Anthony Griffin has refused to blame the staggered suspensions of 12 players for St George Illawarra's turn in form after Sunday's 32-10 loss to the Gold Coast.
Corey Norman, Daniel Alvaro and Zac Lomax served their one-week bans on Sunday for the illegal barbecue at Paul Vaughan's house that cost the prop his contract earlier this month.
Last week Matt Dufty, Tyrell Fuimaono and Kaide Ellis served their suspensions in a 32-18 loss to Manly.
It leaves Jack Bird, Gerard Beale, Josh Kerr, Josh McGuire, Blake Lawrie and Jack de Belin to cop their one-game ban against either South Sydney or Canberra in the coming fortnight.
With the Dragons precariously holding onto their spot in the top eight, it's a juggling act for Griffin to get right so the biosecurity breach doesn't cost them a finals spot too.
"It's a challenge, but we've got to be better than that," Griffin said after Sunday's loss to the Titans.
"Today we got ourselves in a pretty good position at 8-6, and some of our younger outside backs did a really good job but at times we tuned ball over in our own end and we were under a lot of pressure.
"Whatever team we put out there we can't be making excuses for.
"They've got to better than that."
Griffin was most frustrated with the team's inability to scramble and unforced errors which ramped up the pressure.
"It was sloppy. It was like last week, we played some reasonable football in the first half and got ourselves in a position to control the game but there were too many errors in our own end," he said.
Congestion in the middle of the NRL ladder has ignited a race for the last two finals spots with just two wins separating seventh to 13th place.
Sunday's loss to the Titans came as a double blow - keeping another contender in the hunt and the Dragons level with in-form Canberra on 18 points.
"We've got to win every game. Last week we put ourselves in a position to beat Manly and it's getting to the back end of the year now so we've got to start winning football games," he said.
"We had a chance to win that one today and we weren't good enough."
Australian Associated Press