Minor premiership win 'relieves' Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minor premiership win 'relieves' Dragons

By Ian McCullough 29/08/2010 02:09:55 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra hooker Dean Young revealed there was sense of relief rather than delight after the Dragons secured the NRL minor premiership at Newcastle.

Wayne Bennett's side held off a brave fightback from the Knights to win 26-18 on Saturday.

Young admitted that clinching the JJ Giltinan Shield for the second successive year with one round of the season remaining eased the pressure on the side.

The Dragons host South Sydney in their final game of the campaign at Kogarah next Sunday, a game the Rabbitohs may need to win to scrape into the finals.

"We are very proud and I guess it shows how far the club has come in the space of two years and it shows we have been the most consistent side but the hard work is not over yet," Young told AAP.

"Although the minor premiership is great reward for everyone's sacrifices, it will be very disappointing if we don't get to where we want to."

The Knights gave the Dragons an almighty scare in the second half, recovering from a 22-0 deficit to within four points before Jamie Soward darted over for a late try to wrap up the game.

Young admitted there were some nervous looks among the players having been blitzed in the second period at Canberra in their previous round in their 32-14 defeat to the Raiders.

"The last two weeks have been hard ... Canberra and now Newcastle, they have scored quick tries in a row on us and it puts us under real pressure and something we have to address," Young said.

"Had we had lost here tonight we would have had to play Souths to win the minor premiership and they go into the game still having a chance to get in the finals.

"It would have been another high-pressured game and the build-up would be the same and that is something we were keen to avoid as there will be having plenty of that in the finals.

"It is a relief but at the same time we are very proud."

Bennett said he was unconcerned about his side's second-half fadeout and happier now than 12 months ago when they slumped to a heavy defeat to Souths, before wrapping up the minor premiership with a win over Parramatta in the final round of the season.

"I am not too worried about it ... they played pretty well, the Knights, and didn't deserve to be 22-0 down," Bennett said.

"We took all of our opportunities and then gave some back to them ... and all of a sudden we looked pretty average.

"But in the last 10 minutes we dug in and started to play a bit instead of making silly errors and closed the game out.

"I am a lot happier tonight than I was this time last year, we were well beaten by South Sydney and then had to pull out all the stops to beat Parramatta in the last game."

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