Dugan confident of facing Kiwis after head knock
RUGBY LEAGUE: Kangaroos centre Josh Dugan reckons he will be fighting fit to go into battle against New Zealand on Sunday (AEST).
The Dragon suffered concussion during Australia's convincing 54-12 Four Nations win over Scotland in Hull after colliding with opposing front-rower Luke Douglas early in the second half.
"I woke up feeling pretty good,” he told reporters yesterday. "I passed all the tests last night. It was just my balance that was still a bit iffy, that's why I didn't come back on.
"I've got to do another CogSport test during the week but if I pass that I'll be right to go.”
After Australia saw off the Scottish with ease in the first ever Test between the two countries, Dugan is keen to get stuck into the Kiwis, who secured a thrilling 17-16 win over England yesterday.
He is expecting a tougher hitout at Coventry's Ricoh Arena but is backing his defence to do the job again after the 26-6 win over their trans-Tasman rivals in Perth earlier this month.
"We played pretty well in Perth and I think we won that on the back of our defence,” he said.
"Last night again, (there were) a couple of tries against the grain but I thought other than that we defended pretty well again.”
The winner of Sunday's clash will be assured of a spot in the final in Liverpool on November 20.
Having been rested from the clash with Scotland, Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Greg Inglis, Boyd Cordner and Matt Gillett are all expected to return to the side.
It will create selection headaches for Mal Meninga and his coaching staff with debutants such as Jake Trbojevic starring alongside man-of-the-match Matt Moylan.