Dragons primed to halt Taylor's run - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons primed to halt Taylor's run

By Steve Jancetic 14/09/2009 07:59:59 PM Comments (0)

Derail the runaway 'Coal Train' - that's the daunting task facing St George Illawarra's outside backs at Suncorp Stadium.

Rampaging prop-come-centre Dave Taylor was on Monday nominated by Dragons skipper Ben Hornby as the man to stop in Saturday night's NRL semi-final, Taylor having made a mockery of opposition defences during a barnstorming finish to the regular season.

The man nicknamed 'Coal Train' for his none too subtle approach to finding a way through defensive lines, destroyed the Dragons in their most recent meeting, Taylor scoring a crucial try as the Broncos beat the Dragons 12-2 in Wollongong just over three weeks ago.

The Dragons' right edge defence of Jamie Soward, Beau Scott and Wendell Sailor struggled all night to contain the 125kg behemoth, and it remains to be seen if coach Wayne Bennett slots the likes of Neville Costigan or Jeremy Smith out wide to add some steel to his side's structure.

That night at WIN Stadium was the NRL's first look at Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak's ploy of using Taylor out in the centres, and Hornby was adamant the Dragons would give a better account of themselves now that the element of surprise is no longer there.

"Obviously it's going to be a team thing," Hornby said of who would be given the job on Taylor.

"He gave us problems (in round 24). It's something we're going to have to look at and come up with a strategy there to stop him."

While the Dragons may know what is coming, stopping Taylor second time around could in fact be more difficult given he'll have Test centre Israel Folau as a running mate this time around.

Folau missed the WIN Stadium encounter as he continued his recovery from an ankle injury.

Adding to the intrigue of the sudden-death clash, with the winner to play Melbourne on Saturday week at Etihad Stadium, will be the return to Brisbane of Bennett, who won six premierships during a sensational 21-year tenure at the club.

The Dragons won on Bennett's first trip back to Suncorp Stadium in round four this year, with Hornby hopeful the veteran coach's intimate knowledge of many of the Broncos veterans would hold the visitors in good stead.

"I suppose it gives us a slight advantage, but at the end of the day we've got to go out there and execute," Hornby said.

"It's all about going out there and completing sets and executing your plays and taking the opportunities you get given."

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