No stranger to late finals charges, Dragons back-rower Bronson Harrison is confident his side has what it takes to make a run at September football this season.
After his debut in 2004, Harrison was a member of Tim Sheens’ Wests Tigers squad that won 12 of their last 14 games on the way to the 2005 premiership.
He was also at Canberra in 2010 when the Raiders won nine of their last 10 matches to scrape into seventh place and, with an upset win over Penrith in week one of the finals, delivered the club’s first finals win in more than a decade.
With the Dragons needing to produce a similar run to feature in this year’s finals, the former Kiwi international plans to use every ounce of his experience to deliver more wins like the gritty 19-18 victory over mid-table rivals Gold Coast last week.
‘‘It was an important win and all our wins are going to be important now because we’re cutting it a bit fine,’’ Harrison said.
‘‘I think we have a late run in us but hopefully we don’t leave it too late.
‘‘It’s about confidence, that’s all it comes down to. We’ve been building that, even through some of the losses.
‘‘Even though they’ve been hard [the losses] we’ve been getting better and that’s the main thing. When you keep getting better you start building confidence.
‘‘We’re not too far out of it so if we string a few more wins together who knows what will happen.’’
Of the Dragons squad, only Ben Creagh (225) has played more NRL games than Harrison’s 190 and the 28-year-old hopes his experience can have a steadying influence on the young Dragons before facing several must-win games, including Monday’s clash with Melbourne.
‘‘That bit of experience might help us in some tough times and I think I can add something to the team, but I’ve got to make sure I’m contributing every week,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve had a lot of flack put on us and rightly deserved, but we’re tight as a team. We’re working really hard to get better each week.’’
Off-contract at the end of the season, Harrison also has the added incentive of earning a new deal though he insists it won’t be on his mind when he takes to the field against Melbourne.