By Mary Maidiotis

St George Illawarra Dragons captain Ben Creagh believes the short turnaround will work in his side’s favour as they prepare to take on the Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium, Wollongong on Thursday.

Creagh, 30, admits he is disappointed by the loss to the Brisbane Broncos and that the team has much to improve on as they continue the roll into the finals.

The University of Wollongong junior defended the decision to play prop Jack de Belin at halfback but is hopeful Benji Marshall will return for this week’s game to restore order in the team.

“It was a tough game for us against the Broncos, especially after the two wins we had in Newcastle and then backing it up against the Warriors the following week,” said Creagh.

“We expected a better scoreline and performance by the team but unfortunately the Broncos are flying high at the moment, they’re a quality team and we didn’t play well enough to win on Friday night.

“We’ll do a video review of the game and I’m sure there’ll be a few home truths, so we’ve got to improve in order to have a big game against the Panthers.

“There were a lot of points scored on the outside but you can’t just blame those guys, maybe our defence was too tight in the middle and dragging players in, so we’ll have to do the video review and look at what went wrong.

“Against the Warriors we scored 36 points with Jack at halfback so I think playing him there again was definitely the right decision.

“Hopefully Benji will be fine for this Thursday, he’s progressing well with that hamstring strain.

“I copped a bit of a knock on Friday and was unable to return to the game, there’s just a few tests I have to complete to make sure I’m right for the game, I’m feeling really good today and hopefully I’ll be fine.

“I think the short turnaround is going to help us, especially coming back to Wollongong and playing our last home game here, it’s going to be a big test for us but we’ve got a lot to play for.

“Every week is a tough week in the NRL, it doesn’t matter if teams are coming last, all teams are going out there and playing for personal pride, for their club, and for supporters so it will be a tough match on Thursday.”