‘It’s embarrassing’: Why Dragons won’t talk up finals hopes under Griffin
Forward Josh Kerr has declared the Dragons' absence from the last two finals series "embarrassing" as the Red V strive to climb the NRL ladder this season.
The Dragons have boasted a team bursting with representative stars in the last two years but the Jack de Belin saga and the Paul McGregor sacking have ensured the club's famous colours have been anchored towards the bottom of the NRL ladder.
Josh Kerr won’t be talking up the Dragons’ hopes in 2021.Credit:Getty
Kerr now knows what it takes to be part of a side which defies the odds, having earned a surprise call-up to the Queensland State of Origin squad late last year.
And while few would expect the Dragons to return to the top eight, Kerr believes the culture already developing under new coach Anthony Griffin is reminiscent of the environment Wayne Bennett built for Queensland ahead of their remarkable series win.
"I've come back and we've had a reshuffle of staff but the culture here is so similar to what it was for Queensland," Kerr said on the Dragons' second day of training for 2021.
"I don't want to say anything bad about the years past but this is a refresh of everything.
"The culture they're building here just reminds me so much of being in [Origin] camp."
Kerr has clearly taken a leaf out of Bennett's book: he has already reminded his teammates to talk their hopes of climbing the NRL ladder down.
"I was saying to the boys before – we've always fallen into the trap at the Dragons of talking about how good our team is and how well we're going to do. And then we don't make the eight. It's embarrassing," Kerr said.
"We always say we're going to do these things but we never do it. Not trying to sound big or anything but I'd rather just do it.
"I'd rather just go out there, play well and win games (without) telling you how good we're going to go when we haven't made the eight in the last few years.
"I don't want to be rude by saying that but we've just fallen into that trap too many times over too many years."
The "best month" of Kerr's life – Origin camp – is also providing motivation for the prop who wants to make his Queensland debut sooner rather than later.
"I just thought 'I could only be myself' in that camp and to have that culture and that environment that they have – and you can definitely see it," Kerr said.
"To be coached by Wayne Bennett – when I was a kid he was old as – it was crazy."
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