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Broncos on guard for Dugan danger

Brisbane skipper Sam Thaiday has lamented Josh Dugan as the one that got away and the Broncos are doubly determined to limit his damage on Sunday.
Broncos on guard for Dugan danger
by AAP

By Jim Morton

BRISBANE, Aug 9 AAP - Brisbane skipper Sam Thaiday has lamented Josh Dugan as the one that got away and the Broncos are doubly determined to limit his damage on Sunday.

Dugan would have been lining up for the home side rather than St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium if not for a social media rant that cost him his second NRL deal this season.

But the dangerous ex-Canberra fullback has since fallen on his feet with the Dragons, transforming their attack and scoring six tries in nine appearances.

Thaiday supported Broncos officials for pulling out of an in-principle deal with Dugan in April due to continued off-field problems but felt the NSW fullback would have been a fine addition.

"He probably should be here, but due to his own faults (he isn't)," the Test back-rower said on Friday. "That was his own fault.

"A half gap, a lazy defender, he'll find you out.

"He's one of the players we've earmarked to really try and get on top of.

"If we can shut down him it goes a long way to winning the game."

Dugan showed his destructive powers by almost single-handedly leading the Dragons to a comeback win on Monday against the Bulldogs.

Down 8-0 early, the 23-year-old scoring a first-half double to spark a four-try run before St George Illawarra bombed out 39-20.

He's quickly been rewarded for his outstanding form by being signed to a four-year contract extension.

Broncos lock Corey Parker didn't believe Dugan had a point to prove at Suncorp Stadium.

"He's settled at St George now after the deal that was alleged fell through here and he's playing some great football," Parker said.

An 18-18 draw with Newcastle has Brisbane needing to win their five remaining matches to make the final eight but they do have a helpful draw with four home games.

"We need to win," said Parker. "It's kill or be killed for us."

The nine-day turnaround has allowed coach Anthony Griffin to give Parker, Thaiday and Queensland Origin teammates Justin Hodges and Matt Gillett extra days off this week to freshen up for the run home.

Broncos under-20s winger Jordan Drew may make his NRL debut after training beside Hodges on the right side on Friday morning but the club has denied Lachlan Maranta has been ruled out.


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