Dragons captain Ben Creagh warns there will be no magic fix to the attacking woes of last year.
Preparing for tomorrow's season opener against Melbourne - the NRL premiers and recently crowned world champions - Creagh instead wants the team to rediscover some of the hallmarks that won the 2010 crown.
In a place where St George Illawarra haven't won since 1999 and when they have been written off before a ball has been kicked, Creagh will know within half an hour of the opening whistle whether the Dragons preseason planning has worked.
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"I don't think there's going to be some kind of magic play," he said.
"Or something no-one has ever seen before, or blow everyone away.
"I really just hope we're a lot more aggressive than we were last year.
"I hope we're a lot more disciplined, a lot more consistent in completing our sets and give ourselves an opportunity to attack.
"Last year we never gave ourselves the opportunity because we never got in the grind, we never played for position or kept [the opposition] in their half.
"When we start doing that our attack will flow from it and we'll start scoring a few more points."
They managed just 405 of them last year, the least of any NRL team, leaving experts and punters alike generally pessimistic about their chances this season, though it hasn't seeped into the Dragons' camp itself.
Creagh, the first year captain, taking over from Ben Hornby, the man who finally delivered St George Illawarra to the promised land in 2010, believes the sky is the limit.
History suggests tomorrow's battle is a hopeless cause, one from which the red V can gain only a moral victory by simply being competitive.
"It helps the mindset, knowing you're playing against the best team in the world," Creagh said.
"We've got to be at our best to beat them and I know all the players have prepared well.
"The external expectation doesn't really bother us and it never really has.
"It's always been the expectation on ourselves and the motivation and drive to win that premiership and be top of the ladder.
"People have written us off and a lot of people don't give us a chance, which is good, it doesn't bother us."
While coach Steve Price declined to discuss selections just before the Dragons team was released on Tuesday, Creagh is forthcoming in discussing how the revamped attack will work this year under the control of Nathan Fien and Jamie Soward.
"I don't think it's giving too much away, Sowie is going to be playing left side, Fiensy will attack down the right," he said.
"Together they will be around the ruck controlling our attack, but Fiensy more so, he's the No 7 and he's probably the more dominant half."
The question marks linger over Soward and Fien.
Fien made an impact on return from a broken ankle in 2010 to help lift the Dragons to the premiership, while Soward's form warranted State of Origin selection the following year.
But the former Kiwi international is now 33 and Soward was a shadow of himself on the field last year and is regularly linked to a move to Japanese rugby in 2014.
"Sowie is off contract and he wants to stay at the club," he said.
"There's a few of us in the same boat [Creagh's current deal also ends this year] and the only way to get a contract and stay at the club which you love is to play good footy . . .
"I'm sure [Soward's] going to do that, he's been great in both trials, his defence has been really good as well.
"His attitude towards training is the best I've seen him in a long time and that's all good signs.
"100 per cent he can [have a big year], I don't think he's lost it, I'm expecting big things."
So perhaps Soward will be the accurate gauge as to how the Dragons handle the heat this season.
Creagh concedes the club's patchy pre-season form can be blamed on slow starts and their mixed execution in both attack and defence.
While star recruit Gerard Beale looms as the ace in their pack and the Dragons welcome back representative prop Michael Weyman from long-term injury, Creagh is taking a back-to-the-future approach tomorrow.
The longer the Dragons stay in the arm-wrestle with all-conquering Storm, the better.