NO LOSS is welcome, particularly at Sandhurst, where they have been few and far between in the Dragons' dominant premiership-winning period since 2017.
But in the context of the Dragons' 17-goal loss to Kangaroo Flat in last Saturday's top-of-the-table clash at Dower Park, coach Tamara Gilchrist does not anticipate the defeat being season defining or even worrying.
In fact, she can see the silver lining.
"One loss doesn't define our season, which is what I said to the girls after the game, nor does it define a team," Gilchrist said.
"If anything, it makes you want it (winning) more."
After Saturday's loss, the Dragons' triple-premiership coach was quick to pay full credit to Kangaroo Flat for a massive performance and conceded her side had struggled after finding itself as many as six goals down in the opening quarter.
It was a position from which they never really recovered, despite clawing the margin back to four goals at quarter time to give themselves a glimmer of a revival.
"It's not something we are familiar with, being down that far early, but as long as we can learn something from it, we'll be better off," Gilchrist said.
"Finals will be bigger, so we'll need to work ourselves out of it should we find ourselves in the same position."
The loss was only the Dragons' seventh in 77 games since the start of the 2017 season.
It snapped a 19-game winning streak.
But other than dropping from top spot on the ladder on percentage, there was little damage done, with Sandhurst still on track to qualify for finals in either first of second.
The Dragons will sweat on an ankle injury to their skipper Meg Williams, who left the court early in the third term and did not return.
It's left the three-time premiership-winning midcourter in doubt for BFNL representation at this weekend's Netball Victoria Association Championships.
"She's had a sore ankle for a while and has missed a few VNL games the last few weeks, so we knew it was a bit of a risk going in (to Saturday)," Gilchrist said.
"But as our captain, she wears her heart on her sleeve and she was never going to go down without a fight.
"She will rest now probably for a couple of weeks and try and get herself right and see what happens."
A positive out of Saturday was the spritely second half effort of Paige Ryan, who replaced Williams in the midcourt.
"She did a cracking job. I really love the depth we have in our A-res team," Gilchrist said.
"We've gone into it pretty light, we've got our seven or eight we have in A-grade, but every week I can call on the A-res and they step up where needed.
"I'm always confident they can get the job done."
Goal defence Ruby Turner and goal shooter Bec Smith, who will both represent the BFNL this Sunday in Melbourne, were the Dragons' best on Saturday.
The Roos' convincing 17-goal win has evened the ledger between the two clubs at 1-1 this season after the Dragons won their round four contest by one goal.
Gilchrist said it would only add to the motivation for the clubs' next encounter, likely to be in week two of the finals.
"Credit to their shooters today, Lou (Dupuy) and Abbey (Ryan) they both positioned themselves and shot well and didn't miss too many between them either," she said.
"We're one-all for now, so we will go again next time. We'll love that challenge."
The Dragons face Golden Square at the QEO this Saturday.
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