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Poor start and basic errors back to haunt Dragons

Dragons coach Paul McGregor says his side's inability to defend their errors is among a few lingering issues following their 22-16 loss to the Raiders on Friday night.

McGregor won't rule out making changes to the spine for next week's clash with Manly despite being pleased with his players' response in the second half after trailing 22-0.

The Raiders looked like they were set to run away with a dominant win after 60 minutes of the game until three tries put the Dragons within reach of an unlikely victory.

"I was filthy with our first 40 … our discipline around certain areas of the game, our kick finishes to sets," McGregor said.

"Errors are part of the game but you've got to have each other's back better and defend them. There were a couple of tries that shouldn't have been scored at this level.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Dragons

"Our young players are still learning the game, I get that, but a lot of our disciplinary (issues) tonight was from our senior players.

"We build pressure, got a repeat set and then we released pressure with a knock on from the drop out, and they scored the next set.

"We've got to stop that part of the game. Once we stop that we'll keep falling forward. We're falling backwards because we're not learning week-to-week.

"We've been really improving the last three weeks so that's disappointing, but our next 40 minutes was what we need to start building on for next week."

Lomax and Saab combine down the right

Dragons playmaker Ben Hunt provided spark from the bench despite limited opportunities and could come into consideration for a recall in the halves.

"We'll review that on Monday, the coaches will talk … right now we want to win, we don't like losing," McGregor said.

"I'm very passionate about making sure we're on the right track and continue to go out every week and do everything we can and put the process in to win, regardless of the opposition.

Matt Dufty's recent run of form was also among the many positives for McGregor, along with the overall form of his centre pairing Zac Lomax and Euan Aitken, who produced big numbers in the loss.

"He's been building a nice combination with our seven and nine," McGregor said of Dufty.

"I would've liked that try at the end but there was a bit of communication breakdown with Duf.

"I think the rule changes have helped Matt's game and his effort around training and what he needs to do, he's really focused around that."

Lomax struggled with a knee complaint late in the game after being twisted awkwardly in a tackle but McGregor was confident the injury wasn't serious.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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