“It doesn’t help the players, doesn’t help the club, doesn’t help the fans. If that decision is made, I’ll wear it.”
The St George lllawarra board are due to meet next week, and the coach’s future will no doubt be at the top of the agenda. While McGregor believes he is the man to lead the club out of the dark times, he accepted the blame for the club’s dreadful form post match.
“I’m an optimist. But I’m a realist. And I know my team isn’t playing well enough at the moment,” he said.
“I’m the coach of that and I have confidence and belief in my team. At the moment, I think they’ve lost that belief in themselves, I think. I accept the blame.”
He also believes he has not lost the players, despite the disastrous drop in form in the last 12 months.
“No one at the club has come forward and said anything to me,” he said.
“I believe in the players and have confidence in my staff. I know how hard they work through the week. We’re just not going out and playing the way we are doing things. That’s the disappointing side of things.”
The match was played at the standard expected off two teams without a solitary win between them.
It was 15th vs 16th. Hardly above Canterbury Cup standard. On today’s evidence, it’s hard to envisage either team finishing above those positions come the end of the season.
There was more to smile about for Bulldogs fans. Kieran Foran made a world of difference to the Bulldogs’ attack. His experience was sorely missed as Manly ran riot against Dean Pay’s side last week and he was barking orders from the outset.
Dylan Napa and Aiden Tolman aren’t the flashiest of front row pairings but they dominated the middle third. The former had 163 metres, the latter 170.
And while there were 10 handling errors between the two teams in the first half alone, the Bulldogs’ share of those dropped balls largely came inside the Dragons’ 20.
One of the oldest sayings in the book is that if at first you don’t succeed, you try and try again. That summed up the Bulldogs’ attack.
While they probably should have been further in front than 10-2 at the half time break, they did score the only try of the first half through Adam Elliott.
Tries to Nick Meaney and Reimis Smith in the second half put the result beyond all doubt.
There was at least some spark amongst the Bulldogs. They may not be the most skilled or have any players with any significant X-factor but their effort can’t be questioned.
The Dragons, on the other hand, are a lost cause. They made the Bulldogs look as good as the Warriors did last Saturday. The Warriors were then thumped by Penrith on Friday night.
One week ago, the Bulldogs’ defence couldn’t cope with Tom Trbojevic and Manly. It was a glorified training run for Des Hasler’s side. On Monday night, their defence looked worthy of a finals-bound team.
It’s now 81 days since the Dragons have scored a try. They are now the only winless team in the NRL in 2020.
Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.