By Chris Kennedy (NRL.com)
The Dragons have had a disjointed few weeks with host of injuries but with many of those players back, two trips to New Zealand in the next three weeks will give the core group a great chance to bond and enjoy each other's company to prepare for the run home to the finals.
The side's sixth straight loss, coming against the Rabbitohs at the SCG on Saturday night, showed some signs of improvement with Jack De Belin, Joel Thompson, Tyson Frizell and Benji Marshall all returning and coming through unscathed.
Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor said after the Rabbitohs game: "We're all in it together. We've got to improve on it. We've got a couple of games away on the road now. As a group it will get you closer."
Frizell told NRL.com the away trips – a Storm home game at Napier in New Zealand next week and a match against the Warriors at Auckland a fortnight after that – would give the team a chance to get closer as they look to secure the necessary four wins from its last seven games to make the finals.
"We've got a bit of a run away from home, overseas in New Zealand [twice], so that will bring the team a lot closer," Frizell said.
"That's what you do when you travel. We'll bond a lot over the next few weeks and hopefully we can transfer that onto the field."
Frizell made a solid comeback from a bulging disc in his back with 38 tackles and 87 metres and said the time off should help him get through the rest of the year.
"I had a bit of a back problem, a bit of a bulging disc in my back and was playing through it the past few weeks and just haven't been able to play 80 minutes like I have been," he said.
"It's just slowly gotten worse and I just had to pull the pin the past two games to try and get it right. Now it's sort of back to where I should have been before.
"That's not an excuse but hopefully I can move forward and start playing some good footy.
"That break's sort of given me time to heal up and I pulled through ok today so hopefully it pulls up sweet when I return to training."
Frizell said the result against the Rabbitohs was disappointing but there were a couple of positives to take from the game, especially getting some injured players back.
"We played better than what we have the past couple of weeks so it's good to have a few of the boys back and start to get those combinations and get our game plan right," he said.
"There were patches there we sort of let Souths off the hook and that's what cost us the game."