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Price baffled by Dragons slump

Price baffled by Dragons slump

Dragons coach Steve Price has admitted he is at a loss as to why his side has performed progressively worse with each outing over the last three weeks.

In the wake of a 36-0 hiding from Parramatta, which follows a heavy 38-6 thrashing by the Bulldogs and a 34-14 loss to the Roosters before that, the Dragons are now staring down the barrel of six defeats in seven starts.

Price conceded he could not explain the club's slump after three straight wins had them on top of the NRL ladder just six weeks ago.

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"It's a tough one to take," Price said of the six-try drubbing at the hands of last year's wooden spooners.

"We're training outstanding but I just can't put my finger on it at the moment... [It's] very frustrating.

"If I knew the answer we'd soon be going upwards from here. The only way to dig ourselves out of it is by sticking together and working hard, there's no quick fix."

Price was circumspect in his appraisal of the return of Benji Marshall, who made five errors in his first game with the Dragons and looked off the pace for much of the encounter -though he was hardly alone as his teammates racked up a whopping 16 errors and made 32 missed tackles.

"I thought there were some displays where he was quite good and some displays where it going to take a little bit of time," Price said.

"We didn't expect miracles out of Benji today but it's about playing with our structure and there's still a lot of work to do but we expect that.

"It's only his first game of league [since returning from rugby union] and he'll continue to improve."

The Dragons were still in the match after a scrappy first 40 minutes, trailing by only two tries at the break, but were blown away by two tries in three minutes upon the resumption as Parramatta broke the line at will and capitalised on St. George Illawarra's consistent mistakes.

Skipper Ben Creagh said his side was struggling for confidence in attack and also guilty of trying to playing razzle dazzle football without having "earned the right to."

"I think there's a lack of belief there in the group at times which is hard to take at the moment," Creagh said.

"In the second half our attack just seemed to be really jerky, off the pace a bit.

"There was a lot of dropped ball, a lot of blokes pushing passes which we just can't afford to do. We haven't earned the right to play footy like that yet.

"Unfortunately if you don't play how you train at times, things can go backwards pretty quickly, and it did today."

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