TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Dragons coach Paul McGregor looks on before the start of the round 1 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the St George Illawarra Dragons at 1300SMILES Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

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.

10 COMMENTS

  1. So who would you drop Angus??? The problem with the Dragons isn’t their forward pack and just because a player is playing well in the lower grades shouldn’t mean he’s a walk up start to the NRL.
    Could you imagine the backlash from the player and fans if Frizell or Sims or Vaughan were dropped because a player is playing well in reserve grade.
    If you want to make changes then replace Lafai with a young centre, I don’t like bagging players but Lafai doesn’t offer the Dragons any consistency at all and he needs to be released, same goes for Field & Dufty (speed isn’t everything)
    Needed to keep Widdop but that’s not happening so now it’s time to find a good 5/8 and a strike centre.
    Cheers

  2. Maguire has always struggled to bring in fresh young talent. Jack Bird, Ruben Garrick, Reece Robson are all players that come to mind that all departed the club in the last few years. Even players such as Timm, Sailor, Masters who are current juniors don’t get given much opportunity. Dufty Aiken and Feild are always in and out of the team. Think he proven over all these years he’s not a top coach and the dragons have both a top pack and top halves that they need a top coach to get the best out of this team

  3. CMTD,
    Very simple mate. Bye bye Latimore and Kaufusi. How this muppet continues to ignore Timm and Kerr on a weekly basis is beyond me. Latimore is retiring and Kaufusi is on a 6 month stay before heading to super league.

    Between the two of them the poor strapper would be putting in overtime each weekend. No other coach except our genius would pick those 2 in front of the young up and comers.

  4. I understand the frustration here and I feel much the same. If the Dragons have got any clue about player retention they should resign Lachlan Timm asap. This fella is only in his early 20’s and wouldn’t cost a lot keep plus his work-rate has been great all season in the CCC. Blake Lawrie and Josh Kerr are good young front-rowers, but an NRL squad needs depth and they should give Lachlan Timm some time in first grade before the end of the season.
    As for Mary, it’s all been said by now and it’s a matter of winning a couple more games before the end of the season and see what happens in the off season imo. The tom-tom drums are beating for Dean Young and Ben Hornby to be replaced, and I’ve heard from a few different sources that Trent Barrett will be Mary’s assistant next year which may or may not be a good move. The thing in Barrett’s favour is he has first grade coaching experience, albeit in a different environment to where he played much of his NRL carrer.
    We can only wait and hope.

  5. budgie, in my opinion next season will be just as useless as this year if the coaching situation doesn’t change ( which it won’t ).

    No signings from outside the club, same useless centres week after week, no Widdop, no jdb, same ordinary coaching staff ( with Trent added to AC 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️ ), the same rubbish 4 hit ups for a block play spread then a bomb…. God I’m getting a migraine just writing this 💩.

    I really can’t see what changes next year and if Holbrook gets the GC improving then we are really at risk of running last . Anyway let’s hope one of the smaller teams like Canberra, Parra or Manly win the gf this year, that would make the pain feel a little better over the off season

  6. Happens every year with the dragons, start well, mid season fall, late season push and then exit the finals in the first week. Something has to change and with Widdop going, a very strong experienced forward pack for Norman Hunt and McInnes to work off they need some change off the field. In the backs they have lots of options in Duffy, Feild, Peirera, Ravalawa, Saab, Aiken, Lafai, Lomax, Masters and so on. If it’s me you straight swap Aiken for Ramien, both clubs win. They look to release Lafai. Then you get in a new coach, for me Laurie Daley and he brings with him John Cartwright and/or Matt Elliott.

  7. McGregor is so out of touch and has no idea about how to coach a football club. However what are the useless board going to do. Sweet FA.

  8. You want proof of Mary being out of touch?

    Which current Manly player not only tops their try scoring list, but currently sits equal second on the NRL’s try scoring list for 2019 with 158 (15 tries and 44 goals after only taking over the kicking in Round 7) and sits 5th for NRL points scored in 2019 in just his rookie year?

    Reuben Garrick wasn’t deemed good enough to even make the top 30 players at the Dragons for 2019 and was allowed to look for another club to try his luck at first grade. Manly snapped him up and touch wood he hasn’t missed a game all season for the high flying Sea Eagles. Other than Des Hasler, Garrick would easily rank as Manly’s buy of the year.

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