Wests Tigers have refused to blame a pre-game staphylococcus scare for a disappointing round one effort against St George Illawarra.
In their opening game of the NRL season, the Tigers led 12-0 after 11 minutes and 18-6 after 20 minutes before being thumped by a Gareth Widdop-inspired Dragons 44-24.
Chris Lawrence, Pat Richards and Robbie Farah, who was quarantined and fed antibiotics intravenously in the lead-up to the Dragons clash, were among those worst hit by the health scare.
But at a recovery session at Maroubra beach yesterday, Lawrence said the boil outbreak was no excuse for their poor effort.
"It didn't help, first grade rugby league is all about preparation and to be honest we had a pretty bad preparation," Lawrence said. "But as we said as a group before the game, we all had a run together, and we said we weren't going to use it as an excuse.
"We played badly, it is as simple as that.
"It wasn't the start we were looking for."
Lawrence pointed to poor discipline - the Tigers made 11 errors and gave away six penalties - as the key reasons behind the loss.
"It was a pretty poor performance. I thought we started well but we made too many errors, gave away too many penalties and on a hot day you just can't do that," he said.