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2014 Charity Shield: Josh Dugan injury tops off a miserable night for the Dragons

South Sydney 38 St George Illawarra 20

Solid beginning: Souths winger Lote Tuqiri scores despite the attentions of Jason Nightingale.

Solid beginning: Souths winger Lote Tuqiri scores despite the attentions of Jason Nightingale. Photo: Getty Images

St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan may be sidelined for up to six weeks after suffering a knee injury in a horror night for the Dragons as they crashed to one of the heaviest defeats in Charity Shield history.

And Greg Inglis threw a scare into the South Sydney camp after being forced from the field with a jaw injury but it was nothing compared to the fright the monster Rabbitohs side delivered to their NRL rivals with their thrashing of the hapless Dragons.

Running riot: Souths celebrate another try in the Charity Shield match against the Dragons.

Running riot: Souths celebrate another try in the Charity Shield match against the Dragons. Photo: Getty Images

''The boys went in pretty confident,'' said Rabbitohs prop Sam Burgess, who laid on a try with a cross-field kick. ''We have worked hard in the pre-season so it was good for a few things to come off.

''Our defensive effort in the first half was pleasing, we let a few points in the second half and gave the ball up a bit easy so we can work on that but there were some pleasing aspects in defence.

''There are things to look at, we were rusty in certain areas and, personally, I missed a few tackles but we will fix that up for round one.''

Fielding a new look side which featured their six off-season recruits, St George Illawarra were never in the match and appear certain to be without Dugan for the March 9 clash with Wests Tigers after he was assisted from the field midway through the second half.

The NSW Origin fullback was fitted with a brace before leaving WIN Stadium and will undergo scans on Monday but the initial diagnosis was that he had suffered a medial ligament strain and could be sidelined for up to six weeks.

''It is always disappointing when you see high profile footballers go down but that is the game we play and it's just the way it is,'' St George Illawarra coach Steve Price said.

The way Dugan injured his left knee summed up the night for the Dragons as giant Souths prop George Burgess fell on it as he barged over for the Rabbitohs seventh try in the 57th minute.

With the pain evident on his face, Dugan's knee had blood smeared on it as he was helped by two trainers along the sideline to the St George Illawarra dressing room.

Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said the decision to take Inglis from the field in the 44th minute was precautionary but medical staff checked his jaw on the sideline after a head clash with Dragons prop Dan Hunt.

Inglis later said he was OK and did not require X-rays.

Even without Inglis, it was like boys against men as the giant Souths line-up ran roughshod over a Dragons team whose performance would have left supporters in the 14,633 crowd at WIN Stadium fearing a long season ahead.

While it is obviously going to take time for new combinations to gel, St George Illawarra were easily outclassed by a Rabbitohs team missing halfback Adam Reynolds (knee) and first choice five-eighth Luke Keary (pectoral).

Dylan Walker also came off with an ankle injury but he is expected to partner Reynolds at the scrumbase in the opening premiership match against the Sydney Roosters.

Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop was the pick of their new buys, but Price will have to decide whether to partner him with Sam Williams or Michael Witt.


15 comments so far

  • Doubt it will be enough to save supercoach Price and as a Dragons fan, I pray it won't but Stanley and Widdop in the havles and a hooker rotation of Garvey and Witt shows great promise!

    Date and time
    February 22, 2014, 8:34PM
    • dragons for the spoon...maybe tigers but dragons 2nd last....woeful mistake ridden football.

      Date and time
      February 22, 2014, 10:17PM
      • Poor thing. Hope he gets over it and actually earns his money this year. But a couple more losses and you will probably find he will start his antics like he did in Canberra.
        sorry I have no time for this spoilt brat.

        Date and time
        February 22, 2014, 10:53PM
        • You just knew after the first 10 minutes, when the Dragons had repeat sets on the Souths try line and did nothing with the ball, that it's going to be a very long season again for St George fans. The Bunnies looked pretty good with a team missing some stars, and certainly showed enough to suggest they will towel up the Bondi impostors in Round 1.

          Date and time
          February 23, 2014, 6:12AM
          • Price will go down in history as the worst St George Illawarra coach, ever.
            He has taken a premiership winning team to the bottom. Even with 'his' team of players now on board, he is proven to be useless. For the third year in a row, I'm waiting for the oldie but a goodie, "we are work in progress"

            Will Doust finally show some backbone and sack Price.

            Old Kogarah Boy ...........
            Date and time
            February 23, 2014, 8:27AM
            • How long do we have to put up with Steve Price.
              Time to run the water again and take Doust with you,
              the worst CEO in the NRL !!!!

              Date and time
              February 23, 2014, 8:46AM
              • Dragons it's going to be a long season with that pack of forwards ! It's hard to blame Price but the Dragons style of play has not improved under his coaching, with the amount of ball they had in the first 15 minutes they should have been up by 20. I'm a life time supporter of the mighty Dragons but since the departure of Bennett & some senior players they have been treading water. They have the talent to make a dent but are playing like losers............................Time to step up boys no more excuses

                Date and time
                February 23, 2014, 2:16PM
                • Hopefully the gig is up for Price, I hear this rubbish about the players having "bought into his methods" etc etc etc, the why do they then go out and play like they think he is a twit? Every player will say that to keep his spot and his pay check. When Bennett was in charge they looked like a team who believed in themselves and in the game plan he gave them, they expected to win every time they took the field, they knew they only had to hold a team to under 14 points to win, now they leak double that many in most first halves. Granted, this is a different team, but it is a team with plenty of natural ability wasted by a coach that should have been removed early last year. Besides I have a goldfish busily swimming in circles that has forgotten more about the game than Mr Price has learned.

                  Date and time
                  February 23, 2014, 3:00PM
                  • The Rabbitoh's picnic clearly exposed the lack of size and power in the Dragons' pack. Essentially the Dragons fielded a pack made up of players who have the size of back row forwards - or modern day backs, and were duly walked over by the opposition. Even allowing that Souths have a far more cohesive and familiar team structure which has played together for a couple of seasons, 2014 is already looking ominous for the Dragons, unless they can quickly unearth a couple of big boppers with size, strength - and a bit of old fashioned ticker.

                    Albert Ross
                    Date and time
                    February 23, 2014, 3:18PM
                    • Ohhh yeaaah! The mighty Rabbitohs are Looking the goods for the 2014 title! Simply breathtaking performances all round. I was especially happy to see our latest Redfern boy - dual international legend Lote - have an absolutely storming debut in Rugby Leagues most famous colours. The title is on its way to Redfern! Read it and weep, DragQueens, Feather-Dusters and all you other also-rans.

                      Bouncing Bunny of Struggle Street
                      Date and time
                      February 23, 2014, 6:32PM

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