RUGBY LEAGUE - DRAGONS
St George Illawarra's week of soul searching has also triggered a little bit of introspection from wounded prop Tyson Frizell, who admits the looming bye can't come quick enough.
A lingering ankle complaint has consigned the Dragons front-rower to light duties for the better part of a month, robbing him of the chance of a maiden Country jumper.
Frizell was one of three Dragons, along with Josh Dugan and Trent Merrin, to withdraw from the annual State Of Origin trial earlier this month.
But the ex-Shark played through the pain against the Bulldogs as an undersized Dragons were steamrolled by Des Hasler's table toppers - and he's keen to suit up against the Eels on Saturday.
"It's something I've got to keep playing through," Frizell said. "It's not where I want it to be, but it's good enough to keep playing the games and hopefully I'll be able to get through this week and then have a rest.
"It is frustrating you're not out there training, but you're doing everything you possibly can off the field to get right. We've got the bye after the Parramatta game so we're just going to go all out."
Frizell has been the poster boy for the Dragons' sleek forward pack this year, which has come under criticism after being overpowered by a number of the competition heavyweights.
The Welsh international has spent most of his career on the edges in the back row, but has been transformed into a front-rower this season.
He slammed suggestions the Dragons pack wasn't big enough to handle the NRL's big boppers.
"If you go by size and weight, yes we are smaller," he said. "In saying that these guys are just rolling us because of our size is just an excuse. Maybe we've gone away from our game plan in those types of games.
"We know we can do the job against the big packs. We've just got to fix it up because the standard we're playing at is not good enough."
A number of Dragons teammates echoed the sentiment after title contenders the Roosters and Bulldogs blew St George Illawarra off the park either side of the representative round.
"We've got a young squad here who are early in their careers and still learning," skipper Ben Creagh said.
"You don't normally go through these types of things and sometimes you've got to get better."
Fourth-from-bottom St George Illawarra have dropped five of their last six matches after a promising start to the season, but are only two points from fourth.