Sailor denies Dragons are choking - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sailor denies Dragons are choking

By Steve Jancetic 25/08/2009 07:29:25 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra winger Wendell Sailor admits the Dragons may have lost a little hunger - but the veteran NRL flyer is adamant his side's two game stumble is far from a choke.

Sailor was forced to hose down talk of another late season fade-out for the joint-venture club, the ladder leaders now in danger of missing out on a minor premiership they seemingly had wrapped up weeks ago.

Back to back losses to Canberra and Brisbane have left the Dragons level with the Bulldogs on 36 competition points with two rounds remaining, leaving the race for the JJ Giltinan Shield wide open.

But Sailor claimed rediscovering his side's competitive edge was more important than securing first place.

"We've stopped doing what works for us a little bit, we're just not that disciplined and we're just not running that hard," Sailor said.

"Even me, I've just been in cruise mode a little bit and not waiting for the playoffs, but you just can't play at that peak all the time.

"I'd rather not peak in round 23 or 24 than be down in the first week of the finals.

"I think it's attitude - what we've been good at all year is doing the little things well and we've been able to dismantle teams and strangle them a little bit.

"Teams have (now) been doing that to us."

And with the finals approaching, Sailor knows teams will only come harder at his side.

He is confident the change in culture that coach Wayne Bennett has helped foster would ensure the club would not come up short in the biggest games of the season, as Dragons teams in the past have been accused of doing.

"I've never been part of a team that chokes ... I'm pretty sure we're still first at the moment," Sailor said.

"If you're chocking you're losing by 20-30 points and you're going out the back door.

"We've lost five games this year - if that's choking I'm not a good judge of a football team.

"What we've got to realise now is because we're leading the comp teams are going to want to beat us.

"I knew that five or six weeks ago and we kept stepping up, kept stepping up, but the last two weeks we haven't quite stepped up, we've dropped off the pace a little bit."

The Dragons take on South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night, with Neville Costigan named to return after missing last week's loss to Brisbane with a hip injury.

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