Dugan: Sore But On Track
By Dominic Brock (NRL.com)
Kangaroos centre Josh Dugan says he's on track to line up against New Zealand this week despite leaving the field early during Australia's Four Nations win over Scotland.
Dugan left the field in the 53rd minute following a head knock with Scotland prop Luke Douglas, but said he stayed off mostly as a precaution with Australia well on top in the match.
"Yeah it's a bit sore this morning, bit of a lump – but that was actually from Sammy Thaiday's big head in the first half," Dugan told media in England.
"I woke up feeling pretty good, I passed all the tests last night. It was just my balance that was still a bit iffy, that's why I didn't come back on [during the game].
"In a more important game I probably would have taken my time a bit more and probably would have been able to come back on.
"I've got to do another CogSport test during the week but if I pass that I'll be right to go. But apart from that I'm feeling pretty good.
"That's what the doc said last night – he said my brain was working well, it's just that my body wasn't following, straight after the hit. So that's why I didn't come back on but the boys got the job done, and that's the important thing."
Dugan was pleased with the 54-12 win and was confident the team could get the job done against the New Zealand side the Kangaroos defeated in Perth earlier this month.
"Last night again we played well, we started fast," Dugan said of the Scotland game.
"Then I guess we got into a bit of up-and-down with them – they were making a few errors then we were making a few errors.
"But when we completed and got to the ends of our sets and kicked into the corners I think we played pretty well.
"Yeah definitely [New Zealand are a step up], but we've showed when we do the same thing we can shut them down as well.
"We played pretty well in Perth and I think we won that on the back of our defence.
"Last night again, a couple of tries against the grain but I thought other than that we defended pretty well again."
Dugan said tournament underdogs Scotland didn't make life easy for the Aussies.
"They were running hard and hitting hard, and that's what you want when you get a team into a competition like this," he said.
"You've got the three big guns but when another team comes in you want them to be challenging. They were willing, and they played as well as they could have."
The representative veteran was impressed with the performances of Kangaroos rookies Matt Moylan, Jake Trbojevic, Tyson Frizell, Justin O'Neill and James Maloney on debut, with Moylan taking man-of-the-match honours against Scotland.
"It's always good to see the young fellas get a go. Matty Moylan was outstanding and seeing fellas like Jake Trbojevic get his first cap and his first start, he was good as well. So the future's bright."