Dragons confident of righting ship - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons confident of righting ship

Steve Jancetic 27/07/2011 05:11:15 PM Comments (0)

Premiership trophies can't be won in Canberra, which is why NRL premiers St George Illawarra aren't fretting too much about their latest capitulation in the nation's capital.

The Dragons' upset loss to the Raiders on Monday night extended the club's barren run in Canberra to 11 years, leaving what once seemed a certain top four spot in jeopardy.

Fifth-placed Brisbane are now lurking just one point behind, but hooker Nathan Fien was confident the side could get their title defence back on track.

"It hasn't disrupted our preparations going into the back end of the year, it's almost comical now our record down there," Fien said.

"It didn't stop us doing what we did last year after losing down there.

"You don't win trophies down in Canberra at this time of year.

"We're really focussed on what we have to do now and that's get back on the horse against Souths."

But while the Dragons haven't been rocked by the defeat, the manner in which it was achieved has caused some consternation.

For the second week in a row, the Dragons started the second half off the pace after dominating the opening 40 minutes.

Against Cronulla 24-0 became 24-8 before the Dragons kicked away again, but they were made to pay by the resilient Raiders, who stormed back from 18-6 down at the break.

"We're definitely going to have to look at it because both those games we had it in the bag at halftime," Fien said.

"What we've been really strong at in the last few years is really grinding out games and once we get to the front making it as hard as possible for teams to come back.

"The Sharks, they got a couple of tries early in the second half as well and it happened again on the weekend so I guess we could definitely look at that.

"We've got a good opportunity this weekend to set that right."

Central to that will be the return of skipper Ben Hornby, who has missed the past fortnight with a broken hand.

The veteran halfback was named to take on South Sydney at WIN Stadium on Sunday, but is no certainty to play.

While Fien proved effective as stand-in in the No.7, Hornby's experience and control was badly missed at Canberra Stadium on Monday night.

"He's our captain, leads by example on and off the field, he gives us all our direction," Fien said.

"We definitely are missing him, I can't wait till he comes back and I can stick this ugly mug back in the scrum."

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