St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Josh Dugan believes it will be a battle of the forwards against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Thursday.
The Red-and-Whites enter the encounter on the back of a 16-12 win over the Canberra Raiders at UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah last round which saw centre Euan Aitken clinch the winning points in golden-point.
Dugan believes that the team can carry this momentum in the upcoming encounter, calling upon the forward-pack to continue their bursting runs through the middle, but knows he and his teammates need to erase smaller errors from their game beforehand.
“It was a real battle but in the end we were able to come away with the two points,” said Dugan.
“I think our defence and scramble was at its best for the season against the Raiders but there were lapses in our concentration at times which allowed them back into the game with two tries.
“One of them I do not think too many teams would have been able to stop but the other was a pure lapse in concentration.
“The first kick that I caught underneath the cross bar was nerve wracking and all you can do is hope it goes sideways or pull up short which it did.
“Euan is not known for his hands or anything like that but it was nice to see him control it and get the try for the win.
“The game against the Rabbitohs will be another battle and they have a great forward pack as do we so I think that’s where a lot of the game will be dependent on.
“Our forwards have been playing some great footy and I feel we’ve been at our best when they’ve been running up the field through the middle.
“They’re big boys and it helps me to jump on the back of them.
“The game against the Rabbitohs is first and foremost in my mind and a win would solidify our spot in the eight.
“To be five-and-five after the amount of travelling we’ve done has put us in a good position and we are improving the mistakes in our game.”
The Dragons will proudly wear their unique Indigenous jersey against the Rabbitohs to celebrate the indigenous culture within our community when they take to the field.
The jersey itself was designed by local aboriginal artist Lani Balzan, who when asked to design the strip, said she wanted to show the strong connection traditional owners have always had with country.