Dragons 'not listening', says Bennett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons 'not listening', says Bennett

By Steve Jancetic 31/08/2009 07:44:35 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra coach Wayne Bennett has likened his side's form slump to the struggles of an alcoholic.

But having hit rock bottom - Bennett believes the Dragons are on the path to sobriety and form ahead of the NRL finals.

As he continued his search for a way out of the three-game slide which is threatening to derail his side's premiership campaign, Bennett made the remarkable claim that his players had abandoned his instructions in search of their own winning formula.

But having been hammered by South Sydney 41-6 on Saturday to drop off the top of the NRL ladder and out of premiership favouritism, Bennett said he was hopeful of having his squad back on the same page for Friday's showdown with in-form Parramatta at WIN Jubilee Oval.

"The penny's got to have dropped after Saturday night that what they're doing is not working for us," Bennett told AAP.

"They're definitely not listening - they've decided in their own way that they need another way to play right now.

"They know it's not working, so they might be getting close to listening again.

"It's a bit like they say a gambler or an alcoholic's got to hit the bottom before they can start to come up and I think we hit the bottom on Saturday night because they just did things that were so uncharacteristic of their season."

After two weeks of denials, the Dragons were finally forced to admit they had some serious problems after their attack and defence was brutally exposed by the Rabbitohs.

The red and whites have averaged just one try over their last three matches, and have just one four-pointer in their last 196 minutes of football.

But it was their lack of hunger in defence against the Bunnies which really embarrassed the Dragons, with the only bright spot being Bennett's belief that the situation could not get any worse.

"The first two weeks weren't such an issue for me, but Saturday night disappointed me enormously and I just realised it's probably running a little bit deeper than I thought it was," Bennett said.

"I think they realise that they probably just let it slip a little bit too much ... that's what happens when you haven't got your focus where it should be."

NSW Origin backrower Ben Creagh denied the players had given up on Bennett's preachings.

"I personally haven't stopped listening to him and I don't think any of the guys have," Creagh said.

"I don't think his message has worn off at all - I think we were a bit rattled after that Canberra game and then against the Broncos they were playing great footy and we lost again and there's two in a row - we haven't done that all year.

"Wayne's always got that presence about him ... everything's done how he wants it to be it's just us sometimes on the field thinking there's a better way to do it."

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