent that he’s set to sign a deal to go to the Bunnies in 2012, but it’s likely that a decision will only be definitively made in the off-season.

“Obviously Wayne hasn’t made up his mind what he wants to do, it’s a decision that will come hopefully before the season starts,” Cooper said.

” … obviously for the club and the players and the supporters we’d love to have him here as long as we could, but that’s his decision.”

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