Widdop: Need To Play Smartly

By Nathan Davis

St George Illawarra Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop admits the team will need to minimise the errors against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium, Canberra on Saturday.

The Dragons, who sit four points outside the top eight, were at fault for several handling errors and other fouls which, according to the England international, played a crucial component in the 16-4 loss to the Penrith Panthers last round.

The Red-and-Whites venture to the nation’s capital this round needing to earn two-competition points if they are to remain in mathematical contention for a finals spot.

Despite having not won at the venue in over a decade, Widdop believes the team are up for the task ahead on Saturday.

“It was a hard loss to take against the Panthers but we need work hard now and win the next four games,” said Widdop.

“When we were coming out of our own end against them we gave away a lot of penalties and errors.

“You can’t do that against a quality team and not expect to be punished for it.

 “The structures within the team are there sometimes and sometimes we need to be smart in what we do and how we play the ball.

“It was an important lesson for everyone to learn that at vital times we cannot be making errors.

“We need to take what we have learnt with us against the Raiders this week as they have a good track record against us.

 “If we are to reach the finals we need to play smart and we have challenged ourselves to do so.”