Dragons' culture drives win
In the face of adversity following a three-match losing streak, St George Illawarra Dragons coach Paul McGregor said his side's culture came through in the 30-14 victory over the Warriors in Round 11.
After starting the season with six wins from their first seven games, the Dragons headed to FMG Stadium in Hamilton experiencing a mini form slump, but replied in emphatic fashion with a dominant six tries to three victory on Friday night.
McGregor said a simple reminder mid-week served as all the motivation his team needed.
"We spoke about our culture, and our culture is about our standards," the fourth-year head coach said.
"We have got to protect it and fight for it, we are certainly doing that.
"We have had a couple of tight defeats in the last three games and the boys really deserve what they did tonight.
"I am more than happy, [I'm] very proud of them."
For prop Paul Vaughan, whose 216 metres were more than any other forward on the night, there was a sense of relief after falling to the Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters in the past month.
"It's very pleasing, we really needed that after three losses on the trot," Vaughan told NRL.com.
"It has come at a good time because now the boys can head into the bye and rest the bodies off the back of a win
"We knew the win was coming if we kept turning up and playing like that.
"The boys came here, we really set ourselves a challenge because we really needed those two points tonight.
"The culture is really good at the moment and we are building towards a really strong season.
"The boys here love playing with each other and you can really see that out on the field."
Meanwhile McGregor singled out his forward pack for special praise following the match, after they helped the 'Red V' to almost 2000 running metres.
Not only damaging in their carries, the St George Illawarra big men got away 20 offloads, several of which contributed to points-scoring plays, while both back-rower Joel Thompson and interchange forward Hame Sele made line breaks.
"They made the opposition miss 57 tackles, which doesn't happen very often in NRL football," McGregor said of his pack.
"Our forward pack again I thought dominated tonight.
"We had a lot of support around the footy and were able to create a lot of opportunities for each other and come away with some good points."