Dragons breathing fire after last loss

St George Illawarra have resorted to bruising and bashing each other in an effort to rediscover their defensive resolve.

The Dragons are aiming to get their NRL premiership campaign back on track after faltering in their last start 29-16 loss to Canterbury a fortnight ago.

While the Dragons go into round 15 in third spot, the defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs was a psychological blow.

Coach Paul McGregor’s side have established themselves as the surprise packets of the competition on the back of having the best defence in the competition.

They have conceded just 155 points this year, just 12 points per game.

Their loss to the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in round 13 was their biggest of the year, and just the second time they have given up more than 20 points this season.

Halfback Benji Marshall said the Dragons playing squad responded to the defeat by bashing each other at their next training session.

“We’ve probably (learnt lessons) about our attitude to the way we turned up,” Marshall said.

“I think the way we played wasn’t up to our standard.

“Even though we were still in the game we didn’t do a lot of things we have done in the 12 games before that.

“Little things like our attitude in defence, we were back at it on Monday whacking each other at training.”

The Dragons have a chance to rebound against premiership favourites the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Monday night.

Marshall said the Roosters remain one of the toughest prospects in the NRL even when they are State of Origin-affected.

The Roosters will go into the clash missing Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and with Mitchell Pearce, Michael Jennings, Boyd Cordner and Aidan Guerra backing up from Wednesday night’s Origin II.

However Marshall said the Roosters were capable of turning up during the gruelling representative period, pointing to the way they dominated the Melbourne Storm 24-2 the Monday after Origin I.

“The last time they came off the back of Origin they turned up and whooped somebody,” Marshall said.

“They have been one of the toughest teams we have faced this year and nothing else is going to change.”

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