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Dragons forward Tariq Sims.

Dragons coach Paul McGregor says the most important part of Sunday's 25-18 win over Canberra in Mudgee wasn't banking wins ahead of a tough Origin period, or winning while down on form, but simply hitting back after a loss for the second time this year.

The Dragons were frustrated into a 20-12 by an impressive Warriors outfit in round seven and bounced back with a crucial and convincing Anzac Day win over the Roosters.

Last week the Red V was shut down by an energetic South Sydney pack and again hit back, this time teaching Canberra a lesson in how to close out a tight game.

"The sign of a good side is winning when you're not at your best and we did enough today to win which is very pleasing," McGregor said.

"We were thinking the correct state of mind with our execution at times was a little bit off. We were happy to get the two points, certainly we'll take a lot of today and move forward into a really tough game next week against Penrith.

"We bounced back after a loss for the second time this year so that's pretty important. I thought the control the boys had at different stages when we got some good field position was very good.

"I never thought we'd lose the game, but it was challenging at times when we continued to give the opposition opportunity through ourselves a little bit."

Match highlights: Dragons v Raiders, Round 11, 2018

With the entire Dragons starting forward pack outside James Graham in with a genuine shot of making Brad Fittler's Blues team for the Holden State of Origin opener, McGregor knows wins now are crucial.

"We know what we've got coming," McGregor said.

"I don't know how many but next week we play another quality team [in Penrith] the week before the [NSW] team get picked.

"So I'm sure all the players in my shed will be really keen to go out there and play at their best next week in front of what will be a good crowd, in front of the selectors and Freddie, and to give themselves every opportunity to make that Blues jumper.

"One would think Benny [Hunt] is a shoo-in for Queensland, but we'll worry about Origin when it comes up to be honest and when we know a bit more about it.

"But we're certainly putting things in place with our young guys."


Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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