Paul McGregor's tenure as St George-Illawarra Dragons coach may be as good as over but the strength of his character can't be questioned.
McGregor was in a pressure cooker before the game but the heat was cranked up again after St George Illawarra's 22-2 loss to lowly Canterbury.
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After just two wins from their past 14 games, time is running out for the Dragons' coach to save his job as they lumber through their worst season start since 2005.
And after the Bulldogs scored their first win of the season on Monday at Bankwest Stadium, the Dragons sit last on the ladder as the only team not to taste victory yet in 2020.
A team stacked with representative talent, the Dragons could not form a winning combination despite several changes to the spine which McGregor had hoped would spark improvement.
However, it's been two consecutive weeks without a try for the Dragons, last scoring against the Panthers in round two back in March.
It sets McGregor up for another week of speculation over his future at the club after six seasons in charge.
To his credit, McGregor fronted the Fox Sports panel immediately after the game, where he continually did his best to answer questions around whether the Bulldogs defeat represented his last game in charge.
The confronting situation left many viewers feeling sorry for the under-fire coach.
Gutsy interview by Paul McGregor! Good on him! 360 panel giving it to him big time. #NRL360— CoreyH (@Cosaroo) June 8, 2020
Massive respect for Paul McGregor fronting up to to that interview. You can see the bloke is shattered.— Bryan Parnell (@BryParnell) June 8, 2020
Really tough interview with Paul McGregor here, looked like he was tearing up at one stage!! #NRL— Shermo (@BiggKat02) June 8, 2020
Did you watch that Paul McGregor interview on NRL 360? It was tough to watch.— sadcat (@the_sadcat) June 8, 2020
Stunning example of how to front up to the furnace - Paul McGregor on #NRL360 answering the tough questions after Dragons loss. Can’t be guaranteed his job but showed he has fortitude— Jamie Pandaram (@JamiePandaram) June 8, 2020
So much respect for Paul McGregor after that 360 interview. I personally think his time is up but it is clear how much he loves his job and cares for his players. Very hard to watch him and his captain talk tonight.— Sally-Anne Hurley (@SallyhyphenAnne) June 8, 2020
Jesus, Paul McGregor getting ROASTED on 360. Calm cool collected. Respect for fronting the media especially Kent and Rothfield 😂— Chris Jenkins (@Jenkins93Chris) June 8, 2020
I'm not a fan of the team but I have to feel for the bloke, hope they get a couple wins soon, just not against my 💙💛 😂 #NRL
Real gutsy effort for Paul McGregor to show up and answer questions. #nrl360— Craig (@agnuspagnus) June 8, 2020
Win eases pressure on Bulldogs
Corey Norman's move to fullback did not have the desired result, while it was a tough debut at halfback for Adam Clune who made the team's only line break.
And while the disappointment intensified for the Dragons, the Bulldogs rallied for Kieran Foran's 200th NRL game.
Foran made his return from a shoulder injury which had threatened to end his season.
Although he was physically spent at times during the game, Foran helped to steer the Bulldogs out of a sloppy opening 10 minutes to a near-perfect completion rate.
A try to Adam Elliott through the middle put the Bulldogs on the board in the first half, while Nick Meaney and Reimis Smith polished off the win with second-half four-pointers.
The Dragons will play Cronulla on Sunday at Campbelltown, while the Bulldogs will face the high-flying Sydney Roosters at Bankwest Stadium.
with Yahoo Sport staff