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By Chris Kennedy (

St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan says while he "probably could have played" in the side's disappointing fifth straight NRL loss last week, a combination of niggling injuries and mental fatigue meant a week off was the best bet.

Dugan suffered a slight arm injury in the Blues' devastating 52-6 loss in Origin III and concedes the intense six week campaign – the first time he has played all three games in an Origin series – took a fair bit out of him.

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"I was pretty sore and sorry after the [Origin] game," he said.

"Mentally I was pretty run down as well. You work so hard for that Origin period... it's just a roller coaster, you've got to play on Wednesday and back up a couple of days later.

"There's so much hype around those games, it's just about being able to get up and being able to get away from it when you are and that was the biggest thing I took out of it this year.

"I was a bit mentally run down after game three, I had that week off, I needed that rest and I'm ready to go again."

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Asked if he could have got through last Sunday's 28-8 loss to the Sharks if it was do-or-die Dugan said: "I was pretty sore but I probably could have played. Again I'd been carrying a few little niggles over the last two months.

"It's always good to rest the body and the mind. I needed a couple of days break and I'm excited about getting back into training with the boys."

Dugan said it was tough to watch the fifth straight loss, one which dropped the side to seventh on the ladder having been in first place after 12 rounds.

"It was tough to watch and we didn't play our best footy and we were a bit patchy but again," he said.

"We need to get that consistency and we need everyone to put their hand up and do the job for us."

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St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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