Rogers call haunts Brown's final days - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rogers call haunts Brown's final days

By Steve Jancetic 13/09/2008 10:30:08 PM Comments (0)

When Nathan Brown looks back on his six years with St George Illawarra he'll see plenty of regrets, but it's a decision made in his final hours which could haunt him longest.

Brown's tenure at the Dragons came to an end on Saturday night with a diabolical 38-6 loss to Manly at Brookvale Oval.

While there's no doubt the Sea Eagles deserved to march through to a preliminary finals berth, Brown's call to start Ben Rogers in the No.6 ahead of Jamie Soward came back to bite him.

For the first 22 rounds of the competition Soward was arguably the Dragons' most consistent performer - an accolade given credence by the fact he finished the year as the club's highest vote getter in the Dally M medal count.

A back injury struck and Rogers got his chance, but with Soward fit again, Brown had a dilemma heading into the game.

There were rumours Brown was set to go with Soward until NSW Origin centres Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper insisted on Rogers.

Brown should have gone with his gut.

Whether it was nerves, whether it was the intimidating Sea Eagles defence or whether he just got out of the wrong side of the bed, Rogers put in a shocker.

His first couple of passes inside the Sea Eagles' 20m zone both hit the ground.

His first attacking kick nearly landed in the first row of the western stand.

His next kick - on the first tackle from a scrum win - was charged down by Steve Menzies for the first try of the night.

And the game was only 12 minutes old.

Later, a frustrated Rogers decided to vent against Anthony Watmough with a bit of push and shove.

The result - the Dragons' defensive line was left a man short with Michael Robertson diving over in the corner, ahead of a despairing dive from a retreating Rogers.

And all the time Soward sat on the sideline and watched.

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