Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
For the past two seasons, the St.George Illawarra Dragons have languished in the bottom eight and aren’t being backed to do much better in 2021; however, under new coach Anthony Griffin they have the tools to be successful next year.
Despite a poor season as a whole in 2020, certain Dragons players found top form.
Zac Lomax had a breakout year, with 20 try involvements, seven line breaks and 101 average running metres per game, which lead to the 21-year-old being selected in the New South Wales State of Origin squad.
Cameron McInnes has continued to be a perfect example of a workhorse in our game, finishing in the top four tacklers for the fourth straight year after moving to the lock position.
Josh Kerr was rewarded for his efforts with Origin selection for QLD.
And the wing pairing of Jordan Pereira and Mikaele Ravalawa proved effective also.
The Dragons are also brimming with talent who haven’t been playing to their potential but have been world-class in the past.
Marquee player Ben Hunt has failed to recapture the form he displayed at the Broncos consistently, although a full-time move to the dummy-half role is the best chance he has of returning to the top of his game.
— St George Illawarra Dragons (@NRL_Dragons) December 3, 2020
At 29-years-old, Paul Vaughn is also still capable of playing to the best of his ability, as he will be looking to reclaim a spot in the New South Wales State of Origin squad.
Another player who can be a difference-maker if they pull their weight is Corey Norman.
In terms of younger talent, Cody Ramsey is yet to play a bad game in his currently short NRL career, spring two tries, assisting one and making three line breaks in just three games.
The club has also made a couple of key signings for next season.
Poasa Fa’amausili comes into the side after impressing while on loan at the Warriors in 2020, with premiership winner and former New South Wales Origin representative Jack Bird returning to the Dragons as he looks to reboot his career where it started.
Every year there seems to be at least one team who makes the top eight that nobody expected to, and in 2021 that team may very well be the Dragons.