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Dragons teammates Christine Pauli and Elsie Albert

St George Illawarra coach Daniel Lacey conceded "some big decisions" must be made at the club after their first winless campaign in the NRLW competition's three-year history.

From the heights of the grand final last year to the lows of completing a trifecta of disappointing results this year, the Dragons provided another lacklustre performance at ANZ Stadium on Saturday as the makeshift Warriors beat them 22-10.

Lacey's Dragons haven't been helped by a horror injury run which saw six players missing through injury, or suspension, for the final round. Regardless the club is left searching for answers with several of their big-name players failing to deliver.

The Dragons entered this year's competition tipped to go one better after reaching the 2019 decider, but struggled in several areas with just four tries in 180 minutes of action.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Warriors

"We haven't performed; we've trained quite well and collectively they come together pretty well. But when the wheels fell off there were body parts that fell off as well," Lacey said.

"We've got to be better than that. I thought we would be better. I challenged them to have some resilience and fight back and we just didn't.

"That's a reflection I'll have to take on board and so do the girls. There will be some big decisions coming into Origin and the NRLW next year with who is able to step up again."

The Dragons were forced to play with 16 in Saturday's dead-rubber due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to any hopes they had of calling in a local player as a replacement.

Fasavalu-Fa'amausili scores late for Dragons

Lacey said Maddie Studdon (ankle) and Shakiah Tungai (cork) were expected to play until being ruled out late on Friday afternoon.

Two debutantes, Jade Etherden and Teagan Berry, were the last two fit players available and made solid contributions.

"I knew last week we were in a dire strait and we asked the NRL what could we do but it's hard now at this time of the year because you've got screenings and baselines to get on the park.

"It was too late to get another player in. There were probably better ways to do it but in a COVID year it was one we didn't foresee."

Lacey said while the club had recruited several players in the past, the players who did debut would be better for the experience.

"This team today, there were nine girls under the age of 21," he said.

"We're a development club. That's what I do, coach all the way down and all the way up. I want them to come through.

"It might've been a bit early, to get nine out of 21, but we started the first season with two development players and both were out there today.

"You shouldn't have to at this level but they were cards that fell our way with six internationals out."

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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