Dugan: I Know Role At Fullback
By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
Two weeks ago Josh Dugan remained indifferent on his return to fullback, but two wins since may have swayed the Dragons star following the club's 14-12 win over the Panthers on Easter Sunday.
It was a win that wouldn't have been if not for Dugan playing in the No. 1 jumper, his 76th-minute try proving the match-winner against Penrith.
In a game where defence ruled the roost Dugan still starred with 205 metres and 15 tackle breaks influential in the end.
"[Fullback's] something I'm comfortable with and I know my role there. I just have to go out there and do my best for the team," Dugan told NRL.com.
"I always am going to try and put myself in spots where it's going to benefit the team, that's what I'm trying to do. I love getting my hand on the ball and playing off the back of our forwards.
"It was a tough win. I think our forwards laid a pretty good platform and we were able to win off the back of them. We just wanted to get back to basics with our defence and I think we did that."
Whether Dugan wants to remain at fullback or not remains to be seen but Dragons coach Paul McGregor is having no such dilemmas with his decision making.
"Josh did well and he'll be staying at the back," McGregor said post-game.
"Josh is a big-game player, and that's what you like to see from the big players in situations like that. The better players go to the game at times like that they don't shy away from it.
"In all honesty his involvement is a lot higher at the back without a doubt.
"We have looked at a few options and how we can score more points but we're comfortable winning by one or two points because they all add up at the end of the year."
Dugan's time at fullback could be vital in the long run, with State of Origin sneaking up on the season ever so quickly.
The rise and rise of Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco wasn't of concern to Dugan however, though he backed the 23-year-old as Origin-ready.
"[Tedesco's] a gun – he's playing some great footy and he's kicked on where he left off last year. He's one of the players of the future," Dugan said.
"I don't see why he wouldn't be ready for Origin. He has definitely put his name forward. I'm unsure what 'Loz' (coach Laurie Daley) is going do though so those decisions are up to him.
"My focus is doing the best I can for the Dragons at the moment."