Oh hey, NRL… Remember how you… Heh… “Predicted” that we were going to come 15th this year? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but we’re FUCKING 3RD! THAT’S RIGHT! WE’RE 3RD THE NERDS & I AM OK WITH THIS.
Wow. Just… Just wow… I literally have no words that describe the joy and pride that fills me whenever people mention the Dragons now. That’s not to say that I never did have any joy or pride, but it was disheartening to constantly read articles about how we kept losing, about how we’re not finals material, about how our forwards were too soft, and all that other bullshit that the media seemed to enjoy writing about us.
But, all that changed when a man named Paul “Mary” McGregor took over as our coach and got our gears going.
Now before I continue, I feel as though I have to repeat something that I wrote in my other blog post, predicting where I thought the Dragons would end up.
– The following are my own thoughts and not influenced by anyone else.
– I don’t have any informants/spies/sources/double agents in the club feeding me information that a multitude of fans seem to have.
– I don’t know any of the players personally.
– I don’t usually take note of rumours spread by fans and the media… ESPECIALLY the media. (Ever heard of the phrase “Never let the Truth get in the way of a Good Story”?) BUT, for the sake of making this post, I will be addressing them throughout.
– I will be honest, and honesty usually equals harsh words. If you’re not happy with what I’m about to say, then too bad. If you’re a veteran reader of my blog, you know how my honesty goes.
Are we all on the same page now? Good. Let’s begin.
The Horror Start
Ugh… Those first 2 rounds were a nightmare to watch. ESPECIALLY Round 2 when the Tigers didn’t just catch us with our pants down, they pretty much ass-raped us. I mean, I had NO idea what the fuck was going on during those two first rounds. I actually called in a massive IOU from my boss, JUST so I could make it to Round 1 and see the new Dragons team come into effect.
I’d see Nabuli in the trials, I’d see how we went in the 9’s, Charity Shield, and World Club Challenge… I was optimistic and I was beaming with joy to see how we went. And then Round 1 happened, we lost to Melbourne, and I was just gutted. Round 2, thank GOD I wasn’t there to watch that. I’d heard about it from friends and social media and I actually contemplated calling to cops to report that the Tigers had fucking raped us in that game.
Of course, the fans weren’t happy, understandably so, and many were quick to blame McGregor for not changing anything on the team, as well as blaming players who didn’t perform well… Hell, I heard people fucking booing Trent Merrin in Round 1.
… Assholes… You do NOT boo Trent Merrin. Go fuck yourselves.
But regardless, there WERE some shocking performances by certain players in those rounds, the worst of them being Dane Nielsen. For someone who was penned as being an Origin player when we signed him, he showed NOTHING of the sort. He was horrible in defense, horrible in attack. And this motherfucker was with us for 2 years. No wonder people lost their shit about him. And it’s no wonder his attitude off the field is just as bad as it was on the field, given he was fired from the Dragons shortly afterwards for biting a woman on the leg.
… Wait. I’m actually curious now, what the hell was he doing to put his head in a position where he could bite a woman on the leg? Actually… No, I’d rather not know.
But all of our luck would take a MASSIVE turn for the better in Round 3.
The Winning Streak
Oh. My. God. I LITERALLY have no idea what the fuck switched our boys on… But fuck me, what happened after Round 2 is just nothing short of divine intervention.
6 FUCKING GAMES IN A ROW! WE WON 6 FUCKING GAMES IN A ROW! My god, I don’t even know where to begin with this epicness! Well, probably the Raiders game in Round 3, which is where it started.
Now, I’ve never actually been to GIO Stadium in Canberra, so this was a first for me. I got to drive for 3 hours to Canberra, I took a piss on the side of the road with my pants and undies around my ankles because fuck it, why not, and I got to see that Canberra is one fucking boring place that no one should ever see. But regardless, I got my ticket, I got hassled by security about my banner for no fucking reason, and then I got inside to watch the game.
The first 20 minutes? Woeful. I thought, fuck this, here we go again.
But then… I don’t know what happened… But the team just sparked up and fought back. I was legitimately shocked, it was like seeing a completely different team out there. Euan Aitken was on debut, Josh Dugan had been sin-binned for 10 minutes, which sparked the team even more… But the most epic part was that Joel Thompson scored a try, in Canberra, for the Dragons…
And I got on TV with my Thompson the Tank Engine Banner.
LIFE IS FUCKING COMPLETE, PEOPLE! I AM A FUCKING CELEBRITY! NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH ME ANYMORE… Unless you’re Emilia Clarke. Bitch, you can touch my Dragon ALL yo…
Right… Excuse me, I kinda lost track for a moment there…
But, regardless, the standout of Round 3 was definitely this kid.
Euan Aitken. Man, this is a kid who I’m penning down as our next Matt Cooper. He was on 19 when he debuted and already, he’s putting some of our other centres on show. He had big wraps on him in the preseason, with the other guys saying how he’s a future star, etc. But why it took 2 horror rounds for this kid to get a start, is beyond me. Regardless, young Aitken still has plenty of time to develop his skills and become a kick-ass player.
And then from Round 3, it was all uphill from here. Win after win, we shot up the ladder and shut all the haters up. Those idiots who said that we would be coming 15th were probably getting the shits about how good our team was going. I do have to admit though, my favourite game in that winning streak was how we pumped the Doggies 31-6. Oh man, that game was amazing. I was in the Telstra suite, getting free food and booze, got to meet Runciman, Wakeman, Nutira, O’Brien, & Garvey, got photobombed by Nathan Fien, who is hilarious, & watching the Bulldogs get caught with their pants down in such a brutal game.
