League boss makes call on Shane Flanagan controversy

Talk of Shane Flanagan (R) replacing Paul McGregor at the Dragons has ramped up over the last week. Pic: Getty

Peter V'landys has squashed suggestions Shane Flanagan could have his head-coaching ban reduced, effectively ruling him out as a possible early replacement for besieged St George Illawarra mentor Paul McGregor.

Currently McGregor's assistant, former Cronulla coach Flanagan is banned from becoming a head coach again until 2022 after violating the rules of a previous suspension over his role in the Sharks' supplements scandal.

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"He (Flanagan) has to serve the penalty he's been given and there's no reason at this stage to change that penalty," ARLC chairman V'landys told 2GB radio on Thursday.

Despite being contracted until the end of 2021, McGregor is under enormous pressure to turn around his winless and under-performing team before the next Dragons club board meeting later this month.

With their annual Queen's Birthday clash against fellow strugglers Canterbury not until Monday, the Dragons have had plenty of time to reflect on being held scoreless by the Warriors.

"We know what we need to fix," said star forward Tariq Sims.

"Some individuals, we need to step up as players and really drag the team morale up this week. Sometimes the long turnarounds can be quite frustrating. (But) it's a mind shift thing."

Sims insisted there had been plenty of plain talking done as they search for answers.

"It's not like we pussy-foot around the questions at training. We definitely deal with the situations and things we need to deal with throughout the week," he said.

"We sit in our theatrette and we have open conversations.

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"Not like we yell at each other or play the blame game, it's a game with 17 players that all need to band together to get the one job done. There's no fighting."

McGregor has responded to the defeat by moving Corey Norman to fullback at the expense of Matt Dufty, and handing a debut to playmaker Adam Clune.

James Graham is dismayed by the negativity around the Dragons in 2020. Pic: Getty

Veteran prop James Graham, who was disappointed with his individual performance against the Warriors, appeared disillusioned with the criticism the Dragons are copping.

"Whichever way the wind blows, the media will get some seed from this," he said.

"You make changes and it's seen as panic. You don't, and it's seen as sticking with the wrong team. Whatever you guys are going to say, you're going to say.

"It doesn't really matter what the coach did, it's going to be met negatively."

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