Dragons bullish despite Storm defeat

St George Illawarra say their attack is a work in progress following their narrow loss to the Storm in their round one clash in Melbourne.

The Dragons went down 18-16 after holding an early 10-point lead which came on the back of enterprising attack that led to tries by Jason Nightingale and Benji Marshall.

The Red V have employed former Cowboys assistant Jason Demetriou, who helped shape the blue-print for their first NRL premiership last year.

While boasting a tough defence, last season St George Illawarra scored less points than any other side except Penrith, averaging less than three tries per game.

Demetriou, a former Saints junior who played almost 200 games for Wakefield in the UK Super League, can take credit for a North Queensland attack that averaged more tries than any rival.

Against the Storm the Dragons pipped their average at AAMI Park with three tries and coach Paul McGregor says he sees good signs.

“We’ve got a completely different structure or shape to play with our new attacking coach there so it’s going to take a little bit of time with the cohesion there,” McGregor said.

“You take a lot out of that start of the game and certainly different stages of the game … we still found a lot of energy to come home strong and lose by two points to a quality side.”

The Dragons gave former Melbourne back Kurt Mann his first start at fullback, with NSW No.1 Josh Dugan linking with Tim Lafai in the centres.

The trio all had mixed games with some promising attack but also some defensive and ball-handling errors.

“At different stages of the game he got involved really well and made a nice clean linebreak when we needed it late in the game but there were a few errors he needs to fix,” McGregor said of Mann.

“It’s a new NRL position for him so it will take a bit of time.”

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