18 Apr 2018

Dragons' bubble won't burst: McGregor

5:24 pm on 18 April 2018

St George Illawarra coach Paul McGregor believes the doubters waiting for the Dragons' bubble to burst may be in for a rude shock.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The unbeaten competition leaders flew out for Auckland on Wednesday brimming with belief as they look to extend their best-ever start to an NRL campaign in Friday night's top-of-the-table clash with the Warriors.

But the Dragons have been "April premiers" before, only for similarly encouraging starts to to end in tears.

McGregor's men won six of their first seven last year before losing 11 of 17 to miss the finals.

In 2015, the Dragons won eight of their first 11 before limping into the playoffs in eighth spot and bombing out in week one.

McGregor, though, believes his "healthy" class of 2018 is different - and ready to keep the record streak rolling.

"A healthy roster definitely gives you confidence going into each week," he said as the Dragons eye a seventh straight win.

"So whilst we maintain that healthy roster, it obviously gives you good cohesion across the board. You get a lot of repetition in at training, which is important in this game.

"People can talk about it all they want. We've got a vision and discipline around that and standards around how we play.

"Each week we're learning to play a different way to win, which is pleasing."

Mathematically, the joint venture outfit likely only need to win six or seven of their remaining 18 games to make the finals and McGregor is refusing to play down his side's sizzling start to 2018.

"It's very important to start the year well. It doesn't matter what anyone says," he said.

"Everyone can say 'oh, you're peaking too early" or whatever they want to say.

"But if you've got a healthy roster and you're winning games of footy, it certainly helps throughout the year when you don't have a healthy roster and you'll have people away possibly through representative footy."

In an ominous warning to the Warriors, who themselves won their first five matches before falling to Brisbane 27-18 on Saturday, McGregor is demanding better from the Dragons than their 40-20 dispatch of Cronulla last Friday night.

Preserving themselves for the short turnaround before Wednesday's Anzac Day blockbuster against the Sydney Roosters won't be accepted.

"We'll go out and play our best on Friday night because we didn't show the Sharks our best," said McGregor, who laughed off talk that a nasty bug had swept through the camp this week.

"We need to show the Warriors our best on Friday night and, if we do that, we'll give ourselves every opportunity.

"Then, after that, we'll refocus on obviously the game on Anzac Day, We obviously all know what that's about."