LUCKLESS St George Illawarra prop Michael Weyman is emotionally better equipped to deal with a season-ending knee injury than he was earlier in his career, according to his agent.
Weyman, so often shown in a distressed state following injury setbacks that date back to the start of his career at Canberra, underwent surgery during the week for a torn cruciate ligament.
It’s the latest in a litany of wounds which leaves perhaps only North Queensland’s Brent Tate competing with Weyman for the title of the NRL’s unluckiest player.
“He’s a lot more mature than he was earlier in his career when he started getting a few injuries,’ said manager Steve Stone.
“When I spoke to him, I said that it’s just part of football, part of sport. He’s been there before. Technology is better than it’s ever been, when it comes to preventing injuries and speeding up recovery from them.”
Weyman and NSW’s Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin will be the highest profile absentees for the Dragons – expected to be boosted by the return of Jamie Soward – when they take on South Sydney at WIN Jubilee Stadium today in what could be a sellout.
If the new NRL stadiums policy is introduced next year, it’s possible Rabbitohs-Dragons matches will no longer be played at suburban venues after this afternoon.
But Dragons CEO Peter Doust told the Sun-Herald yesterday: “I don’t think there’s anything there to raise conjecture at this point – the whole of the game is looking at ways to grow the game and maximize our attendances.
“The League currently assigns venues in the finals. The clubs are having discussions about the approach to the entire season.
“We have two home grounds and we will always work to protect the interests of ticketed members at those venues.”
One option understood to have been discussed at NRL CEOs conferences would see Kogarah and Wollongong get four games each with the other four to be split between Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium. The Dragons have not signed on at WIN for next year and their lease at Kogarah does not stipulate how many games are played there, Doust said.
Of more immediate concern is the Dragons’ faltering attack, which has produced just 150 points this season.
But players don’t see this as a problem. “Not attack – I would say our execution hasn’t been up to scratch,” said centre Kyle Stanley.
“We’ve been working on that week-in and week-out and hopefully it pays off. I think we’ve got points in us. We Sowy back this week, hopefully we can showcase that. “
Prop Dan Hunt added: “We’re focusing on our starts. We can’t start like we did against Penrith, otherwise they’ll take the points off us.
“I’ve got to get the forwards going, maybe talk a little more and maybe lead by your actions. I’ve got to take that responsibily onto my own shoulders and I’m looking forward to it.”
The match gives a number of players on both sides who’ve enjoyed only limited involvement this season a chance to impress.
“It seems like a new squad but we’ve all been together training for a while now,” said Dragon Atelea Vea. “If anything, the boys will be excited to get out there together.
“I wouldn’t say there’s pressure. We all know we’ve got a job to do. We just have to get out there and get it done.”
Filed for: SUN-HERALD