Dragons set to feed hunger with truth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons set to feed hunger with truth

By Ben Horne 01/08/2011 07:06:13 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra will bunker down for an "honesty session" on Tuesday, as they fight to rediscover their hunger for back-to-back NRL premierships.

Coach Wayne Bennett made the frank admission after Sunday's capitulation to South Sydney that his side had lost the motivation to win following their breakthrough grand final triumph last season.

Bennett was scathing of his players, admitting their efforts made him "sick to the stomach".

Dragons star Jason Nightingale said Bennett's grim assessment of the team's attitude is entirely accurate after two straight losses in which the red and whites have butchered commanding leads.

The New Zealand international revealed the Dragons would get their feelings out in the open on Tuesday in a bid to put an immediate stop to the worrying slump, ahead of Friday's huge clash with Wests Tigers.

"We'll have a bit of an honesty session tomorrow and go through a few things we did tactically wrong perhaps and a few things we can change from looking at the video," Nightingale told AAP.

"But probably more an honesty session and trying to get the desire back. There will be a bit of soul searching and time for everyone to put their hand up and be honest with themselves and with each other, and figure out what we're doing wrong."

According to Nightingale, Bennett wasn't exaggerating the seriousness of the Dragons' predicament, but said the team won't use the lull they've fallen into as an excuse to give up.

"It seems that way (that motivation has been lost)," he said.

"The last few weeks you can see there's not as much of a will as there has been in the past and you don't blow leads like that unless you're not fully committed to winning.

"We've had a couple of shockers (in the past) but we haven't blown the sort of leads we have the past couple of weeks and lost in the way we have ... pretty much throwing a game away.

"I think there's probably a lot of games where we got away with it last year in the similar situation and got the points, but the past couple of weeks has been the opposite.

"But I don't think it's anything we can't turn around."

For the Dragons, who are back-to-back minor premiers, reality checks aren't something they're used to. And after ending a title drought spanning more than 30 years, it's easy to see how a drop in intensity could occur now the hoodoo has been broken.

However, Nightingale is confident St George Illawarra can re-find their mojo in time to make the top four and become the first team in NRL history to successfully defend a title.

Wests Tigers toppled in-form Manly last Friday and are beginning to hit top form, but centre Chris Lawrence won't buy into the theory that St George Illawarra are vulnerable.

"That will fire them up and motivate them even more. When your coach starts to question that, that's probably the biggest motivation there is," Lawrence said.

"I don't think the Dragons will be worried they're in a form slump or anything.

"If anything, they'll be back to their best and that will switch them on. Any weaknesses they might have had the past couple of weeks, they'll rectify."

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