AAP Rugby

Furious McGregor slams senior Dragons

By AAP Newswire

For the second week in a row, St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor was left bemused by the bunker's decision on their captain's challenge.

The Dragons were trying to reel in a 12-point deficit late in Friday's NRL loss to Canberra when they tried to overturn a knock-on call by the referee.

Replays showed a Raiders player touched a Dragons pass in flight, however the video official ruled the ball went backwards after the touch.

The same official then said St George Illawarra's challenge was successful, only for Canberra to be awarded the scrum feed by the on-field referee.

The Dragons scored a try soon after to reduce the deficit to six, but by then it was too late to push for an equaliser and the Raiders went on to claim the win.

"It was similar to last week, we had one last week. The rule that got overturned and we lost the challenge, it was a bit like tonight," McGregor said.

"It is what it is. It was an important time of the game but."

McGregor refused to use the bizarre bunker call as an excuse, and instead pointed to their porous opening 60 minutes that left them in a 22-0 hole.

"It's always difficult when you don't get the decisions you want. In times of need, you want them decisions. But that's part of the game," he said.

"I'm not going to put it down to that. I thought we're improving in the right areas in the last three weeks, but our first 40 wasn't good enough tonight."

The Dragons were guilty of schoolboy errors and looked clueless in good-ball sets, with their senior players in particular drawing the ire of their coach.

"I was filthy with our first 40 (minutes). Our discipline, in and around certain areas of the game, kick finishes to our sets..." McGregor said.

"And errors are a part of the game. You've got to get each other's back, be better, and defend them. There was a couple of tries that shouldn't have been scored.

"We've been really improved the last three weeks, so that was disappointing.

"Our young players are still learning the game, I get that. But a lot of our disciplinary (issues) tonight was from our senior players, who need to be better."