Bellamy has concerns over Dragons forward pack

One of the games supercoaches in Craig Bellamy has concerns about the Dragons pack, that he says will limit their premiership credentials in the 2011 season.

He believes that with the departure of both Neville Costigan and Jeremy Smith, a large hole has formulated in their forward pack, and he says the pack will be exposed this year due to a lack of punch up front.

‘‘They’re not going to find another Jeremy Smith or Neville Costigan, especially the way Nev played at the end of last season,’’ he said.

‘‘Finding someone to replace them can’t be done.’’

Both Smith and Costigan are regarded as the type of players who are enforcers, and provide their teams with a ton of mongrel up front, both of whom were instrumental in the Dragons success of 2010.

To illustrate how much the Dragons will miss both Smith and Costigan, when both players have missed games, the Dragons track record in winning is only 33%, a sign which doesn’t bode well for them.

Whilst he refuses to write them off completely, the former NSW Origin coach says that that the Dragons will not be as dominant as they were in 2010.

“There will be a few changes in the way they play which comes as a result of the guys they have lost,” Bellamy said

“They played a really big role in what the Dragons did so well.

“Whoever comes in to replace them will have a different set of strengths and weaknesses and Wayne will just find a way to use those strengths to make the weaknesses less evident.”

For Bellamy, it is all about how the Dragons can bounce back from their premiership success, and their early season form will dictate that.

“When you win a competition you would have had a few younger guys in the side that people didn’t really know about,” he said.

“But without a doubt they know them now and a lot of pressure falls on them to continue where they left off.

“That’s part of winning the comp, every team does everything they can to knock off the top dog.”

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