St George Illawarra's miserable season stooped to its lowest point, embarrassed by cellar dwellers Parramatta as the joint venture plunged to the longest losing streak in its history.
Saved from the ignominy of their first wooden spoon in 75 years by the hapless Eels, the Dragons chalked up another unwanted record in a season which can't finish fast enough.
Surrendering an early 12-point lead, Monday night's 26-22 defeat to the Jarryd Hayne-less Eels, annihilated to the tune of 60 points last week, spells further trouble for embattled coach Steve Price.
He has a host of big-name recruits ready to line up at pre-season training on November 1, but the shaky ground some believed he was on before last night's visit to western Sydney is no more stable now.
Even allowing for the club's crippling injury toll, St George Illawarra has only mustered three wins in more than four months since Price inked a one-year contract extension on Anzac Day. They've lost nine of their last 10 matches and are destined for their worst ever finish in the joint venture's history.
Can it get any worse?
"We're in a tough spot at the moment - we're in a bit of a flat spot - and we've lost our way to winning at the moment," Price said. "It is hard to take. They're all tough when you lose, but this is a tough one.
"I'm expecting better and the playing group is expecting better.
"We've got a lot of young guys who have been thrust into first grade and weren't quite ready at that time. They're going to reap dividends down the track - especially next year. We're learning a valuable lesson at the moment and it is hard."
Quizzed on what his message was to the team after full time, Price said: "I think it's best to stay in the room."
Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart has his own clouded future after being the subject of speculation to return to his former club Canberra to replace the axed David Furner.
Stuart is only 12 months into a three-year deal at Parramatta, but refused to be drawn on rumours about a fairytale homecoming.
"I don't want any more speculation about me," Stuart said. "I'd rather be here talking about the win.
"I'd like to have some positive press for a change. I'll talk about it after the season is done ... it's unfair on the players.
"We were pretty embarrassed walking in here [Monday night] and we needed to leave better. That was important and individually we all knew, from the coach right through to the players, that we wanted to correct last week's performance."
Jack Stockwell crashed over from close range to set up a grandstand finish, but a defiant Eels held on to give the majority of the small 8910 crowd something to cheer at the end of a disappointing yet predictable campaign.
In cult hero Fuifui Moimoi, who scouted wide to touch down twice in the space of 18 first-half minutes to inspire an Eels fightback, usually tortured Parramatta fans have a crowd pleaser.
They might just have found another after Fijian winger Semi Radradra strolled and then sizzled across the line for his own try-scoring brace.
Perhaps the manner in which Moimoi scored his first try, leaping high to pluck a Luke Kelly bomb out of the air before rolling over to ground the ball, might have surprised. There was nothing unsurprising about his second, barrelling over Tyson Frizell from close range and carrying another two defenders over the line.
In between Fijian flyer Radradra profited from some slick Matt Keating play out of dummy half as the long-suffering Eels fans awoke from their slumber.
Mitch Rein scored the softest of tries as early as the eighth minute to open the scoring, burrowing over from dummy half with the aid of limp Parramatta defence. Frizell isolated Kelly on the last and vaulted the Dragons to an early 12-point lead shortly after.
It merely served to make the final scoreline even harder to digest for the Red V diehards, who were put out of their misery when Hayne's replacement Ken Sio darted over 20 minutes from full time.
Added Dragons skipper Ben Creagh: "I'd like to say no we didn't, but we must have [taken the foot off the pedal]. They came back and that second 20 of the first half.
"There's been a lot of games this season similar to that and a lot of the same things keep popping up, whether it's ill discipline or other things that are hurting us during the game. We're not responding well enough to that."
PARRAMATTA EELS 26 (Fuifui Moimoi 2, Semi Radradra 2, Ken Sio tries; Joseph Paulo 2, Ben Roberts goals) defeated ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS 22 (Mitch Rein, Tyson Frizell, Daniel Vidot, Jack Stockwell tries; Chase Stanley 2 goals) at Parramatta Stadium. Referee: Gavin Morris, Brett Suttor. Crowd: 8910.