A knee injury to Josh Dugan may have cast a cloud on the Charity Shield for St George Illawarra but all coach Paul McGregor could see was the silver lining heading into the NRL season proper.

The Dragons drew 12-all with South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night after the NRL champions worked their way back into the pre-season fixture with two second-half tries.

Dugan will undergo scans on Monday after hyperextending his knee early in the second half while trying to collect a Rabbitohs' grubber.

The NSW outside back was reportedly upbeat about his chances of being on the plane on Tuesday when the team travels to England for the World Club Series, where they will play Warrington.


McGregor said the signs were positive after Dugan tried to play on with the injury but they'll remain cautious until they receive a full diagnosis.

Much of the Dragons' fate this year will rest with playmakers Benji Marshall and Gareth Widdop, who both looked sharp in the Charity Shield, and Dugan.

The Dragons will be hoping it is not a case of lightning striking twice after Dugan went down with a knee injury in the corresponding game last year and went on to miss the first four games of the season.

However in McGregor's mind, the Dragons' hopes will not live and die with Dugan.

He said the most pleasing feature of the result was the way the undermanned Dragons pack - missing four props - held their own against the reigning premiers.

With NSW Origin representative Trent Merrin rested for the match, they suffered a pair of blows on the eve of the game when Jack de Belin was hospitalised with a stomach virus and Mike Cooper pulled out after his wife gave birth.

While the Dragons' forward pack was oft-criticised last year, McGregor said he was encouraged by the way his team won the battle for field position.

"Anytime you play Souths you know you're in for a very tough outing," he said.


"I thought field position-wise, we won that ... We dominated that area and it's just disappointing that we were 12-nil up and at times we could have been better in that last 10 minutes.

"We tried to play a bit too much footy and came up with some errors.

"If you get beaten in a trial on effort, you've got some problems and we certainly didn't get beaten tonight on effort.