Dragons' last stand for finals hopes

Tyson Frezell at Dragons training. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER
Tyson Frezell at Dragons training. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER


It is St George Illawarra's last stand.

And while they need to find points to boost their bleak finals prospects - the Dragons have a negative for and against - it's through the middle that forward Tyson Frizell believes the team will deliver when it counts at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Needing to win their final two games to have any hope of playoffs action, the Dragons must overcome a Broncos engine room boasting more than 100 games of Test and Origin experience.

Inspired by the long-term appointment of coach Paul McGregor, the Dragons' big men produced their most dominant display of the season last week, running roughshod over a hapless Titans in their 34-6 win.

It was an impressive performance, despite the absence of Titans skipper Nate Myles, from a pack labelled "soft" by former coach Steve Price earlier this season.

Frizell produced 13 carries for 119 metres in just his second match back from a serious ankle injury and the 22-year-old said the Dragons had definitely found a physical edge in his eight-week absence.

"It definitely feels different. I think anyone would say that after being away for eight weeks, but it's a good kind of different and we need to build on it and keep going the way we are," Frizell said.

"We came into the [Titans] game knowing we had to step it up in the middle and I think the boys did that and it showed.

"A lot of the time it only takes a little thing to lift the whole team and a couple of those things happened on the weekend to lift the boys through the whole game."

They'll face a much sterner test against Brisbane at Suncorp in a match that will decide the finals fate of both sides.

It's a pressure scenario that will hold no fear for the Broncos pack who, led by Queensland veterans Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday, will draw on 46 Origin games and 57 Tests worth of big-game experience in the must-win encounter.

It's a tally that dwarfs that of the Dragons, made up of skipper Ben Creagh and lock Trent Merrin's combined 21 State of Origins for NSW and Creagh's two Tests for Australia.

With the classy Dragons backline in hot form, producing 68 points in their past two games, Frizell said it would be up to the forwards to find another gear to match it with the Broncos up front.

"We're going to have to step it up this week," Frizell said.

"I think Gold Coast had a couple [of players] out but Brisbane are going to be very tough, especially through the middle with their forwards.

"Every game from now is season-defining. They're in the same spot as us, so this is basically our season and it's the same for them but we're going up there full of confidence.

"We've picked up two good wins and we really needed them coming into the end of the year, so we can hopefully get that top-eight spot but we'll really need to lift this week."


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