With reports Josh Dugan is soon to become a Dragon, where will that leave the Dragons as far as premiership credentials go?
Dugan’s performance with the Raiders over the past two seasons has been mediocre at best and he is not the game breaker everyone thought he would be. It may sound like sour grapes but the stats show the Raiders performed better with Reece Robinson at the back.
It’s obvious the Dragons need help in a number of areas and Dugan is seen by some (not all) as an instant upgrade for the Dragons. Let’s be honest here, he is not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.
As it currently stands, the Dragons are a bottom three side and they don’t have the cattle to lift themselves out of this position.
Dugan is more hyperbole than anything at the moment. He doesn’t have Billy Slater’s speed and his defence at the back one on one has been shown to be leaky over the past two seasons. In all honesty, he would struggle to crack the top ten fullbacks currently playing the game and his replacement in Canberra, Reece Robinson is far more of an upgrade than Dugan will ever be which is why the $600,000 figure being reported the Dragons are willing to pay makes no sense at all.
Then there is the obvious distraction Dugan brings and the questions surrounding his state of mind persist and there are no guarantees he will behave any different than he did in Canberra. Will he be a cancer to young Dragons players both on and off the field? Many questions remain unanswered.
Steve Price is already on the hot seat but when you look at the Dragon splaying roster, he doesn’t have a lot to work with. He’ll be lucky to last the season and could be gone a lot sooner if the current results persist. A win against the Raiders in Canberra next week may buy him some time but in a place where they have not won for over ten years, a win looks remote regardless of the Raiders form.
Desperation brings its own set of challenges and I seriously doubt signing Dugan will turn around the Dragons fortunes this season. Being out of the fishbowl may be one thing for Dugan, but he is then exposed to a plethora of temptations someone in his state of mind may find too hard to resist.
I think he needs a year out to appreciate what he had and time on the sidelines without the big pay cheque may light the fire to get back to his best but simply jumping from club to club means there are no consequences for poor behaviour and which ever club signs him will be party to his next set of misdemeanours.
Is it a risk worth taking? We’ll soon find out…