A few weeks ago, you would not have thought it possible, but after some soul-searching and a new-found unity among the team, the St George Illawarra Dragons have marched to two successive victories, after a close win over the Newcastle Knights 19-16 at Kogarah Oval.
In what was perhaps the best performance we have seen from five-eighth Jamie Soward all season, Dragons coach Steve Price was pleased with his side’s win, praising the players – with Price enjoying three successive victories over Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett since his departure to the Knights.
“It’s not something I get off on,” Price said.
“For a guy who has won seven premierships I have the upmost respect for him.
“It’s all about putting a good performance in and the boys did that.”
After their form was heavily criticised following successive losses, Price said that the club and players knew they were headed in the right direction, but they are not about to get carried away.
“I wouldn’t say we’re on fire but it’s very pleasing,” he said.
“We’re heading in the right direction. The first three weeks we were doing a lot of positive stuff but it’s only starting to come out now.
“We backed up a good performance against the Sharks and it’s important we keep building off that.”
Whilst disappointed with his side’s effort, he was not totally downcast, simply saying that his side left their run to get back into the contest too late.
“We ran out of time today,” Bennett said.
“We were beaten by a really good team and we were really good ourselves. It happens, that’s footy.
“That’s where we want to be. That’s the way we want to be playing. We’ll win more than we lose.”
Price and the Dragons received support from Bennett, when the super coach was queried on the Dragons form reversal from the early rounds.
“If I listen to you guys (in the media) they were playing pretty poor but I don’t listen to you,” he said.
“They were putting a lot of effort in. You are quick to criticise after losing a couple of games but it’s the quality and how you lose.
“They were trying their hearts out and it just wasn’t coming off for them.”
3. Jamie Soward
2. Dan Hunt
1. Darius Boyd