The Dragons yesterday had a chance to all but cement a top four spot in front of a big home crowd. The Dragons had the chance to send out club champion Jason Nightingale in the best possible way.
The Dragons had the chance to head into the finals with at worst two wins from three games correcting their sub-par form over the past month.
The Dragons had plenty of chances and they blew them all after being slaughtered 38-0 by a far superior Bulldogs team.
The Red V turned in one of the worst performances in the club’s history with a top four spot on the line. They failed to score a single point on a day that could have set up a genuine shot at a second premiership.
Simply put the gravity of this loss cannot be understated. Instead of having a second shot at the finals if needed, the Dragons now face an away trip in round one of the finals.
Considering the way the club started the season, the fact an away, sudden death finals is a huge shock.
Yesterday’s performance has summed up the club since the Origin period. Despite the odd win here and there, the Dragons have been terrible.
Compared to the blistering form they produced in the opening ten or so rounds, this was frustrating for neutrals to watch.
Were the Dragons fans wrong to boo their side? @zerotackle
— 👉 S S S Sweet Valentine!!! 👈 (@suthodan) August 26, 2018
As frustrating as it was for fans of the game in general, it must have been downright unbearable for fans of the club, some who had already planned their Grand Final weekend earlier in the season.
Fans’ frustrations and anger seem to have built over the past month-or-so boiled over yesterday at Kogarah Oval when a fair amount of the 12,000 or so fans took to boo’ing their fans off the park.
I’m not for a second implying that every fan wearing the famous Red V went down this avenue yesterday afternoon but the disapproval was loud and it honestly sounded like a majority of fans.
The backlash has continued across social media, as it always does, with many calling for heads to roll and even the club’s finals fixtures to be done away with. Right now you can’t really blame fans as I can’t see the Dragons beating anyone other than maybe the Panthers.
The downfall of the Dragons will be discussed later in the week but yesterday afternoon’s reaction posed a huge question: were the Dragons fans right in booing their team off the park?
Dragons fullback Matt Dufty has already come out to voice his displeasure at the reaction. He asked fans for their support making the very real point that none of the players were happy with the result.
Straight up I’ll admit I’m not above talking negatively about my side across social media. The fact that each negative tweet is met almost every time by a ‘I’ll show you’ action is just a funny side-note.
That said, the majority of Dragons fans I follow, while upset and angry about the result have taken to social media to show disdain for the fans dishing out on the players.
Fans pay good money to go and watch their side. Tickets aren’t cheap while food, drink, merchandise and travel all add up.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and there would have been a few fans at the game who could have been elsewhere. Sacrifices are made in the name of supporting your team.
I’ve always taken great delight in engaging the “everything’s ok” brigade across Sharks fan pages when times are not so good. To see fans claim everything is perfect after a 30-point loss is ridiculous, but there’s a big different between talking negatively about a team on a closed Facebook page and booing them after being wiped off the park.
For the record I don’t think the Dragons fans were all that out of line yesterday. If ever a team deserved to be booed off the field it was this Dragons team. They were woeful in a game that meant so much. If they couldn’t get up for this occasion then perhaps they shouldn’t bother moving forward.
That said, I can’t imagine it would do any good to the players’ confidence.
No good can come of booing the team off the field but I bet the fans on the hill felt a little better after releasing that pent up frustration.
NRL fans, especially Dragons fans, I’m throwing this one over to you … were the Dragons wrong to boo their team off the field yesterday? Please let us know below.