HE’S only three games into his career as a St George Illawarra Dragon but NSW fullback Josh Dugan could end up the most significant mid-season signing of the NRL era.
Dugan has run the ball a staggering 48 times in his last two matches and currently has as many tries as appearances for the joint venture side.
Rugby League Week commissioned League Information Services and NRL Stats to compare Dugan with other players who have switched clubs mid-season since 1998.
“A number of other players have changed club mid-season and won grand finals,” Middleton says, “but Dugan will be the first to change clubs and play Origin.
“Of course, most transfers occur a bit later in the year and also players tend to change clubs when they’re not doing so well at their current club, which lengthens the odds of them making a representative team.”
Of course, Dugan’s heavy involvement failed to save the Dragons from a 22-16 defeat to North Queensland last Friday.
“It’s discipline and lost ball,” lamented prop Dan Hunt.
The club’s decision to refuse Jamie Soward a release for the rest of the year was justified when he kicking game was missed with the wind at St George Illawarra’s back in the second half.
“Fiensy (Nathan Fien) i s more of short, precise kicker and Jamie’s got that long kick,” said Hunt.
“Yeah, we probably missed that again tonight but the wind was a factor – a few balls went over the sideline on the full.
“If you can get back-to-back wins, you jump three or four spots. This back end of the year, we need to get more consistent, not going from win to loss, win to loss.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK