‘Not acceptable’: Dragons hold crisis talks
The St George Illawarra Dragons players have held crisis talks amid the team's woeful season, with Cameron McInnes ripping into his teammates after their loss on Friday night.
Coach Paul McGregor has come under increasing fire after the Red V's mid-season slump which reached crisis point when they were thumped by the Panthers.
And Fox Sports' reporter James Hooper has revealed that McGregor let McInnes deliver an almighty spray to shock the players into a change.
"He left it to his players," Hooper told Fox League's Big League Wrap. "Cameron McInnes came to the fore. He looked all the players in the eye he said boys this is not acceptable
"He's torn strips off them. It was a heavy bake."
"Mary being the style of character he is, he was given a two-year extension back in May.
"He's the coach for the rest of this year, next year and until 2021.
He said to the players we can work together and try and fight our way out or I'm going to get moved on and you blokes will also get moved on, so let's come together and let's try and fight our way out of here, that's the only way to handle this situation.
"But Mary, at the moment, he needs a bulletproof vest, they're very cut throat with their criticism.
"There's a board meeting and these fade-outs over the course of not just this season, it's last year, the year before. That's going to be high on the agenda.
"I think Paul McGregor is safe, I know it can be interpreted as a death knell - the full support of the board - but at this point in time, they have got Mary's back."
Meanwhile, Michael Ennis has questioned McGregor's decision to rest Ben Hunt. The halfback sat out the must-win clash with Penith, leaving McGregor open to more criticism.
"I put myself in the Dragons' dressing room on Friday night and I think to myself as a teammate, I'm really happy for you, you played Origin and you deserved it and it's great our club has got rep players," said Ennis.
"But I want to win a competition, and so do the other blokes.
"Now when we need to win seven of eight games, and you're our halfback, our general, you're not the utility who comes off the bench.
"You're the bloke who controls and who orchestrates this whole club … he had to play.
"And for me personally, if the coach says: 'you weren't great, I reckon we need to give you a spell'. 'Coach, no way, we've got to win the next seven games. I've got to play, I want to play Friday night. Just look after me. I don't need to train until Thursday. I'll turn up for the captain's run and the week after … I've got to freshen myself up that way. But I've got to play'.
"Because other blokes in that dressing room are there and they've just brought in the teamsheet and James Maloney's playing."