In the last five weeks, ex-Raider Paul Vaughan has spent time in quarantine for a COVID-19 protocol breach, missed two matches for a crusher tackle and had to watch the man who brought him to the Dragons part ways with the club.
So it's no surprise all Vaughan wants to do is trot out onto Win Stadium on Saturday and put in a strong performance against his former club.
Vaughan was in isolation when former coach McGregor and St George Illawarra parted ways, which prevented him from properly saying farewell to the man he'd grown close to in four seasons with the Dragons.
A week prior to his dismissal, McGregor had publicly aired his frustrations at Vaughan for dining in a cafe in direct breach of the NRL's strict COVID-19 protocols.
Three weeks ago Vaughan returned from his quarantine-induced suspension only to cop a two-week ban for a crusher tackle against the Brisbane Broncos.
"I let the boys down, it's not what I'm about, I like to get out there and contribute as much as I can, it was pretty heart breaking," Vaughan said.
"It's been hurting to watch the boys go around and knowing that I can't really help them hurt me a fair bit. It's been pretty disappointing, obviously paid the price for what's happened with the suspension.
"It was pretty hard coming back and getting the crusher tackle, obviously the game's cracking down on that.
"That was an unfortunate one, because it is what it is and obviously they're trying to rub that out of the game. Got stuck into training, worked on a couple of things that I need to improve."
The Dragons have also signed a new coach since Vaughan last played, recently announcing the services of former Brisbane and Penrith mentor Anthony Griffin for two years from 2021.
He'll take over from Dean Young, who has stepped in to fill the breach left by McGregor.
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"It was a bit of a weird time to be honest, I wasn't allowed around training and around that time Mary [McGregor] got let go," Vaughan said.
"I had a very strong relationship with Mary, we developed a very strong connection over the years, that was another unfortunate thing that I missed out on. When Mary was let go I couldn't really say face to face my goodbyes which was a little bit upsetting.
"The club's heading in a new direction. It's a good chance for the club to start fresh, rebuild. The future's bright. Hopefully Griffin comes in and we can make a strong charge in the next couple of years."
While last weekend's golden-point loss to North Queensland effectively rendered the Dragons' finals' push obsolete, the Raiders were wary of being stung by Vaughan's team down in Wollongong.
That was St George Illawarra's fourth match in a row decided by a try or less, and Jordan Rapana expected the Dragons to be breathing fire.
"It's always tough losing close games, we're a team that know exactly how they're feeling, there was a year there where we lost a lot of close games by one to two points," Rapana said.
"They'll be fired up, we've just got to make sure we're ready for it. It's always a tough game, there's always been a rivalry ever since I've been here.
"They're a team that's out of the eight but probably a team that when they're on they're on."