Dragons must reach a new level: Barrett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons must reach a new level: Barrett

By Darren Walton 19/09/2005 09:26:47 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra captain Trent Barrett is bracing his Dragons for the fight of their lives in Saturday night's NRL preliminary final against Wests Tigers.

With the Tigers sweeping all before them with their carefree, irresistible style of attacking football, Barrett says the Dragons, despite riding an eight-match winning streak, will need to rise another level to make the 2005 premiership decider.

"They've really put big scores on in both their semi-finals, which teams probably haven't done in the past," Barrett said.

"And they're enjoying their footy, so we're going to have to play the best we've played all year to beat them.

"We need to defend well, we need to kick-chase well, we need to make our tackles - all the little things we've been doing we need to do a little bit better."

So impressive has Tim Sheens' team of finals rookies been in disposing of North Queensland 50-6 in the first round of playoffs and Brisbane 34-6 on Sunday that the razzle dazzle Tigers have forced a shake-up in premiership betting.

Realising long-time title fancy St George Illawarra faced a huge battle just reaching the grand final, bookmakers have promoted Parramatta - which takes on long shot North Queensland in the second preliminary final on Sunday - to premiership favouritism.

Little wonder it was a Dragons team on edge that arrived at Cronulla for a pool session on Monday, with forward leader Lance Thompson one to have witnessed first-hand the Tigers' demolition of the Broncos.

"I saw a very enthusiastic team, a team that wants to win and obviously we're going to have to be at our best to beat them," Thompson said.

"They've been doing the same thing over the last seven or eight weeks and a lot of teams can't stop it."

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