Picture: ANDY ZAKELIThis Friday’s game in Wollongong against the Broncos is shaping up to be a bit of a litmus test for the Dragons.In last weekend’s loss to the Raiders in the bogey town of Canberra, the Dragons seemed out of sorts. They certainly weren’t the focused, clinical, unruffled side of recent weeks.The Canberra side – who always seem to play better when they’re out of the finals race – played a physical style of footy which at times seemed to rattle the Dragons. So much so that some pundits have now been saying other teams will adopt the Raiders’ template when they play the Dragons. Read more Try Hard blogs That’s a bit dim, given that the strategies the Raiders used were hardly revolutionary – other teams have been trying to use them for most of the season.It happened to work for the Raiders because they met an off-the-pace Dragons team and were able to keep up the intensity for the whole game.If either of those characteristics are missing, then these tactics just don’t work. Had the Dragons been on song (and not missing at least three regular first graders – everyone always forgets when the Dragons are missing players) the Raiders’ tactics simply wouldn’t have worked.Still, the Broncos will provide a big test for the Dragons. Firstly, they’re a team with a bit of confidence after scoring a bazillion second-half points against the Panthers. Secondly, it’ll let us see how easily the Dragons find their form after the loss in Canberra.A loss on its own isn’t a real indication of how a team’s travelling. In today’s game, it’s hard to be at peak intensity levels week after week, so it’s not surprising that a team may be a bit out of form for a game. A much better indicator is how they perform in the following weeks – do they lift their game and return to their previous levels? Or do they still show signs of struggling?If the Dragons shake off the loss with a strong and powerful performance against the Broncos it sends a clear message to the rest of the competition that they’re still a force to be reckoned with.And it’ll also make nervous fans like myself breathe a little easier.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.