Saturday 11 May 2013

NRL 2013: Why Canberra set Dugan up to succeed at the Dragons #Setof6 | Round 9 #NRLTweetPOTY Votes

1st TACKLE: Dugan is a Dragon... and how the Raiders made this happen
Round 9 News and Views and @NRLTweet Player of the Year Votes

2013 NRL Premiership

By W D Nicolson - May 11, 2013

If it wasn't for the Raiders... would Dugan be a Dragon?
This is a regular feature on - every week we will post a Set of 6 Tackles that form a Complete Set by the end of the Round. It also features Votes from Round 9 of The @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards. Let us know what you think of each topic via @NRLTweet

ROUND 9 SET OF 6: Rest of the 9th Complete Set is published Monday and Tuesday |

1st Tackle
Are the Dragons on a winner with Dugan?


Despite their coach not wanting to know what was on the former Canberra fullback's 'history' (don't use rap sheet people or the 'Red V defenders' will misunderstand what facing charges in court means) the St George Illawarra Dragons really have very little to lose by signing Josh Dugan to a contract.

And they've got the Canberra Raiders to thank for this.

Without the way the Raiders kept Dugan in his own reality, the Dragons and Dugan would not be in a position where both parties could be big winners from their union.

You could fill paragraph upon paragraph with a detailed explanation of how we got here but let's be brief:
  • If Canberra hadn't kept overlooking what Dugan was doing off the field since he came to the club in the mid-2000s, he might have got the message on what or wasn't acceptable to maintain your position as a first grade footballer.
  • When the Raiders and coach David Furner had finally had enough - the pineapple cruisers on the roof incident and subsequent failure to front up to training the next day or be in contact with the club to explain himself for days - Dugan lost his contract worth (allegedly) over half a million dollars a season and found himself without a job...
But not for long.
  • First the Brisbane Broncos wanted him (then withdrew their offer the moment he showed he had learnt very little in a social media exchange with a Canberra fan) and although the Dragons wanted him as well - he chose the Broncos.
  • But with the Broncos' offer off the table, the Dragons spent the next few weeks trying to convince Dugan that taking their offer would be a wise idea... because for them - adding Dugan to their team wasn't really a risk.

Well given Canberra failed to show the necessary backbone to convince Dugan that his spot in the NRL wasn't bulletproof right up until the time he gave them no choice - the Dragons can now look decisive by cutting Dugan at any time should he stray off course.

In effect - Canberra have given St George Illawarra a free 'out' from this commitment at any point they wish and that's why signing him makes sense and why Canberra are partly to blame for this situation having the potential to come back and bite them (but by no means are they the only club guilty of this).

And as for Dugan - if he performs on the field then he makes the St George Illawarra brass look like geniuses and gives himself a new lease of life as a NRL player. And thanks to the Raiders, he's got this opportunity because he finally decided to stick it to his former coach... forcing Canberra's hand when it should've been forced long beforehand (again they are not alone in club land).

@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 9
Votes from Round 9 so far are below.

The Red V faithful (the sane ones) aren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth like Dugan with their team looking nothing like a contender in 2013 - so it is another public relations coup (as have been their other signings for 2014 and the speculation over who they are linked to) to get a high profile name like Dugan, especially for the rest of this season.

And that PR boost doubles in strength, especially now the club can play the 'we won't tolerate ill-discipline' card should Dugan stuff up while on their roster.

Admittedly, Price saying he hasn't been made aware of the extent of Dugan's indiscretions is a bit concerning but the flip side of that is if Dugan stuffs up - Price can plead ignorance and cut him the first chance he gets, again looking strong and decisive as a club, particularly as the head of the team culture.

Which really makes St George Illawarra's signing of Dugan for the rest of 2013 a very astute move.

Now imagine if Dugan actually gets the message that he needs to take this opportunity with both hands and performs like everyone knows he can?

Kind of exciting times for the Red V faithful... nutjobs aside.

Do you think the Dragons have done as well as suggested above? Do you think Canberra made this rod for their own back?
Please comment below or reply on Twitter.

The rest of the Round 9 Set of Six will be on on Monday and Tuesday.

Round 9 - Six points that emerged from a four day footy week.
A tip of the hat to the SMH's 'Set of 6' and Andy Wilson's 'Set of 6' for the name, as Complete Set just doesn't roll off the tongue quite as well, and we'll call it flattery that you've already used it.
Warrick D. Nicolson
@NRLTweet Player of the Year Award
Round 9Votes

As regular readers of and followers of @NRLTweet know - we run The @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards each season (starting in 2010) and they return once again for 2013 with another group of excellent Rugby League judges.

You can follow the Votes live after each game via this Hashtag #NRLTweetPOTY

One of the reasons we set this up is the Dally M Award lacks the kind of objectivity that a true player of the year award really should have, and while we aren't claiming our system is perfect - it is judged on what happens on the field with reputations and bias left by the wayside.

This is how the votes were handed out for Round 9.
@NRLTweet Player of the Year - Round 9 Voting
SOU 28-10 NQL
6 - G Burgess S Burgess, 1 - J Thurston J Sutton.
Voters | W Nicolson and B Hoese |
WTG 6-30 CRO
8 - x
Voters | B Jones and M Spillane |
Voters | J Davies and A McMurray |
Voters | M Duncan and M Tsialis |
Voters | G Delaney and B Jones |
Voters | M Trodden and M Vickers |
Voters | A McMurray and M Trodden |
Voters | M Spillane and W Nicolson |

 Round 8 Leaderboard: (Update for Rd 9 added Monday)
31 Votes - Cooper Cronk, MEL
26 Votes - Shaun Johnson, WAR
25 Votes - Johnathan Thurston, NQL
23 Votes - Billy Slater, MEL
22 Votes - Sonny Bill Williams, SYD
21 Votes - Greg Inglis, SOU
21 Votes - Trent Merrin, STI
20 Votes - Adam Reynolds, SOU

You can follow the Votes live after each game via this Hashtag #NRLTweetPOTY

Share your thoughts on the footy so far by commenting below or replying on Twitter.

The NRL Injury List is updated regularly during each week of the season, making it an invaluable Fantasy and Tipping Tool alongside our Weekly NRL Previews once again.

Remember if you want game-specific Late Mail every week, then check out our Round Previews Every Wednesday and they are updated with all the very latest Late Mail on Friday.

If we are missing any players on this list - please comment below, reply on Twitter or email this address.
Who will take Ben Barba's mantle as champion in the 2013 @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards?

The Prestigious Award returns for a 4th season in 2013.

Remember you can track all the votes each week after each match in 2013 via the Twitter hashtag #nrltweetpoty