News Sports Dragons' Stunning Start: Flanagan Sets Record Straight
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Nelson Asofa-Solomona

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Dragons Silence Critics with Classy Win

By Eamonn Tiernan | March 11th, 2024 | 5:58 pm

Dragons coach Shane Flanagan has set the record straight on comments he made about the club’s focus already being on 2025. In Flanagan’s first game in charge, St George Illawarra stunned all and sundry on Saturday night with a performance that hasn’t been seen from the Red V in years.

Thumping Victory

They dominated in attack and defense as Ben Hunt’s side put the cleaners through big Tino’s Titans in a disastrous start for new Gold Coast coach Des Hasler. The thumping 28-4 victory came after a tumultuous summer for the Dragons, which saw plenty of pundits tip them to finish last.

Defying Predictions

Premiership winners and respected voices Braith Anasta, Greg Alexander, and Byran Fletcher all tipped the Dragons to collect their first-ever wooden spoon in 2024, as did former Kangaroos star Steve Roach. But Flanagan was all smiles on Saturday night after coaching his first game since 2018 and declared: “I was sitting back quite happy that people were tipping us to come last because it won’t happen.”

2025 Focus Clarified

Flanagan had previously stated that the club’s focus was on 2025, but he clarified during a sit-down interview: “I did say that and I meant that from a recruitment perspective. We’re looking to 2025 in that department, but I haven’t taken my eye off the ball in 2024. This season is important; we need to show what sort of football team we are and what sort of team we’re building here. This side will be very strong defensively, very similar to all the sides I’ve coached, we’ll have resilience and steel in us, and at some point, we’re going to win games 14-12, and that’s the team I want to be and then add touches of class over the next couple of years.”

Shane Flanagan is coaching again for the first time since 2018.

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