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Dragons centre Jess Sergis.

St George Illawarra coach Daniel Lacey will be sweating on the fitness of at least four of his starting side following their 18-4 loss to the Roosters on Saturday.

The Dragons lost co-captain Kezie Apps (head knock) and Shakiah Tungai (shoulder) in the second half while star centre Jess Sergis and Maddie Studdon struggled with leg injuries at GIO Stadium.

The injury concerns compounded a disappointing day for the Dragons, who dropped their third round-one clash since the NRLW's inception with a lacklustre performance.

"It's no different to years gone where we've lost players in round one," Lacey said.

"It's a brutal sport but we're good for the run now because we've tackled and caught up to speed with the fitness and got the shoulders ready.

"You just can't beat match fitness and match preparation. Both teams were a little bit rusty but it was a big battle and a good game of footy."

Match Highlights: Roosters v Dragons

Lacey admitted his side's performance through the middle of the field needed work but praised the club debut of Steph Hancock and rookies Elsie Albert and Ellie Johnston.

The Dragons were in a similar position last season before producing two victories leading into the 2019 decider.

"The positives are we did get beat through the middle but all those middles played big minutes so we'll be better for the run," Lacey said.

"We'll rest them up for next week and look to find an extra 10 percent more collectively.

"That's a huge positive for us because they're not down and out.

"They know they've got to win next week but once they can find a bit more I think we'll be hard to beat.

"Ideally you want to win every game but there are only four games. It can change quickly."

Acknowledgement of Country

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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