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Same mistakes: McGregor frustrated with execution

Dragons coach Paul McGregor lamented his team's inability to learn from round one's mistakes as they squandered a 10-point lead against Penrith.

It was all too familiar for the Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Friday as they failed to take some chances - just like in their opening defeat to the Wests Tigers where they were also over-run late.

A forward pass by Brayden Wiliame that denied Jordan Pereira a try on the stroke of half-time was costly in the 32-28 result.

"Last week we had three opportunities with the line open and we didn't finish. We led at half-time this week and led by 10 with 16 to go with 42 per cent possession again," McGregor said.

"We're making it hard. We're fighting bloody hard but we've just got to be smarter at it. There's positives there but we're losing games of footy that we've been in positions to win.

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"That's the disappointing thing. But there's a lot of positives there. We're scoring 28 points, you should win. But defensively you shouldn't let in 32."

McGregor said captain Cameron McInnes is "a very good chance" of making an early return from a knee injury in next Thursday's away match against the Raiders, while the Dragons will also have the suspended Tariq Sims back.

One bright spot in the Penrith loss was fullback Matt Dufty, who scored a double in his comeback from a fractured cheekbone.

McGregor was pleased with the speedster's performance aside from him failing to show urgency to collect a kick that allowed Penrith a repeat set.

Dufty double wrestles lead back for Dragons

But Dufty, who celebrated his 50th game, was hard on himself.

"It was way quicker than I remember, it's been a while since I've played," said Dufty, who took over the No.1 jumper from Zac Lomax after his move to the wing to cover the injured Mikaele Ravalawa.

"I thought there was a lot to work on. Mary [McGregor] has built his team around working hard and I want to be that player that the boys want to play with.

"I've got a lot to build on definitely. There were positives there but I think there were a lot more negatives that I'm going to have to go back to training and really work on."

Star second-rower Tyson Frizell was critical of the team's attention to detail throughout the match, in which they conceded two early tries before fighting back.

"We're fluctuating way too much throughout the game, turning over too much ball and giving sides too much opportunity," Frizell said.

"We speak about effort but effort's not going to get us the two points. We need to execute set after set and I think we're struggling a little bit there."