[close]

Dufty's sizzling feet have Dragons firing

St George Illawarra's Matt Dufty is the smallest fullback in the NRL but he says that's balanced out by his speed.

Dufty's sizzling feet have Dragons firing

St George Illawarra's Matt Dufty is the smallest fullback in the NRL but he says that's balanced out by his speed.

MATTHEW DUFTY of the Dragons takes on the defence during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba, Australia.
MATTHEW DUFTY of the Dragons takes on the defence during the NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba, Australia. Picture:Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

He's the NRL's smallest fullback but St George Illawarra's Matt Dufty has proven that bigger isn't always better.

After six rounds, the 83kg dynamo has been one of the impetuses behind the Dragons' unbeaten start.


He is second on the league's try-scoring list with six, behind Warriors winger David Fusitua (eight).

During the pre-season, some questioned the strike power of the Dragons' outside backs but Dufty, along with NSW hopeful Euan Aitken and in-form winger Nene MacDonald, have forced their doubters to eat humble pie.

Dufty grew up playing OzTag and touch football and has always been blessed with speed, footwork and acceleration.

But in the NRL it's not uncommon for an outside back - such as his predecessor Josh Dugan - to tip the scales at over 100kg.

He said his speed was something he prided himself on and watched his fellow speed machines closely to compare himself.

He was, however, coy on whether he was the fastest in the NRL.

"I'm not going to run over people," Dufty said.

"It's obviously my main asset in my game. I've got to run around them.

"I don't know whether I'm No.1 but speed is definitely my strength and I've got to play to it as much as I can. It's been working for the moment."

Two years ago the Dragons were the third worst team in the league in attack but under coach Paul McGregor, they're now one of the most lethal.

They've crossed for 30 tries in 2018 - seven more than their nearest rivals.

The top-of-the-table Dragons have also racked up 194 points, which is 52 more than Manly and the Warriors, who they face this weekend in a Mt Smart blockbuster.

Dufty said competition was fierce amongst his teammates to top the try-scoring list and was surprised to find himself out in front of Aitken (five) and MacDonald (four).

"I scored on the weekend and Nene came up to me and said 's*** you're winning' and it didn't really click until then," Dufty said.

"I thought that was pretty funny.

"Our backline's on fire, I've got to put it down to the forwards, they're really tearing packs apart and it's really helping us edges."

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories