Dragons set finals agenda with belief rediscovered: Ben Creagh

RUGBY LEAGUE

Dragons captain Ben Creagh

Dragons captain Ben Creagh

Captain Ben Creagh believes the Dragons have rediscovered the belief to play September football as they look to land a blow on finals rivals Cowboys on Saturday.

An impressive victory over Melbourne on Monday sees the Dragons level with the Cowboys on 16 competition points and, with a bye to follow, they will hold their finals fate firmly in their own hands if they can win on Saturday.

Three wins from five matches under caretaker coach Paul McGregor have come just a month after the Dragons were mentioned as contenders for the wooden spoon.

Creagh attributes the surge to a rise in confidence.

"I think there's a lot of confidence back amongst the playing group," he said.

"The middle had been copping a lot of flak, not only from outside the club but inside as well.

"We were letting the team down a lot during the start of the season, leaking a lot of points.

"You've got to remember there are a lot of young guys in the pack and we've come up against a lot of experienced packs this year.

"It's a new thing for them but they're getting a lot of confidence out of how they're playing and from winning as well.

"All those guys who've been playing well, guys like Jack de Belin, guys like Mike Cooper ... they've been playing out of their skin the last five weeks.

"They're playing some of the best football of their careers and I've got no doubt they'll continue to do so."

Creagh said they will have to lift again, minus Trent Merrin and Josh Dugan, against a Cowboys side also desperate to stay in touch with the top eight and to silence critics of their away record.

"I don't think you can read too much into it [away record]. Both sides will be desperate for a win and I'm sure they'll be turning up ready to go," Creagh said.

"It's a massive game for both teams being on the same points.

"Both teams want to play finals footy at the end of the year and heading into the bye it'd be great to get another win under the belt before we have the week off."

The Cowboys will be without Origin stars Jonathan Thurston, James Tamou and the injured Matt Scott but Creagh said his side can't afford any complacency.

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