A toothless attack has been transformed into a strike force capable of blowing NRL rivals away, Dragons winger turned centre Daniel Vidot declared yesterday.
It only takes one glance at last year’s ladder to see where the 2010 premiership and finalists every year since 2008, missed out on the playoffs last year.
St George Illawarra scored just 405 points last year, the least of any team in the competition, including just 148 in 12 games away from their Kogarah and Wollongong home bases.
But as coach Steve Price works to remodel the combinations in the final days of pre-season before the first trial in Cairns in a fortnight, Vidot said the Dragons would be a vastly superior try-scoring outfit.
‘‘It’s looking pretty good to be honest, when we all link up,’’ Vidot said. ‘‘It’s pretty sharp out there and if we do the same things on the practice field out on the park, we can blow some teams away.
‘‘I’ve been training in centres all pre-season, I want to try and cement my spot there and develop that link with [Jason] Nightingale.’’
The move to right centre comes after Vidot made the switch from the left to the right wing to be more comfortable last season, while Price shuffled between Kyle Stanley, Brett Morris and Nightingale at fullback.
Recruited from Brisbane, Gerard Beale will start the NRL season in the No1 jersey, but Morris is sure the 22-year-old is the missing link.
‘‘I think that’s why we got him here, he’s a skilful player,’’ Morris said.
‘‘We saw when he played fullback at the Broncos he really excelled in the position and now he’s been given an opportunity here and taken it with both hands.’
While the left side features the same combination as previous years, with new captain Ben Creagh, Matt Cooper and Morris working together, the right side is again the unknown quantity.
Tyson Frizell, returning to the Dragons from the Sharks, is poised to start in the second-row, and link with Vidot and Nightingale.
After joining St George Illawarra from the Raiders last year, Vidot scored five tries in 20 games last year, but said the move to the centres will suit him.
‘‘I feel a lot more comfortable,’’ he said. ‘‘I used to play it when I was younger and in the Toyota Cup, I really only turned into a winger when I went to first grade for Canberra.
‘‘This season I’m coming to training, I know everything about what’s going to happen and gelled with the boys and built a few combinations with them.’’
The Dragons’ first trial is in Cairns against North Queensland on February 16, before the Charity Shield against South Sydney on February 22. Round one of the season is against Melbourne away on March 10.