Canberra castaways prop up Dragons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra castaways prop up Dragons

By David Beniuk 29/09/2010 06:33:26 AM Comments (0)

They arrived at St George Illawarra as Canberra castaways, but props Neville Costigan and Michael Weyman will be part of the masterplan for delivering the Dragons a premiership in Sunday's NRL grand final.

When new coach Wayne Bennett's modest recruitment drive netted the Raiders duo for the 2009 season, the results were far from certain.

Costigan's contract had been terminated by Brisbane in 2006, when Bennett was at the helm, after a drink-driving offence before the Papua New Guinea-born forward spent two cold, and injury-marred, years at the Raiders.

The sacking cost him a place in the Broncos' premiership-winning side that year.

"It's probably the biggest regret of my life and something so stupid can take away something massive in your life," the 25-year-old told reporters on Tuesday.

"I've never made that sort of mistake again.

"Everyone talks about it doesn't come around very often and I knew that already and I didn't think I'd get another chance.

"When Wayne asked me to come to the Dragons I knew I was in for another chance ... I knew the Dragons would go close.

"I didn't even have to think twice, I just said 'I'm there', we didn't even talk about money."

But he did talk to Weyman, whose potential had been hampered by perceptions he had a discipline problem.

"He was telling me he was thinking about signing for the Dragons and I told him straight away, 'jump on board because Wayne will get the best out of you'," Costigan said.

"We had a good talk and I'm glad he did (sign) because he's improved a hundred per cent."

Weyman, 26, says he wanted to find some consistency in his game, but he also found a place in the NSW State of Origin side.

"I just came here for an opportunity, I was just wanting to play first grade week in week out," he said.

"We've turned into some really good mates here at the Dragons and it's been really good for us.

"I just enjoy my football."

He says the discipline issue, which most infamously reared its head when he copped a six-match suspension for punching then Gold Coast forward Daniel Conn in 2008, was never discussed.

Weyman will come up against Conn again when the Dragons take on the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.

"That happened a long time ago and we've moved on from that," Weyman said.

"Wayne never really spoke about anything like that.

"I've just grown up a bit."

Whatever the result, the front-row pair's paths will diverge after the grand final.

A Dragons priority, Weyman re-signed with the club until the end of 2013 earlier this year.

Costigan will relieve salary cap pressure by heading to Newcastle on a three-year deal after more than repaying Bennett's faith.

"There wasn't much money left and I think if I'd stayed I probably would have had to get a job as well," he said.

"Everyone likes to leave a club on a good note and probably making a grand final is one of the best.

"It will probably hit me more on mad Monday. I hopefully don't shed a few tears in the pub somewhere."

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