Dragons v Broncos: Five key points
The Dragons' success and the benefits to come from it as well as the mastercoach keeping his cool headline the five key points from the Red V's 12-10 victory over the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night.
Dragons are building towards something special...
As clichéd as it sounds, there's an old adage which goes along the lines of 'defence wins games'.
While the Dragons may have conceded as many points as they have in their past two games combined – a lousy 10 points at that – you can't help but think Paul McGregor's men are on to a good thing.
While we may be only six-and-a-quarter rounds into the season, the Dragons' defence is head and shoulders above anyone else's in the NRL.
Such is the Dragons' current success, it makes the old saying ring truer.
At this point of the season last year, the Dragons had conceded exactly double the amount of points they have in the current competition (74 in 2015, 148 in 2014).
But that's not all. After seven games in 2014 the lowest amount of points conceded by any team was 94 points, pulled off by a Bulldogs team who were at the time in the middle of a seven-game winning streak.
Regardless, don't think for a second the Dragons are content about the matter.
... Yet they aren't satisfied yet
"[You can't be satisfied] in this competition," McGregor said following their fifth-straight win.
"We are happy to be where we are but she's only early days. We aren't even a third of the way through the season so we just have to concentrate on building further next week."
You can't blame him either really. While their defence is becoming steelier (perhaps the Illawarra within shining) by the round, their attack is certainly not where they want it to be.
Only the cellar-dwelling Sea Eagles and Raiders, as well as the Knights, have scored fewer points than the Dragons.
All the more remarkable, the Dragons are leading the competition now on for-and-against over their last start opponents, which is another tip of the hat to their defence.
Broncos' loss no cause for concern
Wayne Bennett wasn't concerned about Brisbane's second loss of the season and nor should he be.
After being annihilated by the Rabbitohs in the season-opener, the Broncos went on to win their next five games, their sixth prevented by a two-point Dragons buffer.
Considering every aspect of their clash with the Red V was dead even, their 15 errors to the Dragons' nine was ultimately their downfall.
Simple (and fixable) errors leave the veteran mastercoach unconcerned.
You can tell Bennett sees the only way is up for the Broncos.
Bennett gives his verdict on Dragons
Speaking of Bennett, the Brisbane and former Dragons coach handed down his verdict of his old side.
"They are like us. They are about where we are at. They're not there yet but they're doing a lot of good things," he said.
"There's a lot of spirit in that team and they're good blokes who are having a go so good on 'em.
"If you don't get too many injuries and hang in there and get through the good and bad then you're going to go a long way in this competition"
Mary happy to share for rep week
With Rep Round just two weekends away, Dragons coach McGregor said he won't stand in the way of any of his players if and when they are selected to play in the upcoming games.
While Josh Dugan, Trent Merrin and Jason Nightingale are the only realistic hopefuls to play in the Trans-Tasman Test, the likes of Jack de Belin, Tyson Frizell, Joel Thompson and even Euan Aitken will go very close to earning Country Origin berths.
"I think a few of the boys are putting their hands up. It's a shame Tyson is currently suspended. I think he's been one of our most consistent players in the first six rounds," McGregor said when quizzed by NRL.com.
"[Joel] Thompson's there [in contention] as is Jack de Belin and even the bloke next to me [referring to Ben Creagh] is still available. I think there are a few players there who would love the opportunity to play representative footy and when your team is going well those things become available to you.
"So I'm all for the guys playing rep football because they have earned it and I won't be standing in their way."