NRL: Dragons coach Paul McGregor questions Warriors' goal-line tactics after 20-12 defeat

  • 21/04/2018

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor and captain Gareth Widdop have questioned the goal line tactics used by the Warriors during the Dragons first loss of the season.

The Warriors claimed a rare 20-12 win over the Dragons in front of 18,295 fans at Mt Smart Stadium - the sixth time since 1999 that the Penrose based club have beaten St George, despite finishing on the wrong end of a 13-5 penalty count.

In total, the Warriors have conceded 62 penalties this season - the third-most in the NRL.

Many of the penalties the Warriors conceded came inside the red zone and eventually led to Blake Green getting sin-binned right before halftime.

Speaking to reporters after the match, McGregor praised the Warriors for coming out on top, but he admitted he was frustrated with the number of penalties the home side gave away - which meant his team couldn't build any momentum.

"They came here with a plan, they gave away a lot of penalties and defended their line well, whether that was part of it or not I'm not sure," he said.

"Their line speed was incredible, and their scramble defence was the best from any side I have seen this year. But it was frustrating because of the constant stop-start nature of that first period."

"There were a lot of them around the same area of the field. But look, taking nothing away from the Warriors tonight they were very good.

Dragons captain Gareth Widdop.
Dragons captain Gareth Widdop. Photo credit: Getty Images

"There was a few blown. I suppose someone did go to the bin late in that second half."

Widdop said the number of penalties limited his side's ability to play fast.

"It just slows us down a little bit - you can't really get any momentum or quick play of the balls to play off the back of," he said.

"But I'm not going to use that as an excuse, in the end, they just defended really well, and we couldn't get across the try line that's what it came down to."

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was asked if it was a part of the game plan and he said: "It's not on our tip sheet, no."

"We knew that we had to put pressure on the Dragons with our line speed and really go after them, but it wasn't our intention to deliberately give penalties away. I can honestly say."

The Warriors and Dragons both have a short turn around for their next games with both teams facing the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters respectively in their annual Anzac Day clash.