Trent Merrin says a week of soul searching by St George Illawarra's pack has them ready for an explosive performance against Parramatta on Saturday.
Dragons coach Steve Price blasted his side's "soft" effort in their 38-6 NRL capitulation to Canterbury last start and NSW State of Origin probable Merrin said the Red V forwards had taken the slight on board.
The Dragons face a steely Eels pack in round 10 at Pirtek Stadium and Merrin said they had a point to prove.
"I think when the middle gets called soft and fingers start getting pointed at us, you do take it personally," Merrin told AAP.
"It is something that we have taken on board and something we have to deal with.
"We just have to prove ourselves on the weekend and turn the tables.
"Training has been upbeat - we know it wasn't good enough. We have put it behind us; we have been ripping in.
"We played soft but we are not soft.
"I have a lot of faith in us. It is personal - no one likes to be called soft. There are things we have to work on.
"Parramatta are having a cracker of a season so far. They are going to bring a lot to the table. We are going to have to be ready for that.
"For the Red V, we just have to get a win."
Benji Marshall hasn't been named to make his NRL debut for the Dragons, and Steve Price could leave it until just an hour before kickoff, when he has to issue his teamlist, to confirm the former Wests Tigers' superstar will start.
Merrin says he is looking forward to playing alongside Marshall when given the chance.
"He has got a mature head on his shoulders. He has been playing rugby league for a long time now - at a rep level as well," he said.
"I am really excited, once he gets named in the team, what he is going to bring to the side."