Dragons' Nathan finding his way back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons' Nathan finding his way back

By Steve Jancetic 02/08/2010 07:41:58 PM Comments (0)

As St George Illawarra's attack faltered in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, the man who looms as the solution to their woes took his first tentative steps back to action.

Kiwi international Nathan Fien made his long-awaited comeback from a broken leg playing for the Dragons' NSW Cup outfit, the livewire hooker impressing in two 20 minute stints at dummy half for the Shellharbour Dragons.

While the handful of spectators on show at Melbourne's Olympic Park may have been a long way from the 40,000-plus on hand in Brisbane, Fien's return is a significant step in the Dragons' finals build-up.

"He had some nice touches but as you can imagine, being out from round one, he's just taking some time to find his feet," Shellharbour coach Terry Gilogley said.

"It's just getting him the game time and adjusting to game conditions - the spark's still there, he's still got it."

While Dragons coach Wayne Bennett is unlikely to rush Fien back into the top grade for Sunday's blockbuster against the Sydney Roosters, Gilogley said Fien - who celebrated his 31st birthday on Sunday - was ready to go.

"He's an international isn't he, and I'm sure if they needed him he'd be able to do the job," Gilogley said.

"He's been training fulltime for about three weeks now - he was ready to play but they weren't going to risk him.

"I think Wayne will probably use him a little bit more in the NSW Cup."

Fien's return would give the Dragons a much-needed extra dimension in attack, as evidenced in the 36 minutes he played in the season-opening win over Parramatta before injury struck.

Fien came up with two try assists, two tackle breaks and a line break assist in his brief cameo, statistics which would be welcomed by a Dragons side that has produced just two tries in their last 160 minutes of football.

While veteran Luke Priddis has done a serviceable job filling in for Fien, the latter's speed and playmaking ability makes the Dragons more threatening in attack.

The Dragons will also welcome back some forward power this week with NSW prop Michael Weyman available again after a four-week suspension and lock Dean Young having recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out of Sunday's loss to the Broncos.

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