Dragons not carried away with early form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons not carried away with early form

By Todd Balym 27/02/2009 08:30:56 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra forward Ben Creagh has warned fans and punters not to get too carried away with the Dragons' pre-season form.

After two wins from as many games the Dragons' premiership odds have been slashed from $15 to $11 and the red and whites are rated equal fourth favourites with Brisbane, Cronulla and the New Zealand Warriors.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Charity Shield clash with South Sydney, Creagh said the fabulous February would mean little if it doesn't translate into NRL wins.

"I think that happens every time at the start of the season," said Creagh of the betting plunges on the Dragons.

"That's good. We're confident and training well and playing well so far.

"(But) trials are trials and all the teams you play against you play different combinations at different times during the game so you can't gauge much off that.

"By saying that, we're playing well and that's always good going into a new season."

The rugby league world should get a better insight into whether the Dragons are the real deal this year when they face the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

With both sides fielding full-strength outfits Creagh expects a better indication of how the teams are travelling as the Shield is typically more intense than normal trials.

"I think every year the trials one after another it builds up until the big one before the start of the season," he said.

"We're only three weeks away from round one, you have to be at your fittest and trying to get all your timing back in attack and defence.

"All the players are trying to do that and it's probably quicker and tougher than other trials."

And with a perfect record under new coach Wayne Bennett, Creagh knows losing is not an option - especially against their arch enemies.

"Oh god no, I don't think he'd be too happy and I don't think any of us would be too happy," he said.

Winger Jason Nightingale was another Dragon who was keen to play down the side's eye-catching early season form.

While he insists the annual grudge match with Souths has more spice than other trials, the Kiwi international said it was more important St George Illawarra focused only on perfecting their play ahead of round one.

"Our form is definitely good and we're happy with it but it's nothing to get too excited about," he said.

"We know South Sydney take it fairly seriously and we try to put a full-strength team on the field but we still treat it as though we're going through our motions, going through our moves and trying to get everything sorted for the start of the season.

"It is still a trial for us but we still obviously approach it with the intensity of any other round match."

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