Dugan rallies behind injured Mann
Josh Dugan has backed new Dragon Kurt Mann to bounce back from his horror first fortnight at the club.
An ankle injury to Mann has forced Dugan back to his recognised fullback position from his favoured spot in the centres, the ex-Storm utility not dropped to reserve grade as was initially thought.
Against the Sharks Mann produced four errors in the Dragons' 28-point loss, with his teammates, including Dugan, quick to show their support for the 23-year-old.
"I've helped him as much as I could over the pre-season. He played well against the Warriors in the trial and I don't think he played too badly against Melbourne, but last week was just one of those games," Dugan said.
"Everyone has those games where nothing sticks. People are quick to forget that he hasn't played fullback since his junior days, it's a new position for him nearly. He's under a lot of pressure being under the spotlight there at a new club.
"He had a bit of a shocker but I'm expecting him to come back bigger and better. We all rallied around him after the game because he was pretty devastated.
"He thought he'd let the team down. It's good to see how much he cares about the team and we all just said to him it was just one of those days."
Dugan went on to add he's a certain starter to play the Rabbitohs at the Sydney Cricket Ground this Sunday, after leaving proceedings midway through the second half against the Sharks.
"I got scans on Monday and they came back negative. It was just a strain more than anything. I was probably lucky the physio did drag me off though," Dugan said.
"I was telling him to leave me alone out there but he looked after me. Once I was off, it started to cool down and it wouldn't have been a good idea to go back out."
Not expecting much to change in the spine Dugan was happy to return to fullback for the sake of the team, but maintained his current playing preference is in the centres.
"I'm definitely happy to shift back for the sake of the team but I'm definitely disappointed about it. I felt like I was just starting to get into the groove of the centres," Dugan said.
"It is disappointing in that sense but at the same time this is the best thing for the team at the moment with Kurt being out. It's forced Mary's hand."