St George Illawarra must stay cool as heat goes on: Beale

Gerard Beale attempts to break out of a tackle in the Dragons' loss to Penrith last Sunday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Gerard Beale attempts to break out of a tackle in the Dragons' loss to Penrith last Sunday. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Preparing for a switch to fullback, Gerard Beale admits St George Illawarra have wilted in the intense heat of needing to win every game to make the finals.

The Dragons are in a position where they can finish the season with four consecutive victories - including breaking the Canberra curse - and still miss out on playoffs action by virtue of for-and-against.

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Coach Paul McGregor said the pressure of their knife-edge situation "got hold" of the Dragons when they faced Penrith on Sunday but Beale was determined to add more polish when he wears the No 1 jersey in place of Adam Quinlan in Canberra.

Beale said the team must be fearless in the belief they can keep their finals hopes alive by beating the Raiders for the first time in 14 years in the national capital.

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"I think that's what happened. When things don't start going your way everyone gets a bit frustrated," he said.

"Everyone's putting in the effort and wanting to win but they're trying to do it on their own and in the end it's hurting us," Beale said.

"You want to win every game but now it's coming to the end we want to be in the finals so there is that pressure.

"We've got a lot of potential and it's disappointing we didn't put it out there onto the field.

"There was a lot of opportunities that we really missed.

"We've got to make sure that we take those opportunities in these next few games."

Halves Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop have been credited with turning around the Dragons season but have looked out of sorts in the two-straight losses.

Beale said it was up to the rest of the side to take the pressure off the pair in a month of high-stakes football.

"It's important we're all listening to the halves out there and everyone's on the same page," he said.

"It just comes down to making sure that we all play our role in the team. If everyone's playing their role it makes it a whole lot easier for the halves to steer the team around."

With their finals hopes on tenterhooks, Beale said the Dragons will need to put their precarious finals position out of their minds in order to break the Raiders long-standing stranglehold over them in Canberra.

"We know we're capable of getting there [finals].

"We have played the top four sides in the last few weeks and we know where we fell short.

"We need to focus on our game plan and what we need to do to win rather than looking too much into where we are or they are on the ladder," he said.