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St George Illawarra forward Ben Creagh says the Dragons will be focused on all-out attack heading into the finals in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last year’s disastrous ‘straight sets’ exit.<br><br>Stung by criticism that they lack the extra gear needed to go all the way come September, the Dragons have spent the past two months honing their attacking expertise as they look to reach the club’s first grand final since their inaugural season in 1999.<br><br>“We learnt a lot from last year,” Creagh told ahead of Sunday’s clash with desperate rivals South Sydney.<br><br>“We learnt that we can’t play the same style of footy from Round 1 right through to Round 26. We’ve got to mix up our attack a little bit. <br><br>“That’s one thing we probably did last year… rest on our laurels and didn’t try to improve in those areas. The past eight to 10 weeks that’s all we’ve been doing at training is trying to improve our attack. <br><br>“We’ll continue to keep doing that this week and all the way through the semi-finals to get the best out of the side.”<br><br>The Dragons dominated the regular season in 2009 to finish minor premiers, only to crash out of the finals with consecutive losses to Parramatta and Brisbane.<br><br>Having claimed their second consecutive minor premiership this year following last week’s 26-18 win over Newcastle, Creagh said the side was determined to avoid a repeat.<br><br>“It was devastating how our season ended last year, especially being minor premiers,” he said. “Some of that feeling still lingers – we definitely don’t want to let that happen again. <br><br>“But like I said, I think we learnt a lot from last year and we know what we need to do this time around.”<br><br>Consistency remains the key, according to Creagh, with coach Wayne Bennett still concerned by some worrying lapses in their past two games.<br><br>The Dragons led Canberra 4-0 at half-time two weeks ago before being routed in the second half and led Newcastle 22-0 last week but were nearly run down as the Knights raced in three quick tries.<br><br>“The Canberra game wasn’t our best game,” Creagh said. “We worked hard in the first half but they really got away from us after that, which was disappointing.<br><br>“The first half of the Newcastle game was the best footy we’ve played in a while but again we took our foot off the pedal in the second half, which we can’t afford to do.<br><br>“We haven’t been as consistent as we’d like to be but having said that we played very well against Manly three weeks ago, so it’s not all bad.<br><br>“It’s just 10- to 15-minute periods that we need to work on.”<br><br>Creagh also said that criticism of the Dragons’ form over the past two months – particularly between Rounds 17-21 when they lost three from four – was unwarranted.<br><br>“People called it a form slump but I don’t think it was,” he said. “We were losing those games by one or two points so it wasn’t like we were getting flogged.<br><br>“We weren’t putting in really bad performances – we just weren’t scoring enough points.<br><br>“They were good sides too, so it wasn’t a form slump.<br><br>“It did show us that we needed to score more points though and we’ve been doing that over the past few weeks, which has been good.”<br><br>Creagh said the Dragons’ tough run home this season boded well for their premiership tilt over the coming weeks, with Sunday’s clash against a South Sydney side that must win to have any chance of joining them in the top eight looming as a huge test.<br><br>“They’re starting to get some of their big names back now so we know what to expect,” he said.<br><br>“The past four weeks we’ve been playing some desperate sides and every game has been extremely quick and physical.<br><br>“It’s exactly what you need heading into the even tougher games coming up.”
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