Benji, Dugan cleared to play Broncos

RUGBY LEAGUE

Benji Marshall

Benji Marshall

Star Dragons pair Benji Marshall and Josh Dugan have been cleared of serious damage to their respective injured ankles, with both named in coach Paul McGregor's side for Friday's must-win match against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Marshall left the field in the 56th minute of the Dragons's 34-6 victory over the Titans after injuring his right ankle just after half-time, while Dugan also failed to finish the match after injuring his left ankle late in the game.

Dragons performance director Andrew Gray said both players would be monitored through the week and given until kick-off to prove their fitness after scans on Monday cleared them of serious damage.

Dugan was confident on Tuesday that he won't be forced to miss the must-win clash.

"The scans were inconclusive which means it's basically positive for me and I'll be right to play on Friday," Dugan said.

"It was actually more of a shin injury, so it's just a matter of managing it through the week.

"It'll be up to the medical staff to decide whether they keep me off my feet until Friday or whether I'll just do the captain's run [on Thursday]."

The Dragons have a dismal record against Brisbane with just one win in their past 10 matches, with six of the losses coming at Suncorp Stadium.

They sit level with the Broncos on 26 competition points but, despite racking up 34 points in consecutive weeks, their dismal for and against at -21 will likely be a factor when the numbers are crunched at the end of the season.

Dugan said the Dragons were aware that they must not only win their final two matches, but win them big.

"For and against is going to be a big factor in making the eight if we win our next two games, so we're definitely going to be looking to win games and win them comfortably," Dugan said.

"They [Brisbane] had a good win against Newcastle last week, so we've got our work cut out for us but the boys are coming into it with some confidence and I think we can handle it."

Dugan was frank when asked if the match was season-defining.

"Yeah, I think so. We had a few tight games with top-four sides but our last few games have been against teams out of the eight," Dugan said.

"The Broncos are still fighting for a spot in the eight, so it'll be our season or Brisbane's season and that gives us that extra motivation."

With the Illawarra Cutters enjoying a final-round bye in the NSW Cup, McGregor has also added forwards Nathan Green, Bronson Harrison and Jack Stockwell to the 17 that beat the Titans, as part of a 20-man travelling squad.

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