A dodgy pre-match meal couldn't stop St George Illawarra strongman Paul Vaughan from playing a big part in a vital NRL victory on a dramatic Friday for the Dragons.
A traffic snarl caused by a multi-vehicle fatal crash meant several players arrived shortly before their warmup for the game against North Queensland at Wollongong's WIN Stadium.
Forward Vaughan had to deal with another type of setback.
"I ate something before the game that didn't agree with me. I was throwing up before the game and at halftime," Vaughan told AAP.
"(It was a ) chicken salad bowl, I won't be going back to that place I got it from."
The game itself left a sweeter taste in Vaughan's mouth as the Dragons overturned a 10-0 deficit to win 22-14 and stay within one victory of eighth spot.
Backing up from last Sunday's Origin game in Perth, NSW forward Vaughan ran for almost 170 metres, the most of any Dragons' forward.
"The first half was OK, I had a bit of a rest in the second half and you can go either way, you can knuckle down and really have a go, or you can shy away from it," Vaughan said.
"I wanted to rip in and have a good second half."
The Dragons' scored the first 16 points of the second half, to ensure they avoided the late game fadeouts that have plagued them through the season.
"I think we all know if we stop the game after 30 minutes we're in the top four, but for the next 50 we're in the bottom two, so to be down and then get to a winning margin like we did was very pleasing," Dragons' coach Paul McGregor said.
It was just their second win in their last eight games, but Friday's match represented the start of a run of five home matches in seven rounds.
"To be a within a win of the eight at this stage with the distractions and injuries and our performances, it certainly gives you a goal to make it, that's for sure," McGregor said.
"We'll be getting some numbers back in the coming weeks, but certainly we've got to make sure that we get enough wins in between that to be a force at the back end of the year."
Australian Associated Press