The Set Of Six: Mediocre NRL Players – St. George Illawarra Dragons

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

If you saw the clue from the Knights edition and thought – yep the clue obviously refers to the Dragon in Shrek so he must be doing St. George next...then thank you and welcome back.

Naturally when you think of the Dragons, you think of two things. For me and I assume all Red V supporters, their rousing club anthem ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’ comes to mind. Or, you sing that song before suddenly feeling a stomach churning choking sensation coming on.

A once proud club, St. George Illawarra have quickly become an advertisement for the dangers of choking whilst ahead, often wasting a good start to a season before kindly falling off a cliff. They are the premature ejac...never mind.

Too far?

Maybe, but this is the 14th SET OF SIX I’ve written. I cared little about the rules during number one, so god knows I care ever less now.

Come at me Red V army.

Jake Marketo (2010-2017) – 51 Games, 5 Tries

Wowsers this one is bizarre.

Second-generation first grader Jake Marketo (dad Michael played 53 games for Balmain in the 1980s), began his NRL career in the most regular of fashions. However, how it ended and his post NRL life was Amy Shark performing NRL Grand Final pre-game entertainment levels of strange.

As his career fizzled out in 2017, Jake had to find another club….or code. Surely his lust for big hits and competitive fire would take him somewhere worthwhile. A new NRL team perhaps?

The Super League?

If Romanian Rugby Union wasn’t your first guess, then you are not alone. Yes, in 2018 Jake trained with the Timișoara Saracens in the Romanian Rugby Union.

From the NRL to Romanian Rugby Union!

Sometimes life just isn’t meant to make sense.

Did You Know: Marketo played 1 NRL game in 2017, but that year also appeared for City Origin in the final City vs Country Game?

Daniel Vidot (2012-2013) – 35 Games, 14 Tries

Speaking of St. George rejects who went on to have, shall we say unique post NRL careers, for NRL bruiserweight Daniel Vidot is now a WWE Superstar.

Rugby League and Wrestling are two of my greatest loves on this planet, right up there with Brookvale Union Ginger Beer and the musical stylings of Michael Buble at Christmas. So to see the pair come together is like poetry in motion for me.

Before embarking on his wrestling voyage, Vidot was a powerhouse winger for three clubs, first at Canberra before stints with the Red V and Brisbane to finish. He had a mean streak to, which isn’t surprising considering his current line of work, and was one of the most feared flankers in the game.

Recently, Vidot (under his real name) wrestled his first televised match on WWE SmackDown, losing to former multi-time WWE Champion Sheamus.

Next year, I expect him to main event WrestleMania.

Josh McCrone (2016-2017) – 28 Games, 1 Try

Last year as the 2010s decade came to an end, there was bound to be plenty of discussion regarding ‘The Best…. Of The 2010s’.

Naturally, NRL line-ups was a popular topic, and NRL news website ZeroTackle jumped on the bandwagon, releasing a Team Of The Decade for every NRL side.

Now keep in mind, Jamie Soward was the Dragons’ Premiership winning halfback during this decade, and played for NSW in 2011. So surely he would be everyone’s pick for St. George halfback of the 2010s, right. WRONG.

ZeroTackle believe Josh McCrone who played 28 games between 2016-2017, was actually the best halfback to wear the famous Red V in the 2010s.

To put this in perspective, Soward won a Premiership, whereas McCrone did not lead the Dragons to one finals campaign and is perhaps the most forgettable Dragon of the modern era.

What were the writers of ZeroTackle drinking that day? I’d love to know their logic.

Adam Quinlan (2013-2014, 2016) – 29 Games, 9 Tries

Adam who?

Calling Josh McCrone the most forgettable Dragon of the past 10 years is a bit harsh, but extremely valid. Although I must admit, I have very little recollection of Adam Quinlan and his NRL career too.

Somewhat of a prodigy coming into first grade, at least I assume he was because I think I slightly remember there being a fair amount of hype around his 2013 debut, Adam Quinlan’s career went off like a bomb in an abandoned forest.

If no one is there to see you play, do you really make any sort of impact?

The easy answer is no. Whilst obviously I’m not suggesting there were COVID empty stadiums during 2013-2016, there may as well have been. I mean, have you heard his name mentioned Australian Rugby League circles since he departed for the Super League in 2016, because I haven’t.

I dare anyone out there to prove me wrong.

Luke Page (2015) – 1 Game

This is not a ribbing of someone who is actually mediocre. Rather this entry, is aiming to celebrate Luke Page and protest the injustice of his lack of NRL opportunities.

First and foremost Luke Page is built like an actual bus with arms and legs. You find me a man who would not be intimidated by him, and I will find you a liar. He is also a long-serving representative of PNG, turning out 11 times since 2015 for the Kumuls. How he hasn’t managed more than a solitary game of NRL is beyond me.

Actual hard-running and powerful old school mould front rowers are a dime a dozen these days, and Page fit this bill more than possibly anyone I’ve seen in my 20 years on Planet Earth.

Yet still, no one wants him.

Seriously, if someone just threw him a bone he could be the forward version of Ryan Papenhuyzen and that is FU**ING saying something.

Michael Witt (2014) – 4 Games

We finish with the bloke with the most entertaining surname in footy.

“Who’s that?” some hairy Dragons fan yells in the crowd.

“Michael Witt” a seated nearby mother of three retorts.

Then Michael Witt kicks it out on the full and the male fan breaks into hysterics “HAHAHA Michael Witt… more like F**KWIT”.

This will never not be funny.

Anyone who knows about Michael Witt’s NRL career, will remember it for the same ludicrously insane moment as I do.

During his time at the NZ Warriors in 2008, Witt was a part of the side who famously upset Melbourne in a 1st vs 8th finals match at Olympic Park. Witt score the winning try, after a Manu Vatuvei line break.

But it almost didn’t happen. Just watch the end of the video below.

As Ray Warren puts it – what if he had of dropped it?

Did we miss anyone out?

Who would be in your Mediocre Dragons Set of Six?

Next up… one of the two sides who met in the 2005 NRL Grand Final.

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