Suli’s new love of training spicing life at Dragons

Joel Gould |

St George Illawarra centre Mosese Suli has started the season on fire against Gold Coast.
St George Illawarra centre Mosese Suli has started the season on fire against Gold Coast.

Mosese Suli was once no fan of training at all but now the blockbusting centre loves it more than ever at St George Illawarra under new coach Shane Flanagan.

It’s well known that the 25-year-old was moved on by Wests Tigers and Canterbury as a youth for a lack of commitment off the playing field.

Suli’s stellar performance in the 28-4 win over Gold Coast on Saturday night showcased his regular blockbusting runs but also a resolve defensively to defuse difficult situations under the high ball.

“I am enjoying footy and training again and I put it all down to the team culture that Flanno is starting to build here,” Suli told AAP.

“It has been tough here at the club the last couple of years but I have found real joy in being at training and working hard.

“In the past, I wasn’t a fan of training at all. My mindset was all about just getting to the end of the week so I could play footy.

“Now I am looking forward to training more than ever and just enjoying life, I guess.”

Suli made 211m from 23 runs against the Titans. Running the ball is his strength. It was his positional play and commitment to snaffle several bombs that caught the eye, because those were not features of his game previously.

“(Assistant coach) Dean Young has played a big role this pre-season with me in that area. He’s helped me with my defensive reads and he’s got me working hard,” Suli said,.

“Flanno is huge on that as well. My defensive work was where I needed to make massive improvements over the (off-season) break and the coach is playing a big role with the whole team.

“The Titans scored one try from a kick against us.”

Dragons captain Ben Hunt said the team was better when Suli was more involved with and without the ball.

“It is definitely pleasing. We know the power Suli has got when he gets into the game with his tackle-busting ability,” Hunt said.

“We saw the skill he has (against Titans) taking the high balls and the more he is getting involved in the game the better it is for us. He is a very powerful player.”

Hunt said the win over Gold Coast – after the Dragons won none on the road in finishing 16th in 2023 – was just the start of what the team could produce.

He also reiterated that the win over the Titans was merely one game.

“It is always harder when you go into enemy territory but we just want to focus on winning games. It doesn’t matter where they are,” he said.

“We still have work to do on our attack but we put a lot of work into the pre-season defensively and getting fit

“I felt like we were going to (start the season) working really hard.”

The Dragons travel to the Dolphins on Sunday in a round two clash at Redcliffe.