Dragons forward Tariq Sims celebrates one of his two tries against the Sharks.

Sims answers Mary's challenge

St George Illawarra firebrand Tariq Sims answered the challenge laid out by coach Paul McGregor following his show-stealing performance in the Dragons' 32-18 win over the Sharks. 

Sims' seventh game for the Dragons following his mid-season move from the Knights was easily his best performance in three seasons. 

 


The 26-year-old scored two crucial second half tries, broke eight tackles and made 140 metres in a 43-minute stint. 

Considering the quality of the Sharks forward pack – even without late withdrawal Paul Gallen – Sims said his amazing performance was bred from McGregor's words throughout the week. 

He failed to finish the game after getting his ankle trapped under Sharks defender Andrew Fifita but wasn't worried by the injury despite leaving UOW Jubilee Oval in a moonboot. 

"Mary's great at challenging individuals and he challenged me through the week and I'd like to think that I responded the way that he wanted me to," Sims said.

"The Sharks have talent right across the board, from the outside backs to the middles and even their punch off the bench.

"We know we really had to stand up and take onus on our positions and not take a backward step and we did that."

McGregor was full of praise for the Gerringong junior in the immediate aftermath of the Dragons' 14-point win. 

"Tariq's been really good for us since he's been here. Tariq, going forward, is definitely a middle player. He's just growing each week," McGregor said.

"As soon as he came on, he made immediate impact. That's what you want from a player of his capabilities coming off the interchange. 

"He played long minutes there. Unfortunately he suffered a strain in the ankle there late in the game but hopefully it won't keep him out."

Sims constantly deflected attention away from his individual effort while talking with the media by complementing his Dragons teammates.

"The boys really did everything that we needed to. We targeted the right people when we needed to and the boys' kicking game was better this week," he said.

"I think our completion rate in the second half was 95 per cent. If you hold onto the ball and you defend like we did, you're always going to be a tough team to beat.

"We were definitely building towards a win and we were lucky enough to get over a quality side that are going to really push for the title this year. Personally, that's what I think. They've got great talent across the board. And we jumped them."