With the curtain fast coming down on the St George Illawarra Dragons’ season, the Red V faithful have been calling for Paul McGregor’s sacking following a dire 2019 and having only made the finals twice during his five seasons at the helm.
While I can sympathise to an extent with McGregor due to the consistent injuries the Dragons have suffered as well as the Jack de Belin issue hanging over their season like a dark cloud, he has not helped himself with his baffling team selections.
Currently languishing in 14th with only seven wins for the year, the Dragons’ forward pack have copped their fair share of criticism with only NSW Origin representative Paul Vaughan averaging over 100 running metres amongst the Dragons’ previously lauded forward pack.
This is where my problem with McGregor lies, surely a quality first-grade coach would recognise these deficiencies and bring in another squad member.
Step in, Lachlan Timm. Having joined the Dragons at the beginning of the 2019 season after a successful junior career at the Storm, Timm has been arguably the best player in the Canterbury Cup in 2019.
The former Queensland under 20 representative currently tops the competition for post-contact metres with 1204, tackles with 691, total runs, and run metres averaging 165 per match.
While McGregor has shown he has paid attention to the Dragons lower-grades, handing local junior Jackson Ford his debut against the Titans after a four-try performance in the previous round, continually not selecting the in-form Timm after such an average season from his big men is borderline criminal.
While McGregor’s ignorance is undoubtedly costing the Dragons in the short-term, it could prove to cost them in the long-term also, with Fox Sports reporting that Timm’s future is likely to be away from Wollongong due to a lack of game time in the top grade which he has undeniably earnt.
With only four rounds remaining and the door all but shut on the Dragons finals hope, now is the time to blood more youngsters like Timm, in the same way that Jason Saab and Jackson Ford have been handed their chances, because if McGregor doesn’t, another coach will.