Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck admits the absence of "pack leader" Simon Mannering took a major toll on his side as they gave up 57 missed tackles in last night’s 30-14 loss to St George Illawarra in Hamilton.
The Warriors were barely at the races in dour Waikato conditions, leaving gaping holes through the middle and conceding multiple tries down their right edge.
Ex-captain Mannering, 30, often completes up to 50 tackles a game at lock but has missed the last two NRL matches with a hamstring issue.
He is likely to return in next weekend's clash with Brisbane in Auckland - a date that can't come soon enough for Tuivasa-Sheck.
"It's tough, Simon not being there for the boys - I feel like he's the pack's leader," the 23-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck told reporters.
"But leadership-wise, Shaun (Johnson) and Issac Luke are still there, talking really well to the boys, Ryan Hoffman, all saying the right things."
With his side's right edge leaking try after try, Tuivasa-Sheck said too many players were singing from their own song sheets and overlooking the collective.
Too many lost battles at the ruck and through the middle had forced the side's outside backs inwards - creating overlaps for the Dragons to exploit.
Of the Dragons' six tries, four came down the Warriors' right, with rookie winger Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad experiencing a tough day at the office.
Try as he might, it was a gap too large for fullback Tuivasa-Sheck to plug.
"The boys, they're trying really hard, (but) it's all individual - everyone's going in their separate ways," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"When we got into the grind, they had the momentum for a long time."