2021 St George-Illawarra Dragons Team Review

Craig Cauchi reviews another disappointing season for the St George Illawarra Dragons.

2021 Club Record

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Wins: 8
Losses: 16
Competition Points: 18

2021 Player Achievements

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Most Tries: Mikaele Ravalawa 14
Most Points: Zac Lomax 86

Season Summary

The St George Illawarra Dragons began the season as one of the favourites for the wooden spoon. They failed to inspire much confidence off the back of their trial form and followed up with a Round 1 loss. After that they went on a four-match winning streak, which included a victory over the Parramatta Eels. The Dragons’ loss to the Warriors coincided with a drop in form and a period where their starting team was affected by suspension and injury. They added a few mid-season signings, through Josh McGuire and Gerard Beale, but it did little to halt their inconsistent form. Their last win for the year was a one-point victory against the Warriors before they went on a run of eight straight losses to finish the season.

The Dragons found themselves in the headlines for majority of the season. First it was the Jack de Belin trial case, which was followed shortly by the decision to not re-sign Matt Dufty and Corey Norman. These headlines were overshadowed by the breach of NSW’s COVID-19 protocols by 12 Dragons players. The players’ decision to gather for a BBQ led to the suspension of each player involved for one match and the sacking of front row forward Paul Vaughan. While the Dragons played like a bottom eight side for most of the season, their form never recovered after the COVID-19 bans – losing their remaining matches for the year.

Ben Hunt was strong and reliable for the Dragons throughout most of the season. Anthony Griffin named the halfback as skipper for the season and he led from the front, with most tries coming off the back of Hunt’s efforts. He spent two periods of the season sidelined with injury but still contributed with five tries, 13 try assists, and seven line break assists, while the final third of the season allowed their future talent to shine through with Talatau Amone, Tyrell Sloan, and Jayden Sullivan.

The defensive aptitude of the team needs to improve if they are any chance of competing for a spot in the finals. They conceded 25 points a game and had the fifth most errors out of all of the teams. The Dragons have been big movers in the off-season and appear to be heading into season 2022 with a vastly different side. Moses Suli and Tautau Moga join the backline while former Tigers skipper Moses Mybe adds utility value to the team. The forward pack has been bolstered with George Burgess, Francis Molo, Aaron Woods, Jayden Sua, and Jack Gosiewski. Despite these additions many still believe the Dragons will be competing for the wooden spoon in 2022.

NothingButLeague Player of the Season – Ben Hunt

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Matches: 15
Tries: 5
Try Assists: 16
Kick Metres: 4, 216

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