Pub lunch a real blue

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - DEAN RITCHIE

NSW cen­tre Josh Du­gan has con­ceded a boozy ses­sion in Len­nox Head five days be­fore State of Ori­gin III was an “er­ror in judg­ment”.

How­ever, he has claimed he “didn’t go over­board or mis­be­have” de­spite drink­ing with Blues team­mate Blake Ferguson for six hours.

“Seems we’ve been made scape­goats,” Du­gan stressed.

He has also said he was con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion against Ray Hadley af­ter the 2GB com­men­ta­tor al­leged Du­gan and Ferguson had been too hung- over to com­plete their me­dia com­mit­ments on the Tues­day at the start of the Blues’ Ori­gin II train­ing camp.

The Daily Tele­graph re­vealed Du­gan and Ferguson were drink­ing at Len­nox Point Ho­tel on the Fri­day be­fore Game Three – a day off for play­ers. Via text mes­sage, Du­gan told the Tele­graph yes­ter­day: “Mate, what I’ve said is the truth. Went for lunch and a few beers. Never missed any me­dia com­mit­ments and we were home at a re­spectable hour along with turn­ing up re­spectable to train­ing.

“Prob­a­bly an er­ror in judg­ment but we didn’t go over­board or mis­be­have ... as the pub man­agers have al­ready said. Seems we’ve been made the scape­goats.” the

Du­gan ex­plained why he and Ferguson trav­elled 80km from the team base in Kingscliff to Len­nox Head.

“We also went to Len­nox be­cause we have two good mates who live there,” he said.

“Didn’t sneak off at all. Got there at 2- 2.30 and left af­ter the joker draw at 7.30- 8.”

Hadley claimed on air yes­ter­day that Du­gan and Ferguson were also out drink­ing to­gether af­ter a team dinner in Syd­ney be­fore Game Two.

Du­gan de­nied the al­le­ga­tion, say­ing: “I’m cur­rently ex­plor­ing av­enues to get a re­trac­tion of com­ments from Ray Hadley as none of what he has said is true. If he doesn’t I’m ex­plor­ing defama­tion.”

NSWRL chief ex­ec­u­tive David Trod­den has launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the drama.

For­mer NSW skip­per Paul Gallen ques­tioned the duo’s ac­tions.

“Af­ter a game, af­ter a hard week of train­ing, you go out and have a win, you’ve got a long, seven- day turn­around, I’m happy to have a drink,” Gallen told Sky Sports Ra­dio.

“But when you’re pre­par­ing for a game of footy … I just don’t do it.

“I think a lot of it comes back to in­di­vid­ual prepa­ra­tion and how well you want to pre­pare for a game and how much this game means for you.”

Sim­ply tip the win­ning teams and you win the jack­pot!

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