Dragons coach Anthony Griffin says his side were taught a lesson by a potent Souths team on Saturday night but also found some positives to take from the 48-16 loss.
Griffin praised his team's enterprise in attack, making their own fair share of line breaks, and said it was more useful running into a red-hot attacking side than having a loose scrappy game.
"They were pretty slick; they were 19 from 19 in the first half, they're a really good side obviously and they taught us a lesson," Griffin said.
"I thought defensively down the other end of the field we made them kick the ball to us but as soon as they got good ball they just outplayed us."
Griffin wasn't too alarmed but admitted plenty needs to be fixed up in the two weeks before the season proper.
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"We just have to get better. Disappointing, it's not good enough. Lucky it's a trial and not round one," he said.
"We get to have a look at ourselves against some really good opposition and there is a lot to work on.
"To their credit, their scramble defence was brilliant … We probably bombed two or three tries with poor handling but their scramble defence was really good.
"We were just on the wrong leg all the time, if a ball went to ground they picked it up and we didn't."
Despite all that, there were still plenty of positives to take away, according to Griffin.
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"No-one likes getting 30 points put on you in a half of football but there's a lot of positives to what we did with the ball, some of our kicking game, putting them under pressure down their end of the field was pretty good but up the other end we have a lot of work to do.
"We have to turn it around quickly. The good part about tonight is we got a real lesson which will make the learning more obvious.
"If we came here and they hadn't have played so well and we got done by six or eight we might have felt a bit better about it but they played brilliant.
"We got a really high-quality attack to pull us apart like they did, that's more valuable than scrambling away and having a loose game and thinking we don't have too much work to do."
The Dragons still have a decision to make over whether Cody Ramsey, Mikaele Ravalawa or someone else partners Jordan Pereira on the wing in round one while Josh Kerr's move to edge back row was inauspicious, leaving a question over who Tariq Sims' edge partner will be.
But for the most part, the team is settled and in terms of take-outs from the trial there weren't many questions to be answered, Griffin said.
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"Not really – just that we have a lot of work to do," he said.
"We've got a line break in us in attack. When we've got the ball we look pretty good, when we had to defend our own end or defend one of our errors we just weren't good enough.
"They were too good for us and we clearly weren't anywhere near where we need to be."