St George Illawarra fullback Josh Dugan suffered a knee injury, two weeks out from the start of the NRL season, as Dragons fell to a 38-20 Charity Shield rugby league thumping by a John Sutton- inspired South Sydney at WIN Stadium.
Dugan came off after giant Souths forward George Burgess fell on his knee in scoring the Rabbitohs’ seventh and final try of Saturday’s game, just before the hour.
It’s believed he suffered a medial ligament injury and is expected to have a scan to determine the extent of the damage.
There was also a scare for opposing fullback Greg Inglis, who came off two minutes into the second half following a head clash with Dragons’ forward Dan Hunt.
A team official spent several minutes checking a groggy looking Inglis on the sideline, but it’s not believed to be a serious knock, while five-eighth Dylan Walker appeared to have aggravated a hamstring niggle.
Sutton, who had been earmarked to play at lock this season, stepped into halfback due to injuries to Luke Keary and Adam Reynolds.
He tore the Dragons apart with a sublime display of playmaking and was heavily involved in several tries.
The Rabbitohs led 12-0 after 12 minutes and piled on 26 unanswered points either side of the break to lead 38-4.
The Dragons reduced the margin and salvaged a sliver of respectability with the last three tries, two of them to Peter Mata’utia and one to Adam Quinlan.
Elsewhere, in-demand NSW and Australian prop Andrew Fifita raised his asking price with a typically barnstorming display in Cronulla’s 28-22 trial loss to Wests Tigers on Saturday night.
Fifita, who is off contract at the end of the season and reportedly in the sights of NRL rivals South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters, reminded everyone why he’s the game’s most prized signature by the Sharks’ first try with a trademark fend of Adam Blair.
He also had a second try denied for offside, and laid on a try for Sam Tagataese with a right-handed flick pass in a 65 minute effort.