Dragons stars won't blame Bennett exit - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dragons stars won't blame Bennett exit

David Beniuk 18/08/2011 08:06:29 PM Comments (0)

St George Illawarra stars flatly deny coach Wayne Bennett's impending exit from the NRL club has contributed to their form slump.

Bennett announced in March he would quit the Dragons at the end of 2011 before Newcastle confirmed he would link with them.

Bennett's departure, along with brilliant fullback Darius Boyd who will follow the coach to the Knights, has been one factor blamed for the premiers' alarming slide to four straight defeats.

Asked if it had contributed to the slump, Test representative Ben Creagh was adamant.

"No. Not at all," he said.

"We kind of had a feeling Wayne wasn't going to be here next year really early in the season.

"It didn't affect us then, it's not affecting us now, it hasn't been a factor and it's nothing that's worried us."

Another theory about the cause of the Dragons' problems is that they haven't been able to cover for the loss of forward enforcers Neville Costigan and Jeremy Smith.

Costigan joined the Knights at the end of last year and Smith, who also won a grand final with Melbourne, linked with Cronulla.

Creagh also shot that one down.

"They're great players, Nev and Jez, I'm not taking anything away from them," Creagh said.

"But I think the guys who are playing their positions this year, Dan Hunt and Matty Prior, have done a great job for the majority of the season so, no, I don't think so."

Creagh said the reasons for his side's form were more simple.

"A lack of intensity, a lack of commitment from all players in the side, that's about it," he said.

"I know there's plenty of rumours going out there about plenty of other things but it's as simple as that.

"That's what it's been about the last four weeks, there's nothing else to it."

Bennett claimed he had little idea of how to arrest his side's downward spiral after last Sunday's shock 20-12 loss to the Sydney Roosters.

Creagh said that wasn't the impression of the players.

"He keeps it all on track which is good," Creagh said.

"(He's focused on) a few things ... he just wants to get that commitment and intensity back in our game and I think that will go a long way to helping us win games."

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