DRAGONS centre Tim Lafai is excited by the prospect of a backline featuring both Josh Dugan and livewire rookie Matt Dufty after the latter produced a stunning debut against Manly last week.
Dugan, still nursing the rigours of another Origin series, was absent from the clash with a hamstring injury opening the door for 21-year-old Dufty’s first NRL start.
He made the most of it with two try assists and a try to go with 194 running metres. It was enough for him to retain the No. 1 jumper for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle with Dugan returning in the centres to cover for the injured Euan Aitken.
Lafai, who is the club leader for linebreaks this season, said the shift makes the already potent Dragons backline even more formidable.
“Matt Dufty had an awesome game last week,” Lafai said.
“I thought it was the most perfect debut any kid can ask for, scoring a try and enjoying it out there in front of his home fans. He brings a lot to the team and that’s the reason he’s got that position.
He’s a great ball-player, he’s got great speed and his decision making is good so he’s got all the right things you need in a fullback.
“It’s awesome to have big Duges back as well and him playing in the centres will definitely give the team a boost. He’s obviously been playing there in Origin and for Australia and he’s excited to be back in the team.”
Lafai said it was good to blow off some attacking cobwebs with a 52-point performance.
It was a good team effort out there and one that we needed coming off two losses. It’s good for momentum going into this week,” he said.