I’m really looking forward to the Dragons Round One match this Sunday - even though I shouldn’t.
And that’s nothing to do with what I blogged just before the Charity Shield, where I had enjoyed the off-season and wondered whether the joy of the footy would soon return.
Well it has. I way keen for Sunday afternoon. But I shouldn’t be because we’re playing the Storm down there. We haven’t beaten them in Melbourne since forever. Well, since 1999, which really seems like forever to me.
As for this Sunday being the day that losing streak is snapped well, let’s just say I’m more hopeful than confident. The Dragons’ pre-season form was up and down. On the up side was the first trial against the Cowboys. Sure, we lost 28-22 but the highlights package shows some nice pieces of attack, especially inside the opposition quarter. That’s precisely where we had so much trouble last season - we could get down to the other team’s so-called ‘‘red zone’’ but couldn’t work out how to get over the line.
On the down side was the 28-10 loss to the Rabbitohs. Our defence didn’t look too great and the attack that showed itself against the Cowboys was basically absent. Now given that the Storm more resemble the Bunnies side we played than the Cowboys, you’d think our attack needs be to focused and defence disciplined if we’re to have any chance of scoring, let alone winning.
Play like we did in the Charity Shield and things won’t end well for us.
Steve Price shouldn’t coach like his job’s on the line in these first few rounds - even though it probably is. It was at risk the moment the Dragons chased hard for Craig Bellamy - who, incidentally, was so not worth the money we were going to throw at him. The man’s talents are hugely over-rated. Look, any half-decent coach could lead a team with a spine like Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater. No surprise to me that Bellamy’s winning record drops dramatically when one of those players are injured. Nor is it a surprise that his rep coaching career record is just three wins from 12 games.
Give Bellamy a team without the big three and his coaching skills suddenly don’t look so special.
But I digress. If Price starts coaching like his life depends on it, it’ll lead to some dumb decisions. Instead he just needs to put all that to the side and coach with a level head.