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Improving Dragons 'Will Get Better'

St George Illawarra Intrust Super Premiership NSW coach Mat Head believes last week’s win against North Sydney has kick-started their campaign – and their best is yet to come.

The Dragons were staunch in defence and, at times, sublime with ball in hand in their big victory against the Bears in Shellharbour, and their mentor is expecting more of the same in the weeks ahead.

“To come here (to Ron Costello Oval) and only concede four points is very pleasing – we’ll get better with our attack the more the year rolls on. We’ve hardly trained together. We’ll just get better,” Head tells

“Yeah our defence is pretty good – as I said before the season started, we’ve got a lot of young kids and we want to play footy but if you want to play first grade your defence has to be on-song.

“I think our middles are doing a wonderful job and both edges are solid too – before the game I think we were the fifth-best defensive team, so to be 0-2 and that high up is impressive.”

Head, who flew to Toowoomba following his side’s Round 3 Intrust Super Premiership clash to link with the Dragons' NRL squad, has been impressed with his team at various stages so far this year… but believes their best is in front of them.

“The hardest thing is backing games up, that was the big test today backing up the first half with a good second half,” Head says.

“We were very good for 20 minutes in Round 1 against Mounties and poor for 60, (in Round 2) we were poor for 80 and [against North Sydney] we were really good for 65. A lot of work has gone into our defence, our attack will improve, it was a bit clunky at times but we’re a new side and we’ll get better as the season goes on.”

Halfback Darren Nicholls has earned significant praise from Head, but his halves partner Adam Clune has also been impressive.

“Cluney’s a very good player, he’s holding out another great young player in Jack Payne who’s played under me at under 20s and in reserve grade,” he says.

“We’ve got two halves there who will continue to push each other and fight for a position, and Cluney’s first few weeks have been solid, he’s had some good moments and some poor moments, but he’ll only get better.”

Head is realistic in his appraisal of his team’s season so far, but hopeful for a bright year ahead.

“We’d be a B- for sure so far, we’re one from three. We’ve had some very good moments but some poor ones too,” he says.

“We just need to get better and that win might’ve kick-started our season.”


Photo: Blake Edwards

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