But life was good. We were getting up on the ladder, we were winning games, and the team was just looking amazing. Until we played Souths…
The Bullshit Game & The Comeback
Yep. Bullshit 2015, people. We played against Souths, who are the reigning premiers, and they had help in their win over us… And by help, I mean the referees.
Mind you, this is bullshit that we’ve had to experience throughout the season. Refs making bullshit calls against us at crucial times. One prime example was the ANZAC Day game where Dylan Farrell’s blatant try was blatantly ignored.
Regardless, we had a good game against Souths… If the refs didn’t decide to just award Souths every fucking penalty under the sun… But I digress. It was a good game, marred by bad refereeing and ultimately, a weak display from our team. But, that’s not an insult by any means. 6 wins in a row, we were bound to lose one at some point. I mean, it’s not like this is a movie where we were going to go undefeated all the way to the finals,
even though that’s how it totally should have happened.
But we bounced back, stronger than ever, giving the Raiders and the Sharks a massive beating in incredible games. The Sharks one was infinitely the better one though, in my opinion, and ultimately one of the best games I’ve been to in this year.
Local Derby at Kogarah, surrounded by a sea of Red and White (And a little tiny splotch of blue and white, but who gives a fuck about those guys), watching the Sharks get absolutely smashed with a mate who flew up interstate, watching another mate give the Sharks a glimpse of a full moon in broad-daylight, walking out onto the pitch after the game, meeting the players after the game… God damn, that was a good game.
And then the Bulldogs and the refs, Gerard Sutton & Chris James, had to FUCK things up when we played against the Bulldogs…
Fuck These Refs
… You know what, I’m going to go there. We were robbed. 100%, we were fucking robbed. THE REFEREES ACTUALLY APOLOGIZED TO OUR PLAYERS AFTER THE GAME! Who does that? Who the fuck honestly does that? And then something APPARENTLY came out about Sutton saying that he felt conflicted about awarding certain penalties against the Dogs’ favour, as to avoid sparking the rage of the Bulldogs fans. In case you’re wondering why he has to be scared of those fans, basically a small minority of Dogs fans decided to assault the refs by throwing objects at them after their Good Friday game against Souths.
So… Just out of curiousity… If you feel as though you have to officiate a certain way, because you’re scared of how a team’s fans would react… Um… How about you just not officiate any game with that team in it? This is a serious question, how many more games is this clown going to screw up, because he’s scared of the Dogs fans? NRL, if you’re serious about improving the game then maybe you should start with the fucking referees influencing the games in certain ways, due to fear.
Oh, and before I forget;
GET FUCKING REFEREES WHO KNOW THE RULES OF THE GAME AND ACTUALLY ARE WILLING TO ENFORCE THEM!
Well… Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…
Things We Improved On
There are a few things that we improved on, which include:
– Discipline, discipline, discipline. There has been an abundance of this around the team, and it’s clear to see that the results are well worth it. As I wrote in my Preseason Prediction, there was a blatant & evident huge lack of discipline in the Steve Price era & it was clear what the results of a lack of discipline were. Definitely a tick for McGregor.
– Defense. Holy shit, for those 6 weeks, we had a brick wall defense that was impregnable. We defended set after set, and it was just amazing. Granted, a few chinks in the wall have started to appear, but the wall still stands strong. It’s honestly looking like 2010 out there, as just as it was back then, Defense wins Premierships.
– Confidence. This is the biggest thing I’ve seen our boys have this year. You can see that they’re making stronger efforts than they were last year, and just like the other things I’ve mentioned, it’s clearly having a positive effect on the team. And I can only see it growing from here.
– The Team’s Unity is something that’s definitely been a big boost as well. The guys are just clicking together and it’s fucking amazing. Especially Widdop and Marshall, who had some troubles at the start but worked them out. Rein’s improved heaps as well, creating opportunities for others to strike, and our forwards are pretty much so good that 2/3 of them are picked for Origin (Why they didn’t pick Joel Thompson is completely beyond me, but I digress).
– Peter Mulholland. You beautiful, beautiful man… This guy just worked a fucking miracle and got Jason Nightingale to stay with the Dragons on a reduced contract, where as anyone else wouldn’t of been able to pull it off. Renewing Will Matthews was also another masterstroke. Now, while I don’t approve of some of his other choices (Beau Henry, Kris Keating, & Dane Nielsen, I’m looking at you assholes), he’s showing that he’s going to be a gun at keeping our star players at the club…
If only he could’ve helped us keep B-Moz and Mez, but that’s not his fault… That’s his boss’ fault, which I’m not going to go into.
But, basically, there’s some good shit happening at the Dragons at the moment & I’m loving every bit of it.
… I swear, this is legit one of my favourite pics of a Dragons player. Someone get Craig Garvey into First Grade, ASAP.
Anyways, back on track…
My Prediction (Updated) for 2015
I can see that my previous prediction of 7th – 10th, is obviously an incorrect one. I AM HUMAN, GUYS! I MAKE MISTAKES LIKE THE REST OF YOU, OK? But honestly, it’s great to the see that the boys are beating our expectations and are just shooting up way past them. At the point of time from when I’m writing this, the Dragons are currently coming 3rd on the ladder, having tasted the top spot a couple of times in this season.
Dragons TV asked me what I thought about this during the Sharks game (No really, they did. Here’s the link, skip to 0:21 to see my beautiful
ugly face on there), and I have to say that I’d stick by what I said.
Realistic Prediction: 4th-5th
Optimistically: FUCKING MINOR PREMIERS, BABY! NUMBER 1!