Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Whilst I have no sympathy whatsoever for the St George club, I feel desperately sorry for Dragons supporters who have to cop Nathan Brown as their coach. He would have to be the most under-performed coach in living memory, possibly since the dawn of rugby league.
Signing someone as coach who hadn't long stopped playing for the club was fraught with danger. And alarm bells had to be ringing deluxe when said individual publicly humiliated his captain by slapping him across the "chops". It was at this point someone had to go. It is impossible to conduct a working relationship when something as dramatic as this occurs. It demeaned not only the player in question, Trent Barrett, but created a cancer in the club. It was a brain-snap that illustrated how grossly unqualified Brown was for the position of head coach.
And no matter how much you sugar-coat it, irreparable damage was caused by the incident. Barrett's on-going patchy form from that moment on would attest to that.
I often wonder what heights such a gifted player as Barrett would have reached had he tendered his resignation there and then? His superlative displays with Wigan would suggest rather lofty.
I also wonder how many premierships the Dragons would have won had a Murray, or a Bellamy, or an Elliott, or anyone of a host of candidates, been in charge instead of bumbling Brown. Let's be fair dinkum, given the star-studded rosters that St George-Illawarra have had, Humphrey B Bear would have at the very least got them to a Grand Final. It is absolute disgrace and unforgivable, that the Dragons have sunk so low they are a loss way from being wooden spoon favourites in 2007.
The dismal loss on ANZAC day to a winless Roosters side should give club management the mandate to take affirmative action to right a wrong by flicking the coach. If they haven't got the "kahoonas" to do that then Brown himself should take the decision out of their hands and fall on his sword.
He has to "take one" for the team, else it's backwards and downwards for the proud club. They need to appoint someone like a Phil Gould, a Dragons fan from a boy, or a Johnny Lang, and set about salvaging what they can from their "train wreck" of a season.
Brown resigning, I feel wouldn't be an admittance of failure. He will be applauded by all those in the game - in particular Dragons fans - that he has come to the realisation that as a first grade rugby league coach, he is mediocre.
And in defence of the former Dragons hooker, it is not entirely his fault. The position was thrust upon him by the powers-that-be who swelled his head by making him out to be something he clearly was not. Brown was neither ready nor credentialed to take on such a senior role. For goodness sake, the bulk of the players under his guidance were former teammates who probably took the "mickey" out of him regularly over his cheeky playing style or his flowing blond locks.
Sadly for Brown, the only thing flowing these days is the constant hate mail from disenfranchised Dragons supporters wondering "where the hell did it all go wrong?"
Ahhh....errrr....helllllllo...shall I suggest the day Nathan Brown put pen to paper!
As the saying goes "the pen is mightier than the sword". Damn straight. But at least the sword has a chance to get one back on the pen.
Fall on it Brownie, fall on it. We are only talking metaphorically here, don't want any bloodshed.
Just think you can get a gig with the Blues in this year's Origin series and return to the arena where you've done some of your best work.
Who will ever forget those poignant words you uttered as waterboy...."Walker's on, Walker's on". Classic stuff!