St George Illawarra players desperate to bounce back after confronting video session

Monstered: Blake Lawrie. Picture: NRL Imagery/Jason O'Brien
Monstered: Blake Lawrie. Picture: NRL Imagery/Jason O'Brien

St George Illawarra players have spoken of the confronting video session that followed Saturday night's capitulation to the Warriors as they vowed to ensure the side produces a much-improved performance against the Knights on Sunday.

While the Dragons' first half was filled with highlights, it was a second-half horror show that saw an 18-6 half-time lead turn into a 26-18 defeat.

Representative forward Tyson Frizell said those first-half highlights were missing from this week's video session, with coach Paul McGregor instead opting to focus on the defensive errors and lapses in concentration that occurred in the second half.

"We don't go into video sessions watching our highlights, watching film of how good we scored tries," Frizell said. "The past couple of weeks it certainly hasn't been many highlights.

"It's pretty confronting for the young blokes, being there and seeing how some video sessions can go. Sometimes you can go into the video session hoping your name doesn't get called up. But it is good, it makes boys accountable. Actions that you probably don't think you've done are there for everyone to see.

"We've all played a part in how we're performing the past couple of weeks and it's good to see footage of yourself not playing as well as you think you have been."

The second-half collapse was the second-straight week the Dragons had let slip a half-time lead, with the Eels blitzing the Dragons after half-time in round eight.

With the side desperate to ensure it doesn't happen for a third time, few players were spared in this week's video session. Winger Jordan Pereira revealed McGregor made use of a wide video angle that highlighted the effort of every player on the field.

"On TV you see the angle they want to show you," Pereira said. "When coach shows you the game, he shows you the angle that shows all players on the field at all times and you can see what everyone's doing. Some of the things you wish you didn't see, but then you realise that's my job, I need to be doing that.

"From the coach's perspective, he's coming from a good place and just wants us to be better. He pointed out the one per cent effort areas that personally I was lacking in, I'm definitely going to change those coming into next week and hopefully that will contribute to a better result."

McGregor may have been critical in his post-match analysis of Saturday's performance, however he has maintained his faith in the 17 that fell to the Warriors, with the Dragons coach naming an unchanged lineup for Sunday afternoon's game.

In positive news for the side, Korbin Sims has been named in jumper 21 and is an outside chance of making his return from injury.

Despite the recent setbacks, Frizell said the squad is determined to rebound this week, with the side placing extra focus on starting the second half well.

"Moment to moment is probably something we need to focus on, instead of worrying about what we need to do for that whole half," Frizell said. "We need to break it down into small increments throughout our halves.

"We've been focusing on the start of our games and that's been perfect. We thought two weeks ago that was a one-off with that second half, but now it's happened two weeks in a row, we need to shut it down straight away now."