They still have 13 matches to play in 2019, but there is sure to be a genuine sense of urgency for the Dragons heading into Monday's match against the Bulldogs.
They're only two points outside the top eight, but momentum isn't with the men in the Red V at the moment.
They lost their last five matches and slipped to 13th on the ladder.
As for the Bulldogs, their struggles started in round one and haven't let up.
Their only three wins have come against sides also outside the top eight in Wests Tigers, North Queensland and Gold Coast.
On the upside, the Dragons have injuries galore and the Dogs will be treating this one as a winnable contest.
As will be the case with many matches this weekend, the availability of Origin players will have a big say in the outcome of this contest.
Match: Bulldogs v Dragons
Round 13 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Bulldogs: Origin prop Dylan Napa is good to go and he'll start the match in No.23 with Ofahiki Ogden going back to the bench and Chris Smith dropping out. Corey Harawira-Naera and Lachlan Lewis were omitted from the reserves on Sunday and Michael Lichaa dropped out an hour before kick-off.
Dragons: Ben Hunt (No.20), Tyson Frizell (No.21) and Paul Vaughan (No.22) got through Origin I unscathed and will play. They will start in the run-on side, meaning Jai Field drops from halfback to the interchange, Korbin Sims switches from prop to the bench and Jacob Host starts at lock. Lachlan Timm, Josh Kerr and reserve prop Mitchell Allgood were omitted on Sunday and Luciano Leilua and Jordan Pereira were omitted an hour before kick-off.
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick MeaneyFullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Christian CrichtonWinger for Dragons is number 2 Jonus Pearson
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Marcelo MontoyaCentre for Dragons is number 3 Euan Aitken
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Will HopoateCentre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Reimis SmithWinger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jack CoggerHalfback for Dragons is number 20 Ben Hunt
Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden TolmanProp for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-KingHooker for Dragons is number 9 Cameron McInnes
Prop for Bulldogs is number 23 Dylan NapaProp for Dragons is number 22 Paul Vaughan
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner2nd Row for Dragons is number 21 Tyson Frizell
Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Adam ElliottLock for Dragons is number 11 Jacob Host
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 10 Ofahiki OgdenInterchange for Dragons is number 7 Jai Field
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Rhyse MartinInterchange for Dragons is number 10 Korbin Sims
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Danny FualaloInterchange for Dragons is number 14 Jeremy Latimore
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Sauaso SueInterchange for Dragons is number 15 Reece Robson
Corey Norman v Kieran Foran. Back on deck for his first game since round eight, Norman will give the Dragons more to offer in attack. If the Dragons forwards can win the battle in the middle, Norman will have time to work some magic. Foran, on the other hand, needs to kick-start Canterbury's attack.
For the Bulldogs to win
The Bulldogs need to find a way to start scoring more points. They're averaging fewer than 13 a game so far this year. High completion rates are one thing, being a consistent threat with ball in hand is something else.
For the Dragons to win
Injuries to key forwards haven't helped, but the Dragons are sitting in 16th spot when it comes to metres gained. As a comparison, the Rabbitohs average an extra 170m per game in ground made with ball in hand.
Brett Kimmorley says
It’s tough to get a form gauge on the Dragons – five losses in a row and now they also have players backing up from Origin. Ben Hunt is going to be exhausted after playing dummy half in Origin. With Kieran Foran back playing some decent football and asking questions the Dogs might be able to get the job done. They only problem for them might be getting to 16-18 points which will probably be enough. Bulldogs by 2
Line breaks haven't been a forte of either side so far this year. According to NRL.com Stats, the Dragons have made 35 in 11 matches, while the Bulldogs have made 36 in 12.
And another thing ...
Canterbury aren't short of willing workers in their forward pack. They have three players - Aiden Tolman (seventh), Jeremy Marshall-King (ninth) and Josh Jackson (10th) all inside the top 10 for tackles made. Cameron McInnes (second) and the injured James Graham (19th) are the only Dragons in the top 20.