Five losses in a row haven’t set the alarm bells ringing for St George Illawarra but six certainly will.
That’s the opinion of Dragons’ fullback Josh Dugan as his side faces a virtual must-win match against South Sydney in round 19 of the NRL at the SCG on Saturday.
After being written off as also-rans to start the year, the Dragons emerged as the NRL’s early season surprise packets as they claimed six successive wins to deposit themselves snugly in the top four.
But now they face the danger of slipping out of the top eight all together with seven rounds before the finals, if they lose to the Rabbitohs.
“I don’t think we need to panic just yet,” Dugan said on Wednesday.
“We lost a couple of games at the start of the year and turned it around. It is just about getting our consistency and getting our players back and we have a few back this week and the rest will start coming back over the next couple of weeks too.
“What we have to do is go out there and do the little things right and take the right attitude into the games.
“If we lose this weekend, we can start getting a little bit worried, but everyone is pretty excited about the game this weekend and I think everyone will turn up.”
Dugan was rested last weekend in the loss to Cronulla after his testing State of Origin campaign. The Dragons have been struck hard by injuries during their poor patch and Benji Marshall (hamstring) isn’t a certainty to return against the Rabbitohs.
“This time of year’s always tough coming off the back of Origin, with injuries and that sort of thing,” Dugan said.
“Going back-to-back for 16, 17 weeks is always tough. You do start to get injuries and you start missing players and for us that’s been a big thing just missing players.
“But anyone that steps up is there to do a job and we just have to be able to do it. It’s just about getting that confidence and consistency back.”