Pirates coach Mat Kelly says it's "not complete panic stations yet" and has faith the two-times defending champions can rediscover the form that has made them such a Central North powerhouse. After kicking-off their title defence with a good win over Quirindi, the premiers have lost their last three and after four rounds find themselves languishing in seventh. Kelly had stated heading into the season they would be a "work in progress" after a number of significant personnel changes, and said he can't fault the effort, at training anyway. But at the moment that isn't translating onto the field, their performances lacking the ruthlessness, precision and dominance that has defined them in recent seasons. After the horror-show of the previous week against Walcha, Saturday's 36-19 loss to Gunnedah offered some reassurance for Kelly. "We're back going forward but we couldn't have got much lower than where we were last week either," he said. "We're definitely building and if we keep working hard it's bound to come sooner or later." They do still have some firepower to come back. That has started filtering through with Tim Collins starting on Saturday and Doug Biffin and Andrew Wynne both coming off the bench. READ ALSO: One of the most pressing issues is the scrum. Again on Saturday they were under pressure there. Their execution in attack is also "not quite there at the moment'. "Sometimes we give ourselves an opportunity and then just throw it away," Kelly said, adding that on Saturday they were probably guilty of going wide too early rather than going forward first. "In the past we've always sort of gone through teams rather than go around them." "It's one thing we definitely want to change up." "We're (also) looking for a bit more from the boys composure wise, and that's in defence as well. "The effort will be there defensively inside their 22 but is not there throughout. We need to increase our pride in defence." They are also relying too much on captain Conrad Starr to do it all. "I'm pretty sure he's doing too much of the heavy lifting at the moment. Everyone else has got to get up to the benchmark," Kelly said. It's not all doom and gloom and one of the highlights against the Red Devils for Kelly was the performance of Jye Paterson on debut at five-eighth. One of the holes they had to plug coming into the season following Andrew Moodie's departure, Kelly has played Brandon Parry there the first three games. But looking for something else he brought Paterson up on Saturday and thought he "played pretty well there". He scored their opening try with some good footwork and found them some good territory. "It was definitely good to have a bit of a kicking game, which Jye brought," Kelly said. He thought fellow young gun Jimmy Schwager also played well. On Saturday they head to Scone to tackle a Brumbies side that notched their first win last Saturday.