Frizell desperate to break finals duck

FIRE BURNS: Tyson Frizell. Picture: AAP
FIRE BURNS: Tyson Frizell. Picture: AAP

HE'S won an Origin series and a World Cup among a host of representative honours, but Dragons forward Tyson Frizell admits stepping into the finals arena is an unfamiliar feeling.

Despite the swag of rep jumpers in his wardrobe, Frizell's lone finals appearance came in a golden-point defeat to the Bulldogs in week one of the 2015 playoffs.

It leaves him without a finals victory in his 132-game NRL career and the 26-year-old says his long list of rep accolades has done little to ease the annual sting of watching rivals go around in September.

“I'd give up those things to win premierships every year,” Frizell said.

“You don't play sport for the individual things, the trophies, the medals, you do it to win premierships. You put in all the hard work [at club level] and you want to be going in the same direction and doing it all together.

“It's awesome to be playing footy at this time of the year. I guess you could say I'm not familiar with it, I've only played one [final] and we all know how that panned out. 

“It's what we play footy for and why we train so hard in the off season. We don't train hard and perform the way to do to get knocked out early. We want to play as well as we can this week and hopefully go the whole way.”

The belief the Dragons can do just that hasn't wavered despite heading into the match with just three wins from their last nine games – including last week's gritty, but far from convincing, win over Newcastle.

They'll face a Broncos side that's arguably the form team of the competition having knocked off the Rabbitohs and Roosters before flogging Manly 48-16 last week.

It's left the majority of punters quick to write off the Dragons chances at Suncorp Stadium this week, but Frizell said there's no lack a faith in the away shed. 

“You can ask anyone that question and they'll all be saying the same thing, everyone has that belief in their team,” Frizell said.

“If you don't have that belief then you're not here this time of year. Our form of late probably hasn't shown that but the footy we've played throughout the year, if you take that into account [it does].

“We've been a top-four team all year bar a couple of weeks. You see from [team] number one to number eight there's two points in it. 

“We've got a strong group of players here that want to play for each other and play well. If people want to back us they can back us, if they don't, it's their choice.

“I know for myself, and on behalf of the players, we have a strong belief in what we can do with this side.”

Suncorp Stadium has proven a finals torture chamber for the Dragons, who went straight out of the finals at the venue in 2009 and 2011 – ironically with current Broncos coach Wayne Bennett at the helm.

They've also lost their last 10 straight games in Brisbane, but Frizell is relishing the chance to play at the venue where he tasted success in both Origin I and the World Cup final in 2017.

"We have a lot of fans up there to be honest,”Frizell

“I guess a lot of people say it’s hard to go up there and play but I find it enjoyable as a player to go up there and play at Suncorp.

“It's an experience like no other so we're looking forward to it and enjoying the week we have before we go up there and play against a strong Broncos side.”

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