Week off a blessing: Nightingale
Wily St George Illawarra winger Jason Nightingale has spoken highly of the Dragons’ new coach Paul 'Mary' McGregor ahead of their showdown with South Sydney on Monday night.
With McGregor being one of Steve Price's assistants, Nightingale believes that there will be little change while the new head coach familiarises himself with the role.
"It hasn't been a lot different. Change can be a good thing especially when you're on the back of three losses. There's a bit of a different energy around the place and we'll see how it pans out on Monday," Nightingale said.
"That's the beauty about not having to play until Monday night. We can wrap our head around it, it gives us a full week to prepare under a new coach and I think that's obviously a positive the more time we can spend getting things in place."
After being outplayed in Round 5 by the Bunnies 26-6, the Dragons’ forward pack are preparing themselves to take on the might of the Burgess brothers and Queensland duo Chris McQueen and Ben Te'o. Nightingale has outlined what he and his fellow backs are planning on doing to help out his team's big boppers.
"Our big boys confidence would've been hurt on that occasion as it has been the last couple of weeks so they'll be looking to step up but I think [us backs] just need to take a bit of pressure of them," Nightingale said.
"The best way we can do that is by getting in there and doing our jobs as well and supporting them from the back of the field and make sure we get involved in enough runs so that they can save their energy for what they do best."
While he obviously has plenty of work ahead of him on Monday night, and with the first bye weekend been and gone for the Dragons, Nightingale has enjoyed the extra week off to recuperate from the knee injury he suffered in the trans-Tasman Test in May.
"It's been a good thing for me personally. You can't complain about a break in the competition especially with the way we were travelling before the bye. It's good to get away from footy in times like that," Nightingale said.
With teammate and wing partner Brett Morris ruled out with a shoulder fracture suffered in the State of Origin match last Wednesday night, Nightingale will be a welcome inclusion for the Dragons.
Nightingale's guidance will be invaluable for the backline, especially with young centre Peter Mata'utia making only his second appearance of the year and Benji Marshall finding his feet at his new club.