Dragons lose tough attitude in NRL loss

·2-min read

St George Illawarra's resilient attitude faltered for the time this season on Sunday night but it won't be Ben Hunt's job to fix it if he's cleared to return to the NRL next week.

The skipper was close to returning from a broken leg in Sunday's 34-10 loss to Sydney Roosters as the Dragons collapsed under an onslaught at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

After scoring first through Tariq Sims the Dragons were full of energy for the first half hour until winger Jordan Pereira was sin-binned for a high and late shot on James Tedesco.

The Roosters ran in two tries down Pereira's side before halftime and the Dragons never recovered.

After stunning the competition with their gritty resilience this season, coach Anthony Griffin was disappointed.

"It wasn't us; we've been really good for six weeks," he said.

"Even the two losses we've had we've really competed, but for whatever reason tonight when the pressure came on we lost contact with each other and became individuals, which is the disappointing thing.

"I'm sure (the resilience) will come back as well.

"It's just disappointing it was there today on such a big occasion."

Griffin said Hunt will be assessed this week to see if he's fit to play against the Wests Tigers on Sunday, but that he shouldn't be the saviour for the team after a month on the sidelines.

"It's not up to Ben; he wasn't there today," Griffin said.

"It's up to all of us."

Griffin appeared a genius when he moved Jack Bird from the centres into the halves as the Dragons got out to an early lead.

The 26-year-old looked to have scored the first try of the game in the eighth minute before the bunker detected a knock on in the contest for the ball.

But once the Roosters got a roll on in the second half all energy was lost and Bird's impact was limited.

"We're struggling at the moment with a couple of positions and and we wanted to get Jack Bird close to the ball," Griffin explained.

Should Hunt return next week Bird is expected to move back into the centres.