They came in defeat, but Dragons coach Anthony Griffin didn't need to look far for positives despite his side's loss to Brisbane on Saturday.
The Dragons produced one of the beat halves of Griffin's tenure to lead 16-8 at halftime only to be emphatically out done in the second stanza as the hosts ran in six tries to zip to run away with it 40-18.
Four came in the final 10 minutes as two-try hero Reece Walsh orchestrated a late blitz to maintain the Broncos unbeaten start to the year.
It was a game effort, but uncomfortably similar to the second-half fade-outs that have plagued the Dragons recent campaigns.
Read more: Late Broncos blitz buries Dragons at Suncorp
Griffin wasn't drawing those comparisons, feeling his side was "way on top" for large stretches of the contest.
"For 70 minutes we'd struggled and scrapped and stayed in the game," Griffin said.
"In the end you sit and look [unfavourably] at the scoreboard, but I was really impressed with our resolve and the way we went about it.
"We just lost our way, we handed them the ball. I think they had the first seven sets of the second half, which we didn't defend well enough early.
"We scrambled and scrambled and scrambled and they had to get us with a kick. We hung in again and levelled up at 18-all, we just had to be happy to play out 80 minutes then.
"That's the learning out of tonight. There were a lot of positives, but there's a couple of things we've got to get better at."
Griffin pointed to a key moment in 62nd minute when Zac Lomax fell inches short of a spectacular try off a cross-field kick from Jayden Sullivan.
Lomax reeled in the kick but could only plant it on the touch-in-goal line after Mikaele Ravalawa put his side on the front foot with a 60-metre kick return.
It would have been a highlight-reel four-pointer, but Griffin said his side, particularly the young guns, are still learning the art of the grind.
"At 18-all whoever scored next was going to win the game," Griffin said.
"Ravalawa's break was the one we needed, but we threw it away on the next play instead of being happy to get down there, just get some field position and be happy to stay with the ball.
"In the context of the game, it would have looked fantastic, but if we had our time over again we'd just start driving a nail into them with possession and build some pressure down that end of the field.
"They made a decision, and if they'd scored it looks great, but we've just got to be a little harder than that with our ball. You put your faith in [young players] and live with them.
"Some of the decisions made by our older blokes weren't real good either when the heat came on. That's going to give us the opportunity to build and be stronger."
While a 22-point margin is never pretty, Griffin feels it won't dent his side's confidence too much heading into this Sunday's local derby against Cronulla at Kogarah.
"The scoreline hurts but, in context, we played without the ball in the second half in [hot] conditions," Griffin said.
"We did that to ourselves. It wasn't just our spine, we looked for [poor] offloads and gave penalties away that cost us.
"If we'd had 15-16 sets we would've won the game. One team was going to crack, it was a really high quality arm wrestle there.
"[The Broncos] are a really good side, the best side in the comp over the first three rounds. I was really proud of [my players] for 70 minutes and they should be proud of themselves."
Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.