Dufty wants more than his name in lights

Aug 29, 2017 - 5:32 PM Matt Dufty is preparing for the biggest game of his rugby league career.

But on Tuesday afternoon, as the rest of the NRL peered down St George Illawarra's team sheet to see if Josh Dugan would return, Dufty was just happy to see his own name on paper.

"Every week the team list comes out and I see my name and I'm over the moon again," he admitted.

It's hard to blame him really.

An under-20s prodigy who scored 54 tries in 65 Holden Cup games, Dufty was forced to wait it out in reserve grade for the past year while a future opportunity seemed like a given.

It was always just a matter of when.

His chance finally came in round 20 against Manly, and he instantly showed he belonged. Two try assists and one four-pointer of his own went with the 13 tackles he busted.

A star was born, and he's now admitted he is starting to dream of playing on the grand stage of finals football within his first 10 NRL games.

"That would be pretty special," he said.

"I didn't really think about it when I first played and now it's getting closer and more of a reality it would be pretty nervous, but I would love to step out there and play."

To do that though, the equation is simple.

A win over Canterbury on Sunday will all but certainly book the Dragons a playoffs spot.

The only problem? Dufty's crew of older teammates have only beaten the Bulldogs once in their past 11 attempts.

The 21-year-old has already pulled on a NSW jersey in junior age groups, and twice played in under-20s preliminary finals for the Dragons.

But he has no doubt where Sunday's game ranked in terms of his career as the Saints look to break into the eight.

"Pretty much (the biggest) - it's a do-or-die game," he said.

"All the boys and coaching staff know that and I think we all have our mind on the job and know what we've got to do.

"It's our season on the line, so it's pretty much a semi in a way. Hopefully Doggies are looking forward to Mad Monday."

Source: AAP

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