SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Head Coach of the Dragons Paul McGregor looks on during the NRL trial match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and Hull at ANZ Stadium on February 17, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

A side on a four-game winning streak sitting in the top six is one you wouldn't tend to change, however Dragons coach Paul McGregor must make a crucial call ahead of a huge Anzac Day test against the league's top side in the Roosters.

With first choice kicker and captain Gareth Widdop sidelined until at least the finals, the Red V's kicking duties have fallen to Tim Lafai, whose two games in charge with the tee have resulted in some disastrous kicking which almost cost the side twice.

Luckily for McGregor there's a quick and easy fix, and he's already in the starting 17.

Having stepped up for the side in crucial periods of a game in his short NRL career already, the Dragons desperately need star youngster Zac Lomax on the field for as long as possible.

Just seven months ago, Lomax was handed the responsibility of taking a penalty kick in the Dragons' semi-final against the Rabbitohs which would put the side ahead with only minutes on the clock. The Temora juniour stood over the ball like he could've kicked it with his eyes closed and smashed the Steeden through the sticks.

It's this steal and confidence that must be thrust upon the side in next week's Anzac Day, in light of the club's goal kicking conundrum.

Beyond Lomax's ice cool goal kicking ability he is an out-and-out brilliant player, who in his short NRL career has already proven his freakish ability. Dubbed 'the gifted one' by NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler, Lomax is a big body with electric agility and an eye for big plays.

In a game which is almost always won by a matter of points, the Dragons can't afford to get the small things wrong on Anzac Day against the Roosters.

And with that, Mary has a big decision to make: give Lomax bigger minutes off the bench, or replace one of his current starting 13 with Lomax?

Currently playing in Lomax's preferred positions of fullback and center are Matt Dufty, Euan Aitken and Tim Lafai, all of whom McGregor is unlikely to move on.

Which means if Lomax comes into the 13, rookie Fijian winger Mikaele Ravalawa seems the most likely to be moved. Whilst he scored the try that won his side the game against Manly, and has shown improvements in his combination with inside centre Euan Aitken, Ravalawa's defense has still proven to be shakey and he has become a target for high kicks after a number of drops.



  1. I agree, Lafai is playing too well to move and Aitken is playing hard and tough to tackle. Ravalawa has improved but still risky in defense and under the bomb. Lomax needs to be our goal kicker, he’s better than Widdop as a goal kicker.

  2. I am the last person to defend Lafai,

    He had a bad day with the boot, simple as that.

    Get over it & don’t over analyse everything.

    The backline is well balanced at the moment so I wouldn’t be touching anything.

  3. I tend to agree with Phoenix, Lafai was going more than fine before the Manly game. Not ideal but let’s put it down to a bad night with the boot. Let’s see how he bounces back tomorrow b4 everyone hangs him by his knackers.

    I also agree that Lomax should be in the 13 and I’d replace Ravalawa with Zac who is more than ready for 1st grade. My biggest concern is the chosen one ignoring him one too many times b4 the young fella blows up and wants out. That would be a bloody tragedy!! Fire up tomorrow boys and bash these chookies 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

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