St George Illawarra coach Steve Price can thank his lucky stars for State of Origin and walking headline Benji Marshall. But the holiday is over with the Dragons headed into a massacre against South Sydney this weekend.
Sitting second from the bottom on the NRL ladder, the Dragons face the most dominant side in the competition on Monday night.
With many critics of Price already circling, you can be assured they will be out for blood come Tuesday morning. St George Illawarra fans have simply had enough.
Superstar fullback Greg Inglis has been ruled out after injuring himself in State of Origin, but do the Rabbitohs really need him?
The Dragons have bigger problems.
With New South Wales playmaker Mitchell Pearce failing to deliver on Wednesday night, the door is wide open for Adam Reynolds to begin his quest for a sky blue number seven jumper.
Many believe Reynolds is already there for the 2014 series but that won’t stop the dynamic pivot from putting the boot into Pearce with a big performance in Round 19.
James Maloney gained his first Origin jumper in 2013 because he played club football with Pearce at the Sydney Roosters. Combinations certainly do help.
So if Reynolds is looking for a big game on Monday, expect his partner in crime John Sutton to come out firing too.
These two have not only improved individually in 2013 but have developed a lethal one-two punch for Souths.
What chance do the Dragons have?
A startling fact headed into the match is Reynolds (138) has scored more points individually then all 17 Dragons players (128) combined.
The Saints continue to struggle in attack and this week coach Price has shifted Chase Stanley out to the centres, with Adam Quinlan moving to five-eighth for a showdown with Sutton and Reynolds.
Adding insult to injury, Dan Hunt, one of the Dragons best this year, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
“It’s been really frustrating; on top of my injury and not playing, the team’s not going as well as we want to,” the returning Matt Cooper told the media yesterday.
“It’s a shame because we’re working really hard, and we’ve worked hard all year.
“It just hasn’t been our year, but we’ve still got eight games to go and we’re going to be trying as hard as we can to get some more wins.
“It’s a good time to play Souths, with them having some players in the Origin and us getting some players back.
“We’ve got Bronson Harrison and Cameron King coming back as well, so we’re starting to get in better shape.
“We’re going to go out there and try our best to win; we’ve still got some good players out there, and we just want to get a win for our fans and for ourselves.”
Unfortunately for the fans that win won’t come this weekend.
The Rabbitohs have won their last three encounters with the Dragons, with the visitors at unbackable odds with betting agencies.
There have been plenty of upsets this season and that will continue right through to September. But if you ever had to bet your mortgage on a game, this is the one.