Positive Dragons ready for local derby
There is no doubt that the struggling St George Illawarra Dragons have had a storied rivalry with the cellar-dwelling Sharks. Any game against Cronulla is one that the Red V faithful undoubtedly pencil in their diaries at the start of the year.
Yet the local derby will take a new twist this weekend when the fixture is relocated to the Dragons’ Wollongong base, WIN Stadium.
For promising Dragons fullback Adam Quinlan, the 21-year-old assures that he doesn't expect anything other than a competitive Sharks team.
"It still won't change anything that happens on the paddock, it'll feel the same no matter where we are playing," Quinlan told NRL.com.
"[The Sharks] have a few players out but you know it's the local derby and it's always a tough game between the two clubs and I'm sure it'll be no different this week and we'll have to match them."
A positive outlook, like that of Quinlan's, will become crucial when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of the competition in the coming weeks. With the Dragons sitting two wins out of the top eight, such attitudes will be needed across the board, especially considering their disappointing last-start loss to the Rabbitohs.
"We started well for a lot of the game but there were a few times where we gave away penalties and errors and we invited them down our end. You can only defend for so long before something has to give and then sometimes our execution in attack didn't quite go to plan," Quinlan said.
"Everyone's still positive. You have to stay positive because we believe in ourselves and the systems that have been put in place. If we do everything correctly and play to our ability the results will come so everyone is really eager for this weekend and to put in a good performance and come away with a victory.
"Once the results start coming our way I'm sure those doubters will go missing."
Dragons Coach Paul McGregor "It's been a week of mixed emotions for everyone but the boys know that we all need to be better #redv— The Dragons (@NRL_Dragons) June 2, 2014
With the obvious inclusion of new recruit Benji Marshall over the past fortnight, Quinlan has credited the former New Zealand captain for helping him with his game following the Culburra junior's call up to first-grade last Monday night.
"Benji's been really helpful around training helping me out with a few different things out in the backline so he's been great," Quinlan said.
"Everything is looking good and our combinations are going really well at training, we just have to put it on the paddock. We have worked hard this past week and we're very confident we can turn it around this week and get back to where we want it to be."
With a depleted Sharks team named to take on the Red V this weekend, the Dragons will have no greater opportunity to get their season back on track then they do this Saturday night.