Infotainment Factory: Dugan's perfect response to Tallis 'crap'

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Thursday, 25 July 2019

Dugan's perfect response to Tallis 'crap'


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Judging by Josh Dugan's form early against the Cowboys, the under fire Sharks star seemed a long way from silencing the doubters.

The former Origin star was called out by Maroons great Gorden Tallis last week when he suffered a hamstring injury against the Melbourne Storm. Tallis questioned Dugan's desire and said it was "sad watching him" during his tenure at the Sharks.

The comments perhaps weighed on Dugan's mind early as he struggled filling in for injured fullback Matt Moylan. The odds were stacked against the former NSW star with Sharks fans booing him after coming up with a crucial drop which led to the Cowboys' opening try.

And he almost cost his side another when he had an air swing at a Jake Clifford grubber.

However, the Sharks star wasn't put off by his shaky opening and was instrumental in helping his side come back from 14-4 down to break a five-game losing streak, with the help of fellow under fire star Shaun Johnson.

Despite everything going wrong for him, Dugan relied on sheer will to rack up 207 metres, busting six tackles and making two linebreaks before scoring a match-defining try.

After scoring the four-pointer, Dugan turned to the camera as he walked back to his side of the field and put his index-finger to his lips to "shoosh" his latest critic.

NSW coach and Nine commentator Brad Fittler broached the topic with Dugan in the sheds after the game.

"Who you shooshing mate?" Fittler asked.

"Just a bloke who thinks I should retire," Dugan responded with a wry smile.

https://twitter.com/Josh_Dugan/status/1154392628789518337?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"I think I've still got a little bit left in me but I wasn't too worried about those comments, to me that's nothing.

"I missed two games all year and I feel like I've still got a bit to give to the team and that's what I wanted to do tonight. You know I had that early error but I bounced back pretty well."

In an interview with ABC Grandstand, Dugan added: “Talk of retirement’s a load of crap, I’ve missed two games all year. I wanted to come out and prove that I’ve still got it and still hanging with the best.”

Yet Tallis hardly seemed impressed by Dugan's strong performance and doubled down on his criticism after the match.

Tallis pointed to a moment earlier in the game when Dugan went down after a collision with North Queensland's Gavin Cooper. Fans on social media slammed Dugan for staying down after the initial contact, giving Tallis all the ammunition he needed.

“I thought Gavin Cooper nearly broke his neck there at one stage, poor bugger,” Tallis said. “He was laying down and one of his own fans yelled at him to get up. Poor Duges..."

Regardless of the outside noise, Cronulla coach Josh Morris was stoked to get a win under his belt after a disastrous stretch, which saw them drop out of the top eight. And Dugan's impact wasn't lost on the rookie coach either.

"He was in everything, he was cleaning up kicks, he took some whacks around the head," Morris said.

"He went into the game with a bit of an injury cloud with a hamstring and we were worried about playing him at fullback.

"He scored a crucial try for us, took a few good catches at the back under pressure and ended the game with over 200 metres as well."

Judging by Josh Dugan's form early against the Cowboys, the under fire Sharks star seemed a long way from silencing the doubters.

The former Origin star was called out by Maroons great Gorden Tallis last week when he suffered a hamstring injury against the Melbourne Storm. Tallis questioned Dugan's desire and said it was "sad watching him" during his tenure at the Sharks.

The comments perhaps weighed on Dugan's mind early as he struggled filling in for injured fullback Matt Moylan. The odds were stacked against the former NSW star with Sharks fans booing him after coming up with a crucial drop which led to the Cowboys' opening try.

And he almost cost his side another when he had an air swing at a Jake Clifford grubber.

However, the Sharks star wasn't put off by his shaky opening and was instrumental in helping his side come back from 14-4 down to break a five-game losing streak, with the help of fellow under fire star Shaun Johnson.

Despite everything going wrong for him, Dugan relied on sheer will to rack up 207 metres, busting six tackles and making two linebreaks before scoring a match-defining try.

After scoring the four-pointer, Dugan turned to the camera as he walked back to his side of the field and put his index-finger to his lips to "shoosh" his latest critic.

NSW coach and Nine commentator Brad Fittler broached the topic with Dugan in the sheds after the game.

"Who you shooshing mate?" Fittler asked.

"Just a bloke who thinks I should retire," Dugan responded with a wry smile.

https://twitter.com/Josh_Dugan/status/1154392628789518337?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"I think I've still got a little bit left in me but I wasn't too worried about those comments, to me that's nothing.

"I missed two games all year and I feel like I've still got a bit to give to the team and that's what I wanted to do tonight. You know I had that early error but I bounced back pretty well."

In an interview with ABC Grandstand, Dugan added: “Talk of retirement’s a load of crap, I’ve missed two games all year. I wanted to come out and prove that I’ve still got it and still hanging with the best.”

Yet Tallis hardly seemed impressed by Dugan's strong performance and doubled down on his criticism after the match.

Tallis pointed to a moment earlier in the game when Dugan went down after a collision with North Queensland's Gavin Cooper. Fans on social media slammed Dugan for staying down after the initial contact, giving Tallis all the ammunition he needed.

“I thought Gavin Cooper nearly broke his neck there at one stage, poor bugger,” Tallis said. “He was laying down and one of his own fans yelled at him to get up. Poor Duges..."

Regardless of the outside noise, Cronulla coach Josh Morris was stoked to get a win under his belt after a disastrous stretch, which saw them drop out of the top eight. And Dugan's impact wasn't lost on the rookie coach either.

"He was in everything, he was cleaning up kicks, he took some whacks around the head," Morris said.

"He went into the game with a bit of an injury cloud with a hamstring and we were worried about playing him at fullback.

"He scored a crucial try for us, took a few good catches at the back under pressure and ended the game with over 200 metres as well."

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