2 Aug 2011

Dragons fighting to recover lost form

6:01 am on 2 August 2011

St George will bunker down for an "honesty session" today, as they fight to rediscover their hunger for back-to-back National Rugby League premierships.

Coach Wayne Bennett made the frank admission after Sunday's capitulation to South Sydney that his side had lost the motivation to win following their breakthrough grand final triumph last season.

Bennett was scathing of his players, admitting their efforts made him "sick to the stomach".

The Dragons star winger Jason Nightingale says Bennett's grim assessment of the team's attitude is entirely accurate after two straight losses in which the red and whites have butchered commanding leads.

The New Zealand international revealed the Dragons would get their feelings out in the open on Tuesday in a bid to put an immediate stop to the worrying slump, ahead of Friday's huge clash with Wests Tigers.

According to Nightingale, Bennett wasn't exaggerating the seriousness of the Dragons' predicament, but he says the team won't use the lull they've fallen into as an excuse to give up.

For the Dragons, who are back-to-back minor premiers, reality checks aren't something they're used to, and after ending a title drought spanning more than 30 years, it's easy to see how a drop in intensity could occur now the hoodoo has been broken.

However, Nightingale is confident St George Illawarra can re-find their mojo in time to make the top four and become the first team in NRL history to successfully defend a title.