31 hours ago
Dragons coach Brown under pressure
Coach Nathan Brown says St George Illawarra's round-one capitulation was a "small blip on the radar".
But the storm clouds will well and truly gather over Dragons coach's head should the red and white deliver an encore performance against Gold Coast on Monday night.
The pressure on Brown intensified this week following the 24-16 loss to Wests Tigers, though the under-siege coach did his best to deflect the negative press.
"It comes with the territory and I'm sure when the Dragons come good the attention will move to another coach at another team," Brown said.
"We are one of the clubs that generates a touch more interest than other sides.
"At the end of the day there are seven other sides sitting with us and it is only round one. We were a touch disappointed but we've moved on from that.
"We're putting it down to a small blip on the radar and we've had two good video session this week and we're reasonably confident the guys have got their roles down pat."
Brown reacted to the loss by dumping former Test prop Jason Ryles to the bench and promoting Dan Hunt from playing with Berkeley in the local Illawarra competition to the starting front row where he will go up against the likes of Luke Bailey and Anthony Laffranchi.
Ben Hornby has been switched to fullback and Rangi Chase brought into the starting line-up at five-eighth, with Brown hoping his inclusion will make the Dragons a more potent proposition.
"One thing we know is the Rangi, Gaz (Mark Gasnier) Beau Scott combination is dangerous on the attack, we know attack-wise that's scored plenty of points.
"That's the decision we've made to go with now and it's one that we'll stick with for a while now unless something injury-wise makes us change it.
"Regardless of the result of the coming game, we'll definitely stick with that combination because they're such key positions, we don't want to keep changing it."
Titans coach John Cartwright named an unchanged squad, which is hardly surprising given the way his side performed in crushing North Queensland 36-18 at Skilled Park last week.
Bailey will play at WIN Stadium for the first time in enemy colours after the former Dragon missed last year's clash in Wollongong through injury.
The biggest issue for the Titans may be the 10-day turnaround between games, a factor which could cause them some issues early in the game given the Dragons are likely to come out fired out following last week's very public blast from Brown.