Dugan danger the key for Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dugan danger the key for Raiders

Steve Jancetic 24/07/2011 07:05:10 PM Comments (0)

Canberra coach David Furner is banking on a return to form by dynamic fullback Josh Dugan to help prize open St George Illawarra's famed defensive line in Monday night's NRL clash at Canberra Stadium.

The Raiders were held scoreless at home for the first time in the club's history in last week's 26-0 loss to Melbourne - and they back up with another home game against the defensive benchmarks of the competition.

Dugan returned from a six-week layoff for an ankle injury against the Storm, and while he showed glimpses of the sort of form which earned him a NSW State of Origin jumper, Furner is hoping for more against the Dragons.

"He looks a lot sharper than last week and that's a big factor because I think we missed a couple of opportunities against Melbourne," Furner said.

"I think Dugs will be a lot better for it.

"I'm excited about what Dugs is going to bring tomorrow night."

That will be the last thing the Dragons will want to hear as they search for their first win in the nation's capital since the year Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic Flame at the Sydney Olympics.

The eight-game losing streak in Canberra is one of the NRL's great anomalies given the Dragons have only missed the finals twice in the 10 campaigns since that last win there.

Raiders captain Alan Tongue said his side could not afford to count on history getting them over the line.

"We hadn't beaten the Roosters up at the SFS in 16 seasons or something like that (until four weeks ago) so at the end of the day it's only a stat and it can be broken and we showed that this year," Tongue said.

"What we do know is they they're going to turn up with a pretty committed performance and it's going to take an effort close to your best to beat them.

"We understand where we're at."

While the threat of Dugan, Josh McCrone and rookie Sam Williams looms large, the Dragons know they will have to come up with a better effort up front if they are to get the win.

"The last few games their forwards have stepped up and we probably haven't matched them - we'll be looking forward to making up for that," Dragons lock Matt Prior said.

"All their forwards are really big, they're all really hard to tackle and bring down.

"It's pretty draining on the body throughout the game trying to bring down all those big boys."

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