OPINION

Blame for Dragon's season doesn't just rest with Paul McGregor

Sacked Dragons coach Paul McGregor deserves to bow out with his head held high. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Sacked Dragons coach Paul McGregor deserves to bow out with his head held high. Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Paul McGregor is a really good man who deserves to bow out as head coach of St George Illawarra with his head held high.

Yes, the results weren't there and the drums have been beating pretty loudly over the past few weeks about his job.

But what can't be questioned in all of this has been his passion and his work ethic to do everything he possibly could to make the Dragons successful.

In the end, he wasn't able to achieve results-wise, what he or the club and the fans craved for so they are now looking in another direction to try and find someone who can turn things around for this great club.

I'm a mate of Mary and I feel for him because no matter how it ends, it's always tough.

But even now, I've got no doubt in the world he is a good coach. But when it's not working, it's not working and ultimately, something has to give.

By parting ways now, I guess it gives the club some clarity going forward as far as planning goes although Dean Young now steps in until the end of the season, with the club searching for Mary's full-time replacement.

As is generally the case with these things, the players should be having a good hard look at themselves today and asking themselves the question, 'have I played a role in this'. In my eyes, for most of them, the answer should be yes.

It's always the easy option to come at the head coach.

I've said a number of times this season the Dragons players need to be held accountable for performances as well.

Regardless of what is happening off the field, when they go out to play, they have a responsibility to play decent footy and give their all for their club and represent their members, fans and everything that the Dragons stand for in the best possible way.

They have let a lot of people down including themselves in that department this year. They have let their coach down, they have let their supporters down and in my view, a lot of them need to be held to account as well.

I reckon if the players were as passionate and as competitive as Mary is about his job every time they stepped onto a footy field, the Dragons would not be in the predicament they find themselves in now and we wouldn't be talking about another coaching change.

Support for Siebold

I can't imagine how tough it must be walking in Anthony Siebold's shoes right now.

I really feel for Siebs and what he must be going through. His situation as coach of the Broncos is tough enough but to then be subjected to the horrible, unsubstantiated rumours that have been getting around on social media about his personal life in the past week is absolutely disgusting.

I have no doubt all the pressure he is under must be weighing heavily on himself and his family but hopefully he is getting the right sort of support to get through it.

Round 14 predictions

ROOSTERS v STORM

The Roosters have their two best players in James Tedesco and Luke Keary playing, while Melbourne's two best players, Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster are out. For that reason, I'm tipping the defending premiers to get the job done but not by much.

WARRIORS v PANTHERS

How do you tip against the Panthers in the form they are in? With a favourable draw, I think they are going to win the minor premiership, with Nathan Cleary leading the way. The Warriors have been courageous but I'm not expecting them to cause an upset here.

EELS v DRAGONS

You would like to think the Dragons players will really rise to send Mary off on a winning note but it doesn't always work out that way. The Eels have made an art form of finding a way to win their games - even when they haven't been at the level we know they can play at. I think they'll have too much class for the Dragons here.

SHARKS v TITANS

I've been really impressed with the improvement in the Titans over the past month or so and coach Justin Holbrook is doing a wonderful job with them but I also like the fight shown by the Sharks in recent weeks and with Shaun Johnson in super form and the Titans away from home, I think the Sharks will get away with it.

COWBOYS v RABBITOHS

The Cowboys are harder to beat at home but the Rabbitohs have too much to play for to let this one slip. If they can match the Cowboys in the middle, they'll pile on some points out wide with the likes of Latrell Mitchell and their halves leading the way.

RAIDERS v BRONCOS

It would take a brave man to tip the Broncos in the absolute turmoil they are in right now and at home, I'm expecting the Raiders to do a number on them and pile on a big score in this one.

KNIGHTS v SEA EAGLES

I was really impressed with Blake Green in his first game for the Knights last weekend against the Tigers and what he did to complement the natural games of Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga. That relationship is only going to get better. Manly are really struggling and with a few key troops missing, I'm expecting their struggles to continue in Newcastle.

TIGERS v BULLDOGS

As poor as the Tigers were last weekend, I think they can bounce back in this one after a lightened week of training against a Bulldogs side who let themselves down badly when they had a real opportunity to shine against the Storm last weekend.