Reed Mahoney remains "100 per cent" adamant he scored what would have been a spectacular matchwinning try, but said a fortnight of regular handling errors came back to haunt the Eels in a surprise loss to St George Illawarra.
The Dragons 14-12 upset of Parramatta on Friday night rounds out a streaky few weeks for the blue and golds, who registered unconvincing two-point wins over Canterbury and Cronulla leading into round 14.
Mahoney's flying touchdown of a Blake Ferguson kick in the 70th minute could well have secured another tight win, with the on-field officials sending the decision to the NRL Bunker as a try.
The Eels hooker was still stunned well after full-time that the video referees deemed his putdown illegal.
"100 per cent I scored," Mahoney said.
"I don't understand where the evidence was that it wasn't a try.
Match Highlights: Eels v Dragons
"But it is what it is and that didn't define our game tonight so we've got to be better in other areas."
Fourteen handling errors in greasy conditions at Bankwest Stadium make for a concerning trend for Mahoney and Parramatta, with 15 mistakes registered against the Sharks on top of another 12 against the Bulldogs.
The rising No.9 also lamented the Eels' lack of polish in attacking field position ahead of a genuine top-four showdown with perennial heavyweights Melbourne next week.
"It's not an attitude thing, it's more attention to detail stuff," Mahoney said.
"Simple things like dropping the ball, it's not good enough and it's not up to our standards. The last few weeks we've gotten away with it and we've gotten a win, but tonight it really hurt us.
"The Dragons held on and we weren't good enough.
Evans beats four Dragons on his way to the line
"Tonight we needed something in attack and we probably lacked it a bit.
"We had so many opportunities to score, we probably had two or three tries we should've scored over the 80 minutes, and we've got to take those."
Coach Brad Arthur kept things in perspective after fulltime in what was still only Parramatta's third loss of 2020, denying complacency had been a factor in the defeat.
"They wanted it a bit more than us," Arthur said, refusing to use the Dragons send-off of coach Paul McGregor as an excuse for being outplayed.
"They just did things harder with more desire than us.
"We didn't deserve to win… Next week is an opportunity to come with a bit more want and desire."