Anasta has last laugh

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First Grader
Anasta said after the Anzac Day game he hoped Williams would be dropped to Premier League, "where he belongs".

MALIGNED Dragons rookie Richie Williams might not play in first grade again this year after being dropped to the reserves yesterday, the culmination of a turbulent week sparked by his controversial comments about Roosters rival Braith Anasta.

While St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown insisted Williams's relegation had nothing to do with last week's quip about Anasta not playing as well as he had in past seasons, the selection of regular hooker Dean Young at five-eighth was a surprise.

Young has not played for nearly nine months after suffering a serious knee injury last season and has been thrust into the playmaking role ahead of the talented Williams to distribute to a young new centre pairing of Chase Stanley and Keith Lulia.

Young revealed that Brown wants him to remain at five-eighth until injured star Mark Gasnier returns from a pectoral injury, which would not be until late in the season, virtually killing off Williams's hopes of fighting his way back into the team.

Williams is under a club-enforced media ban after his pre-Anzac Day game remarks, so was unable to comment last night, but it is understood he is contemplating a future at another club. His father, Doug, said as much when he told the Herald: "Is his first grade career over? Maybe at the Dragons, not in the NRL."

Brown said: "If Richie's prepared to work really hard and improve some key parts of his game, there's no reason why he can't [return to first grade]."

Was Williams dropped for his comments? "No, that's not the case," Brown said. "Obviously Dean Young's come back and Dean's an experienced player in that position who can offer the side a lot of direction. And that's an area where we're lacking."


RLW had an interesting article this week and I tend to agree. I don't think anyone condones what Richie Williams did... it was stupid and dis-respectful but as RLW put it "are we losing the characters in our game."

Fair enough it was a silly thing to say but you have to agree that many people wouldn't have even bothered with watching the roosters V dragons game had he not said that and it was definately more interesting than the "we'll be happy just to get the 2 points" cliche we get from most footballers in the media.

If the dragons had as much self belief as Richie Williams has they would probably be going alot better this year.

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Team P W L PD Pts
17 14 3 141 34
17 12 5 118 30
17 11 6 125 28
18 11 7 209 26
18 10 7 97 25
17 9 8 63 24
17 9 8 46 24
18 10 8 3 24
17 9 8 -56 24
17 8 9 -91 22
18 8 10 25 20
17 7 10 -90 20
18 8 10 -97 20
18 7 10 -34 19
17 6 11 -89 18
17 4 13 -153 14
18 4 14 -217 12
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