McGregor supports NRL Magic Round idea

Matt Encarnacion
Dragons coach Paul McGregor says the idea of a special NRL Magic-Round has "a fair bit of smarts"

Paul McGregor has thrown his support behind the Magic-Round style concept that could keep the NRL season alive in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

The governing body is understood to be considering isolating all 16 teams in one city - believed to be in northern Australia - in order to avoid the game's extinction.

It comes as the deadly virus has turned the current campaign into a logistical nightmare, with the Warriors already displaced in Gold Coast this week.

The idea, which got the green light from the St George Illawarra coach, to shift the league to one city was the brainchild of former Dragons mentor Wayne Bennett.

"I actually thought there was a fair bit of smarts about it," McGregor said.

"Coming up with some really strong ideas, how we can do it better, is a great initiative by Wayne. There's a lot behind that, yeah."

McGregor's comments come after the under-pressure coach was unable to deliver Dragons fans victory in their season-opener against the Wests Tigers.

The Dragons led by six after 46 minutes but bombed half a dozen try-scoring opportunities before fading against a fast-finishing Tigers outfit.

McGregor was proud of his team's defensive tenacity but said they were made to pay for leaving points on the field.

"Four opportunities with the line open, didn't finish them off. You create them opportunities at this professional level, you need to score them," he said.

"And we didn't score any of them.

"The 12-point turnaround where we had a drop over the line with the line open and they got a seven-tackle set, scored up the other end, that was a real turning point."

The defeat was soured by a leg injury to winger Mikaele Ravalawa, who limped off the field early in the first half after earning a penalty try.

"I thought it was a cork but it may be a strain thigh muscle," McGregor said.

"That was a bit of a loss there because he's had a really good pre-season, Mik, and he started the game nice and strong.

"Unfortunately the shuffle there affected us a little bit."