Dragons hope to turn tide on Storm - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons hope to turn tide on Storm

By Adrian Warren 27/07/2009 07:55:02 PM Comments (0)

NRL ladder leader St George Illawarra are determined to prove their premiership credentials by scoring a rare win over competition benchmark Melbourne on Friday.

Four points clear of their closest rival, the Dragons are now firm favourites to secure the minor premiership with six rounds remaining.

The WIN Jubilee Stadium fixture looms as arguably the toughest of the Dragons' remaining games and pits them against a bogey side.

The Storm have won nine of the last ten encounters between the two teams.

The Dragons only victory in that period came last year, when they scored a 36-12 win over a Storm side shorn of ten Origin representatives.

"For some reason or another, we've never been able to beat them for some years now, especially when they've been at full strength," Dragons hooker Dean Young told reporters at Sydney Airport on Monday.

"We've beaten them once when they had nine or ten players out in Origin and that doesn't sort of count, so it's going to be a good test for us to see where we are at."

Dragons' coach Wayne Bennett has continued to down-play and douse any talk about finals following Sunday's 29-4 win over the Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.

However, Young might get in trouble for using the "f" word.

"I think we've definitely secured a spot in the finals and now the main focus is to keep on plugging away and try to get some wins on the board and secure a top-four position, definitely," Young said.

He would have kept Bennett happy with a more circumspect reply when asked if the four-point buffer made the Dragons the competition favourite.

"I don't know about that. It definitely takes a bit of pressure off, but there's no trophy won in July.

"I think the game on Sunday showed we still got a lot of improvement to do."

He was philosophical about the mounting expectations of success-starved St George Illawarra supporters.

"We're used to it, that's for sure. It happened in 2005, where we were favourites and equal minor premiers and still didn't win the grand final," Young said.

"It just goes to show that we haven't done anything yet."

The Dragons latest recruit, utility Nathan Fien, said he had found it easy fitting into the group after only two games following his mid-season release by the Warriors.

"I've only been here a few weeks, but there's definitely a culture here that is all about winning," Fiend said.

"I know the boys work very hard. Their training is very intense, there's just that belief."

Asked if he had any dreams of premiership wins on the flight back to Australia, Fien revealed he had rather more down-to-earth concerns on the trip home.

"The only thing I've thought about today was looking after me three little ratbag kids that come across the Tasman today," he said.

"It was a bloody long flight, let me tell you."

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