Dugan: Battle Of The Fullbacks
St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Josh Dugan is adamant the team can turn their form around against the Parramatta Eels at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta on Saturday.
The NSW Blues representative is additionally eager to take to the field and prove his strengths against opposition custodian Jarryd Hayne and help make amends for the 38-6 loss to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs last round.
Dugan, 24, is happy to welcome prodigal Rugby Union player Benji Marshall to the Red V and believes he will prove to be a useful tool in the upcoming rounds.
“It’s up to the Coach who’s playing on the weekend and who he sees to be fit,” said Dugan.
“The boys are looking to turn our form around and come up with the win against the Eels.
“I think our lapse in performance on the field comes down to attitude and a lack of focus on doing the little things and getting our hands dirty.
“Once we start to focus our energy on doing those things we’ll be in the games a lot more and play better than what we have been over the past few weeks.
“I don’t think the week of impacted our performance against the Bulldogs; they just got off to a better start than us.
“Full credit to Canterbury for playing good footy; we just couldn’t keep up with them when they got in their rhythm.
“Benji Marshall is a player who has been through a lot of experiences and has a lot of knowledge under his belt.
“Marshall is a player who can create something from nothing and he is exciting; his presence in the side will take a lot of pressure off many of our players and give us another weapon in our arsenal.
“As a team we look good on paper but we just need to live up to that expectation and put the performances on the board like we know we can.
“There hasn’t been much discussion about the signing of Benji; we were kept in the dark about it and we didn’t actually hear much about it until he signed with us last week.
“He is going to be a great boost for the club and welcomed whole-heartedly.
“I’m not too worried about the State of Origin at the moment, if I’m given the chance I will definitely grab it with both hands.
“ At the moment I’m more focused on playing good footy for the Dragons and determined to put in some good team performances and get some wins on the board.
“It’s mostly media speculation surrounding the Blues team; I haven’t heard much from Laurie Daley but I’m not too worried about it at the moment.
“Of course I’d put my hand up if I was to be chosen for the team, but I’m not going to get my hopes up; I need to work for a spot.
“It’ll be a good challenge to go up against Jarryd Hayne on Saturday and I’m always up for a battle of the fullbacks.
“I’ve watched bits and pieces of the Eels’ game and it’s a bit back and forth but we’ll look at their game more in the lead-up to the match.”