The Warriors plan on tackling with greater intent in tonight's NRL clash against St George Illawarra in Hamilton, after a poor defensive attitude proved costly in last week's embarrassing defeat to Penrith.

Lazy efforts and a lack of aggression saw the Warriors drop off tackles as the lively Panthers ran down a 6-28 halftime deficit to prevail 36-28 at Pepper Stadium last Saturday.

The Warriors offered little resistance through the middle and were also exposed on the edges and in the back field, with wide-ranging Penrith back-rower Isaah Yeo carving through the right side to score two tries and set up a third for centre Waqa Blake.

After a week of stinging criticism and self-reflection, the Warriors know they need to lift to contain a powerful Dragons forward pack containing Kiwis international Russell Packer, NSW State of Origin hopeful Paul Vaughan and captain Tyson Frizell.

Advertisement

"They're up there (with the best packs in the NRL)," said veteran Warriors front-rower Jacob Lillyman.

"They've got some quality players and some guys in some real form and they're certainly going to be a real handful, but it's a great challenge to meet that head on and use that disappointment to drive us into a really solid performance this weekend.

"You've got to be ready for it and you've got to have an aggressive mind set. We didn't have that on the weekend and that needs to be our focus, that aggression and intent, in everything we do."

Despite their apparent first-half dominance, there were some worrying signs early on against Penrith, with five Warriors tries masking some grabbing attempts at tackles and a lack of communication through their defensive line.

Lillyman says the Warriors need to better anticipate and absorb the inevitable swings in momentum, and draw confidence from the gutsy second-half defensive performance that marked their round nine win over the Sydney Roosters.

"You've got to be able to stay in the game when the other team's got all the running and defend really well," he said.

"We showed that against the Roosters, they had numerous sets on our own line and we defended really well, so we're capable of it.

"It's about getting back on the horse and back on what we know works and the way we've been playing the weeks previous to the Panthers game."

After a poor finish to their last outing, coach Stephen Kearney is looking for a strong start from his side, after the Dragons jumped out to a 20-8 halftime lead in the round four loss in Sydney. The Warriors fought back in the second-half at UOW Jubilee Oval but were unable to reel in the Red V.

"We missed the start of that game but in every other game we've been in a real contest," said Kearney.

"They're a good footy team and playing good football at the moment so we understand the challenge that we've got ahead of us.

"If you're a touch off in attitude you're going to find yourself in trouble so that's been the big lesson from last weekend's performance.

"It's making sure that we move forward and we do go down to Hamilton with the right attitude."