After surrendering yet another substantial halftime lead in their Magic Round loss to the Warriors, Dragons second-rower Tyson Frizell believes their second-half stumbles are purely mental.
Starting to slip into a worrying trend, St George Illawarra led the Eels 14-6 at one stage in round eight, before they crumbled defensively to eventually go down 32-18 losers.
Unfortunately for the Red V faithful, lightning struck twice, with Paul McGregor’s men leading 18-6 at halftime before eventually going down 26-18 to a desperately out of form Warriors side.
While the NSW Origin and Kangaroos representative sympathised with the club’s fan base off the back of consecutive second-half collapses, in which the Dragons have conceded an un-ideal 46 second-half points while simultaneously scoring a paltry four, Frizell detailed to the media he is not overly worried as he sees a clear solution to this problem for the injury-ravaged Dragons.
“It’s pretty disappointing for ourselves as a team after coming out and starting [the first halves] in the past two weeks so well and coming out and losing the second half quite convincingly,” Frizell told Dragons.com.au
“There are areas there that we can work on. It’s not something that we intentionally go out there and not perform.
“Halftime is probably not a situation that we want to come to because we’re usually on the front foot.
“But we need to better … It’s all a mindset issue I think for us.”
While Frizell remained calm in regard to his teammate’s second-half fadeouts, coach Paul McGregor did not share the same sentiments following their loss to the Warriors.
“It is concerning, I’m not going to hide from it,” said McGregor.
“You’ve got to be a consistent side for 80 minutes in this competition. We showed last week in how dominant we were for 40, and again tonight, but it’s not good enough.
“You’ve got to be consistent for 80 minutes and disciplined in what you do and be clear about what it takes to get the job done.
“We’ve got a few people, as players and as coaches, who’ve got to look at why it’s happening and address it. Quickly.”
While missing key players such as Korbin Sims, Corey Norman, Gareth Widdop, and Jack De Belin clearly does not help the Dragons’ cause, Frizell refused to use the Dragons’ injury woes as an excuse.
“We’ve got the ability there, we’ve got the fitness, we’ve got the structure around our plays,” he said.
“It’s just sticking there for the 80 minutes. We need to start our first half how we start our second half.”
Having limped to three consecutive losses after stringing together a period of consistent form, the Dragons will be hoping to get back in the winner’s circle when they face in-form Newcastle Knights.
In a timely boost for the Dragons’ prospects, Korbin Sims has been named on the extended bench to make his return against the very team he broke his arm against in round four.