By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
After a promising start to the season, the troubled St George Illawarra Dragons have found themselves at the wrong end of the ladder ahead of a Saturday afternoon match-up with an Eels side threatening to burst into the top eight.
Undefeated after three rounds, the Dragons have struggled to harness any momentum since – having lost five of their last six games including a 26-6 loss to the Rabbitohs and a 34-14 loss to the Roosters on Anzac Day.
Their plight was further punctuated last weekend when they were rubbished 38-6 by a rampant Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs side.
Promising Dragons front-rower Tyson Frizell has expressed his disappointment –especially regarding their last start – by saying the negatives certainly outweigh the positives.
Frizell also hinted that the Dragons forward pack will need to tweak their game-plan if they’re to emerge with the two competition points.
"There are not many positives you can take out of the game so we have been looking at it during the video [sessions] and spoken about a few things and we're going to have to get it right because the past few weeks haven't been good enough and we're going to have to fix it up for Parramatta this weekend," Frizell said.
With two prospective NSW Origin fullbacks going head-to-head this weekend in Josh Dugan and Jarryd Hayne, Frizell is well aware of the danger Hayne poses for his Dragons teammates this Saturday – even going as far as hoping he doesn't play well against them.
"We know what he can do. He's a very dangerous player and when he's on, he's really good," Frizell said.
"We're going to have to look out for him but there are a lot of other players we have to look out for too so we have to keep that in mind."
Frizell, who was named 18th man for the Country Origin side before being ruled out with injury in the recent representative round, will be looking to impress coach Steve Price with the recent questions raised about the performances of the Dragons forwards.
"There's been a lot of talk about our pack not matching the big boys but we've won a few games and we've matched it in the middle then, so I don't think we can use it as an excuse," Frizell said.
"[Parramatta have] a very skilful and big forward pack so we're just going to have to muscle up and change our game-plan a little bit so we can do the job against their big boys.
"I've got a few niggling injuries but hopefully I can get through it this week and have a break so I'm just doing all the right things at the moment: trying to keep off my feet a bit and doing things off the field right so I can be ready to play on the weekend."
Frizell will be the man leading from the front for the Dragons this weekend as he looks to go head-to-head with the courageous Tim Mannah and firebrand Darcy Lussick.
With two tries, two line-breaks and 13 tackle-breaks to his name, Frizell has been averaging 83.4 metres and 26 tackles this season for the Dragons.
With aspects of his game still needing improvement, Frizell will be looking to make the most of his time in the front row as he continues a return to full fitness against the Eels.