Dragons hooker Moses Mbye was almost lost for words after his side’s loss to the Cowboys, admitting the near misses of the past five weeks had taken their toll on the group.
After losing their past five games by six points of fewer, and having it all to play for with skipper Ben Hunt featuring in his 300th NRL game, the Dragons defence leaked more than 40 points against a rampant Cowboys outfit.
“It's so disappointing,” Mbye said. “It's really hard to identify what our issue is at the minute, we're trying really hard.
"We're probably trying too hard, to be honest, but tonight was just so disappointing. We turned over a lot of ball during periods where we had opportunities … that first half, we just shot ourselves in the foot and the rest is history.
“We’re just in a rut at the moment, it's like we're just forgetting how to win, to ice games.
We're competing hard, but I thought we took a step back tonight.Dragons utility Moses Mbye
"We probably let it get to us a little bit the last month, we probably let it wear us down a little bit and we lost our focus of what we needed to do. I think that some of our unforced errors showed the frustration that we're playing with.
“So many people are putting in so much work and we've got our staff working overtime to get us out of this rut and we just haven't got it right yet.”
Mbye with the try-saver
Mbye came on in place of halfback Jayden Sullivan, who had by then served his time in the sin bin, with coach Anthony Griffin opting to try and stiffen the defence in the middle and move Hunt back from hooker to halfback.
Mbye praised his skipper as one of the team’s best every week, saying he, along with staff and fans, were being let down by the playing group being unable to get results each week.
“You expect nothing less from him, he’s our best player every week, and that's why he's the best teammate to have to play with,” Mbye said.
“Unfortunately, we're not coming up to his level at the moment. We're not giving him the help that he needs, and that's probably the most disappointing thing.
“He's probably the oldest bloke out there and he's toiling away, he’s got his gloves up and he’s had his gloves up all year.
Hunt reflects on 300
“We have the ability to turn it around. It's difficult because there's so much pressure on guys like Hook [Griffin] and guys in our club who are who are just working so hard and you just want to give them a reward. Unfortunately, it's us, our playing group, that haven't been able to do it for him or for ourselves too.
“We just need to turn it around. We just need to have a look at it what we need to do get back together as a group and work hard again.
“I'll never, never oppose what the fans' opinions are at the moment, we understand how disappointed they are and it's warranted.
“They are a passionate bunch; they pay their money for their tickets and they pay their memberships every year and they turn up every week and they're expecting us to perform and unfortunately we haven't been able to do it for them.
So, I understand how disappointed they are and I hope they understand how disappointed we are as well too.Dragons utility Moses Mbye
With a tough run to come against the Roosters, Dolphins, Panthers and Rabbitohs, Mbye knows the Dragons must dig deep if they are to turn things around.
“Every run is tough for us at the minute, it’s the NRL,” Mbye said.
“That’s probably something we need to understand as a group; you need to be at your best every week and if you don't, you are going to get your pants pulled down.
“Tonight, was our probably one of our worst performances, but the last month we haven’t been bad, it's just amplified by the result.
“We just need to get back on the horse, get our gloves up and go again."
Match: Dragons v Roosters
Round 12 -
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney