St George Illawarra winger Jordan Pereira left the field at Bankwest Stadium earlier than expected red-faced and hot under the collar.
Pereira was frustrated after copping the first sin-binning of his career in the 32-18 loss to the Eels – marched in the 74th minute of Sunday's clash after he was ruled to have pushed Mitchell Moses in the back in a chase for the ball.
The 26-year-old speedster was angry at himself for leaving his teammates one player short for the closing stages of the match but said he thought he had not done anything to warrant being banished.
"I've never been sent off before," Pereira said.
"I'm really disappointed in myself – I feel like I let the team down.
"I didn't believe there was any foul play from point of view – I was just competing for the ball.
"I competed in a previous play with Blake Ferguson but I came off second best with him getting a try so I wanted to redeem myself and compete as much as I could to get the ball.
"I thought it was a fair contest but it's a tough one when someone falls over, it always looks bad but my eyes were all for the ball."
Match Highlights: Eels v Dragons
Sunday's performance means the Dragons have suffered back-to-back losses after they suffered their first defeat in five games the previous week against the Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In more bad news for the Dragons, Corey Norman will undergo surgery on Tuesday for a fractured cheekbone, while fellow stars Gareth Widdop (shoulder), Korbin Sims (broken arm) and Jack de Belin, who has been stood down by the NRL, are also unavailable.
Second-rower Tyson Frizell's eye injury is not serious and the club believes he will be fit for Saturday's Magic Round stoush with the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium.
Pereira said the absence of several stars presented an opportunity for some of the team's inexperienced players to step up to the challenge.
"Everyone was really upset in the shed after the game," Pereira said.
"But that's the good thing about rugby league we have an opportunity next week to redeem ourselves.
"Losing Normie is a big one but we have good depth within the squad and there are boys there ready to go.
"We as a unit need to step up and support each other.
"I feel we owe it to the boys who are out to produce a solid performance on Saturday against the Warriors to get us back on track."
Warriors v Dragons - Magic Round