Matty Johns calls out Dragons over embarrassing team sheet gaffe

The Dragons made a pre-game blunder that cost them an interchange.

Matty Johns during broadcast and Dragons coach Anthony Griffin speaking to the media.
Matty Johns (pictured left) has called out the Dragons for their pre-game team sheet gaffe, which cost them an interchange, after their loss to the Raiders. (Images: Fox Sports/Getty Images)

Matty Johns has highlighted the Dragons' pre-game team sheet debacle as a sign of how the club is tracking after yet another loss in the NRL. The Canberra Raiders won back-to-back games for the first time in 2023 having defeated the Dragons 20-14.

The Raiders now move to 3-4 in the 2023 season having overturned a 4-0 deficit at half-time, but pressure continues to mount on Dragons coach Anthony Griffin struggles to reverse the from of the struggling Illawarra outfit. And before a ball had been kicked, the Dragons got off to a terrible start after they lost an interchange because of a team sheet gaffe.

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The Dragons named the wrong No.9 on the team sheet, to the one that took to the field, which under the NRL rulebook immediately cost them an interchange. And Johns pointed out the mess the club finds itself in.

“I think at the moment what sums up the plight of the Dragons is they named Jacob Liddle to start at hooker, but Moses Mbye took the field,” he said on Sunday Night with Matty Johns. “That straight away cost them an interchange. Like how does that happen?”

Fellow co-host Bryan Fletcher agreed and the said the blunder shouldn't happen at a professional level. “When I heard that I couldn’t believe it,” Fletcher said.

“It’s a bit like the Tigers when something is going wrong it seems to continue.” Johns added: "Like the saying when it rains it pours and then it hails."

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The Dragons have now lost four of their last five outings and pressure is heaping on the coach. Griffin said he wasn't bothered when asked if the loss would impact his future, adding his players' desire to fight for the jumper had never been an issue.

"I don't really have anything to talk to you about that; I don't create that, I'm just more worried about our players, getting them over this and getting into the next game," he said, adding he couldn't question his players' desire. "It's a really tough couple of weeks when we put ourselves in a position to win two games.

"That's never been an issue, we've just got to play better at vital times, both sides of the ball. They'll turn it around, they're a good team."

Ben Hunt and his teammates walk off the field.
Ben Hunt (pictured left) has backed coach Anthony Griffin throughout the club's crisis. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Captain Ben Hunt has continually backed Griffin to remain as the coach, but last week said he hasn't been consulted by the Dragons board to date to discuss the coach's outlook. The star halfback signed a contract extension in October last year which will see him remain in the red and white until 2025.

"It's something I would have thought you would be involved in," Hunt told AAP. "As a captain and leader of the club, you would like to be approached about it. I am sure I will be though.

"Not just myself, but a number of senior players. You would think that the players that are out on the field would have some sort of say in it. Obviously it's not totally up to us, but you would think they would want your opinion on things."

with AAP

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