Gasnier laments lost finals' chances - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gasnier laments lost finals' chances

By David Beniuk 08/09/2008 06:10:33 PM Comments (0)

France-bound St George Illawarra captain Mark Gasnier has told his team-mates not to waste the finals opportunities he did as he eyes a last chance to say he's done it all in the NRL.

Gasnier has ticked the State of Origin and Kangaroos boxes through a stellar career with the Dragons, but one prize has eluded him - an NRL premiership.

Twice he played in the second-last week of the season in star-studded Dragons sides, only to fall short in 2005 and 2006.

"I know when I talk to the young guys it's about not wasting your opportunities," he said.

"When I look back on my career, the finals series I played in, it would have been really nice if we'd just went on with one of those finals series and had a win."

Gasnier said those feelings were stronger amongst the Dragons than any need to send off himself, to French rugby union, Jason Ryles (Les Catalans) or coach Nathan Brown (Huddersfield).

"It's more a feeling of not taking it for granted rather than do it for the guys leaving," he said.

Asked how big a hole it would be to leave the 13-man game without a premiership, Gasnier said: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't want one ... it's probably the thing I haven't got I want the most.

"I wouldn't say a hole but I'd definitely say I want one."

The electrifying centre will begin another finals series on Saturday, when he leads the seventh-placed Dragons against Manly at Brookvale Oval.

If the red and whites lose, he will leave immediately for Paris to link with Ewen McKenzie's Stade Francais.

While few experts had St George Illawarra in their top eight when season 2008 got underway, Gasnier said the lack of expectation had made it different this time.

"Even when we won the seven in a row there (between rounds 10-17) I think the Dragons of old probably would have got talked up as premiership contenders," he said.

"I think it comes with the territory of probably not having as many names as what we had back then.

"I think a lot of the younger guys coming through, the expectation was probably there internally but externally it's been pretty good.

"We have flown under the radar a little bit and we're probably still doing it a little bit now. We've still got expectations."

The Dragons have been Manly's bogey side in recent years, winning nine of the last 12 games between the clubs and four of their last six at Brookvale.

"They're not semi-finals," Gasnier said.

"I think semi-finals are a different kettle of fish so I'm sure they won't read too much into it as we won't either.

"Semi-finals are a more intense game, basically you know you've got to put it all on the line or there's no next week.

"That's a black and white picture - you win you're in, you lose you're out."

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