St George Illawarra to make stand, says Dan Hunt

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dragons prop Dan Hunt runs the ball at training this week. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Dragons prop Dan Hunt runs the ball at training this week. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Battered on the scoreboard and left with bruised egos, prop Dan Hunt has declared the Dragons are preparing to make a stand.

Returning home to their Wollongong training headquarters at WIN Stadium when they play fellow battlers Cronulla on Saturday night, Hunt has claimed the team is simply not prepared to accept their fate as an NRL also-ran this season.

Go to the Dragon's Den

Instead, Hunt remains adamant a form reversal is closer than the critics believe.

After four successive losses, but the first for new coach Paul McGregor following the sacking of Steve Price, Hunt is intent on keeping their fading finals flame flickering.

In his 150th game and with the Dragons 13th on the ladder, Hunt concedes it's one of the lowest points of his stellar career, but said his side has the mettle to bounce back over the remaining 14 rounds.

"We just need to stick together keep working hard and it will turn. It always does," Hunt said.

"It's a old cliche but tough times don't last, tough people do. It's not through lack of trying and effort.

"Things just aren't going our way but I know the boys are sticking together and working hard.

"The year's not finished.

"There's 14 games to go and we'll be doing everything in our power to make the finals."

Hunt hasn't been immune to the avalanche of criticism directed at his side's big men - or lack thereof - following heavy losses to the Bulldogs, Eels and Rabbitohs over the past four rounds but he said his side showed enough in the early part of Monday night's 29-10 loss to the Rabbitohs to suggest they can turn around their season under Paul McGregor.

"Souths are a big pack and so were the Bulldogs, but it's all about want," Hunt said.

"I wouldn't say it's about size, it's about attitude and effort.

"I don't listen to what the media says but we know ourselves that those performances against the Bulldogs and Parramatta weren't up to our standards. It just wasn't good enough.

"We have been training since our bye and working really hard and you could see the difference [against Souths] in our defence, our attitude and our want.

"I think we've found that again and we showed that on the weekend against one of the best packs in the comp. We held them in patches but we need to get better."

With Saturday's match shaping as must-win for both sides, Hunt is expecting no favours from the Sharks as he chalks up his 150-game milestone.

"These games are always tough," he said.

"We're always up to play them and they're always up to play us and we saw in round three that it was just a dog fight. To play 150 games for the Red V ... it's something not a lot of people get to do and the opportunity to do it on Saturday is something I'll hold close to my heart. But my main focus is making sure I perform and do my role for the team."

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