St George Illawarra centre Zac Lomax has offered no excuse for teammate Paul Vaughan's biosecurity breach, but said it should serve as a wake up call for NRL players.
Hours after Vaughan was busted breaking strict guidelines by attending a cafe for breakfast, the Dragons fell to their third straight loss with a 24-16 defeat to Sydney Roosters.
It was the first of two games the Test prop will miss during a 14-day isolation period where he will not train or play with his teammates during the most crucial period of the season.
And while he feels for his good friend, Lomax said players are acutely aware of what is required of them to ensure the NRL is able to continue during the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's a massive wake up call and I think players will be really thinking about decisions that they do make outside of footy," he said.
"It's just hard that obviously it was one of our players and my good mate that's been stung but we've got to be role models.
"We're grateful enough that we've been given the opportunity to be able to play footy and keep our jobs and play on a regular basis week to week.
"We've got to stick to these rules.
"We're well aware of what we need to do.
"There's obviously repercussions that will take place if we don't follow them."
Lomax said Vaughan had spoken to the playing group to apologise, but missing a Test prop with their season on the line is a huge blow.
The Dragons made a contest out of Thursday's loss to the Roosters, but need to find winning form fast to salvage what is left of the NRL season.
Realistically, the Dragons will need to win at least six of their last seven games to be a chance of making finals and will face four top-eight teams during that time - starting with Parramatta on Friday.
When asked if the season is slipping away from them, Lomax said: 'It sort of is in the back of our mind, we know that we need to win.
"We definitely need to go into the next game needing to get the win.
"Obviously that was the main focus tonight and we didn't come up with it.
"We're not dishing up good enough results. We need to fix it and fix it quick."
Australian Associated Press