Tyrell Fuimaono knows the Dragons missed a golden opportunity to beat the Roosters, but he believes their solid effort proves they can test the competition heavyweights.
St George Illawarra have another tough match against the Raiders in Canberra on Friday and Fuimaono is up for the challenge.
The second-rower feels his 12th-placed side is building nicely, having defeated Cronulla and the Gold Coast before falling 26-12 to the injury-hit premiers after being level at the break.
"I was really excited that we were actually in the competition and we were a chance [against the Roosters], which is probably more than a lot of people would have expected," Fuimaono said.
"I think we take a lot of confidence out of that. We can see what we're capable of when we go in and execute what we want. We're definitely moving in the direction that we want."
Fuimaono "100 per cent" reckons the Dragons could hand Canberra their third-straight loss. Last year's grand finalists will be on a six-day turnaround from a golden-point loss to Parramatta.
Dragons boosted by confident Dufty
"The promising thing is we were in it on the weekend but there's still plenty that we can improve on," he said.
With biosecurity measures somewhat relaxed, round eight will be the Raiders' first game at their GIO Stadium home since round one.
Dragons prop Korbin Sims expects the Green Machine to come out firing.
Sims was a late addition on the bench to face the Roosters after Jacob Host injured his hamstring in the warm-up.
I don't mind Ben in nine or seven. As long as he's playing good footyCorey Norman on Ben Hunt
The 28-year-old is hoping he did enough to hold his place after making 91 metres from nine runs and 17 tackles in 25 minutes.
He added that he is back to 90 per cent confidence in his body after breaking his arm in February. Sims broke the same arm last season.
"Jacob Host is a little bit sore today, but he says he's going to be coming along okay and his hammy's feeling pretty good," Sims said.
Meanwhile, five-eighth Corey Norman is enjoying the stability that continuity in key positions has brought.
The side has improved with Adam Clune at halfback, Ben Hunt playing as an interchange hooker and Matt Dufty making the fullback spot his own thanks to several strong performances.
"We've finally got some consistency in the nine, seven and one [jerseys]. In the past that's where it's probably been shuffled around ... The more we play together, the better we'll get," Norman said.
"Me, Clune, Cam [McInnes] and Duft are starting to get a good little combination going ... I don't mind Ben in nine or seven. As long as he's playing good footy."
Every try from round 7
Dufty has surprised many with his passing game in recent weeks, setting up five tries in three games through pinpoint long balls.
"I don't watch what he does in extras, but he definitely does those passes at training," Fuimaono said.
"Just transferring that from training to the field [is the key]. If he does that, he pulls them big plays off."