A change of scenery might just be what the doctor ordered to get St George Illawarra’s season back on track, says winger Jason Nightingale.
After losing six games in a row, the Dragons have slipped outside the top eight and Nightingale believes facing the Melbourne Storm on neutral territory in New Zealand, and their first trip out of NSW since the third round, could rejuvenate their campaign.
“Not going down to Melbourne is pretty beneficial and to get away from Sydney is always nice as well,” the Kiwi international said.
“You get the opportunity to get together as a team and especially when things aren’t going your way that can be beneficial. So we’re all happy to be here and hopefully that can influence the way we play,” he said.
A clutch of injuries and an Origin series derailed the Red V juggernaut after a run of eight wins in nine matches that saw them top the NRL ladder.
Nightingale says they need to find answers, starting on Saturday in Napier.
“We’ve run out of excuses now our troops are all back on board,” he said.
“We don’t need to reinvent everything we’re doing. We were doing a lot of things well prior to the Origin series.”
The team had built themselves on defence, he said.
“We’ve leaked quite a few points recently so need to get back to maintaining a bit of a dominance there.
“If we do win good field position, we’re confident that with our attacking ability and some of the players we’ve got in our team then we’ll get enough points.”
A congested middle of the ladder has eight teams separated by just four points and a win against the fifth-placed Storm could see the Dragons back in the post-season hunt.
And Nightingale knows time is running out for his side to make their run.
“We’ve got a bit of pressure on us after our string of losses and winning is the only way to turn that around.”