St George Illawarra Dragons interim coach Ryan Carr and captain Ben Hunt have claimed the current off-field situation hovering over the club has nothing to do with their form.

Hunt requested a release from the Dragons two weeks ago from State of Origin camp, before returning to the Dragons last weekend in a thrashing at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors.

The Dragons conceded 48 points last weekend, before adding another 52 points to their against column in a local derby against the Cronulla Sharks on Thursday night.

It means the Red V have conceded 92 points at the hands of the Sharks this season across their two games, but the club's leadership duo were adamant Hunt's request for a release had nothing to do with the worrying run of form which has quickly propelled the Dragons to the worst defensive record in the competition, to go with their last-placed spot on the ladder.

Hunt said the situation hadn't been talked about by the playing group.

“I can't speak for anyone, but it [my situation] hasn't really been talked about at the club,” Hunt said during the post-match press conference when asked if the week's off-field events could bring down the club.

“Like I touched on, we had a good week at training, a good week in the meetings and it hasn't really been touched on.”

Carr quickly backed him up, saying the club had moved on from any issues with Hunt's release request.

“We have moved on from that stuff mate. He is here with us, he is part of our team, he is going to continue to be that for the rest of this year and that's all we can focus on. It has nothing to do with Ben and his off-field stuff. It has got everything to do with all of us at the club and it's going to take all of us to fight our way out of it,” Carr said.

The Dragons were appalling in defence throughout the contest against the Sharks, leaking tries on either edge as Matt Moylan and Nicho Hynes ran on three try assists a piece.

Despite being in the game during the first half, a lack of possession hurt the Dragons, with only 39 per cent of the ball at the conclusion of the contest.

The Sharks made just five errors against the Dragons 11, but Hunt said the group must fight harder, suggesting their preparation for the game had been about as good as it could have been, although he was ill at the start of the week.

“I was actually crook at the start of the week, and I only had captain's run,” Hunt said.

“We had a really good captain's run. We had good meetings, we prepared really well and I was feeling pretty confident coming into tonight.

“We just need to come together as a group and fight harder than we have the last two weeks and get some wins. We can't shy away from it, we have to keep turning up, trying to be better and look after each other to play as a team.”

Should Hunt exit the club this season, he will need to have a move finalised by the first Monday in August under NRL rules, although that seems unlikely - the Dragons have suggested they will continue to work with Hunt for "the remainder of his playing contract" which runs until the end of 2025 after Hunt extended for two years with the club late last year.


  1. Season has now fully imploded and certainly given them the wooden spoon. Atrocious capitulation that has now happened at least 6 times this season in huge final 20 minute blowouts. Whole team is a disgrace to the jersey and should hang their heads in shame. On line defense is under 8 standards. Cronulla’s tries were some of the softest on record.

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