Beleaguered St George Illawarra coach Steve Price says the battling Dragons must hang tough after the surging Sydney Roosters handed them a 36-0 thrashing at Kogarah on Saturday.
The Roosters scored six tries and recorded their fourth shutout of the season, as they moved above Melbourne into second spot.
The Dragons remain rooted to second last after slumping to their eighth defeat in their last ten games.
Price's injury-hit and inexperienced team had seven more sets of possession and six more penalties, but squandered several chances through poor kicking and impatient play.
"We need to have a good look at ourselves," Price said.
"I think the bye has come at a good time.
"The boys get away and clear their heads and get back to training and strip it back and get back to basics and simplify it.
"I told the boys we are going through a bit of a difficult time.
"It's all about hanging tough now and supporting each other."
Most of the Roosters big guns fired and they were much more clinical than the misfiring Dragons, but still bombed some opportunities through mistakes.
Roosters and NSW Origin five-eighth James Maloney, who suffered a fractured eye socket in the second Origin game, scored the first of the six Roosters tries and landed all six of his kicks.
Converted tries in the third minute to Maloney and lock Boyd Cordner in the 12th, set up a convincing win.
NSW centre Michael Jennings raced over 70 metres for the Roosters third try in the 33rd minute after busy hooker Jake Friend scooped up a blocked kick from Nathan Fien.
Even the loss at halftime of Sonny Bill Williams with a slight hamstring niggle didn't disrupt the visitors.
They piled on three more converted tries in the third quarter through winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall, forward Aiden Guerra and winger Daniel Tupou.
"It was a pretty pleasing scoreboard, but there's still plenty we can work on," Maloney told AAP.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was more happy with the zero part of the scoreline than the 36 points his side piled up.
"We want to be able to score tries when we get the opportunities, but I think we've talked about the way that we want to base our team and it's really pleasing to have the zero," Robinson said.
"The longer the (second) half went, the more we focused on it."
Who was the best player in the NRL this year?Related story: (See story)