ST GEORGE Illawarra continue to be plagued by a case of the second-half yips after surrendering a 12-point halftime lead to go down 26-18 to the Warriors in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Dragons led 10-0 after just seven minutes, and 18-6 at the break, before conceding 20 unanswered points in the second stanza to slumo to a third straight defeat.
With halves partner Corey Norman sidelined, Ben Hunt was among the Dragons best before a costly second-half error awoke memories of his infamous 2015 grand final fumble.
With the scores locked at 18-all, Hunt forced a line dropout with a deft grubber only to spill the ensuing restart cold.
It opened the door for Ken Maumalo's go-ahead try in the very next set before Peta Hiku's second try 90 seconds from fulltime sealed the comeback win.
It comes just six days after Paul McGregor's side squandered a 14-point lead against against Parramatta to ultimately go down 32-18.
McGregor didn't shy away from the issue post-match.
"It is concerning, I'm not going to hide from it,"he said.
"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.
McGregor said Hunt's fumble will no doubt grab most of the attention in the aftermath but said it wasn't the sole reason for the defeat.
"With the score 18-all, 12 minutes to go with an attacking set on their line it was a pretty important catch," McGregor said.
"He holds onto things, he cares a lot. After that we lost a little bit of belief there and started looking at each other to do the job rather than getting the job done individually.
"I could say a lot of things but the main thing was we didn't have the right attitude in defence. In the second half we just stopped working in d.
"We didn't tie in, we didn't stay connected when the ball went away from us. All the good things we were doing the first 40 minutes we didn't continue to do in the second 40.
"When they play a little bit of that offload footy, which they can do, you've got to make sure you're one line, not a broken line.
"We've got some young guys there at the moment that are getting some good experience but, as I said last week, you've got to get experience and win.
"We've had two weeks in a row where we're controlled the game and didn't win. It's disappointing."
It leaves them at 4-5 on the season with a third of their salary cap sidelined through injury or suspension ahead of next week's home clash with Newcastle.
The Dragons opened the scoring when Frizell pulled down a well-weighted kick from Hunt and found Zac Lomax with an offload.
Lomax converted his own try for a 6-0 lead before Jai Field scored his first NRL try, latching onto an offload from Paul Vaughan and leaving Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for dead on a sprint to the try line.
Lomax hooked his attempted conversion, keeping the lead at 10 after just seven minutes.
Agnatius Paasi briefly pegged it back with a barge-over effort at the other end four minutes later before Lomax's 17th minute penalty goal gave his side a six-point buffer.
Cameron McInnes carried two defenders across the line for his side's third try four minutes later, giving his side a 12-point cushion at halftime.
The Warriors struck first in the second stanza, with Peta Hiku barging over the top of Lomax to score four minutes after the resumption.
Patrick Herbert nailed the tough sideline conversion to cut the margin back to six.
They leveled things up through David Fusitu'a 14 minutes later after Tuivasa-Sheck caught the Dragons out on a short side.
Herbert again made no mistake with the conversion, locking the score at 18 apiece with 18 minutes to play.
Maumalo's try following Hunt's fumble gave the Warriors their first lead of the match 11 minutes later, though Herbert's attempted conversion was waved away.
It kept the margin at four and gave the Dragons a sniff but a wayward pass from Tyson Frizell rolled over the sideline scuppered their final push.
Hiku's second try 90 seconds from time proved the final nail in the coffin, snapping a four-game losing streak ahead of his side's clash with Penrith next week.