THE NRL season has only reached the halfway point but Dragons fullback Matt Dufty has already achieved one of his pre-season objectives having not missed a minute of the season thus far.
The livewire fullback played the last seven games of 2017 after making his debut in round 20 in Wollongong in a 30-0 win over Manly.
It left him odds on to wear the jersey on a full-time basis this year and, as he prepares to make his 13th top-grade appearance of the season against Canterbury on Monday, the 22-year-old said he’s feeling good in the middle of his first full NRL campaign.
“It was my goal coming into the start of the year to play more than half the games and I’ve done that now so I obviously want to keep that spot,” Dufty said.
“The body’s feeling all right, it gets pretty sore after the games but that’s part of the job and I’m loving it.”
The Dragons squad not involved in Origin have enjoyed a 16-day turnaround heading into the clash with the Bulldogs, leaving Dufty confident they’ll be at their best.
“We had eight days off which was a well deserved break I thought,” Dufty said.
“All the boys got away and spent time with their families and relaxed which is what you need halfway through the season.
“There was a patch there where we went straight from the Warriors [in New Zealand] straight into an Anzac Day game on the Wednesday among other things so there was definitely some wear and tear on the body. The boys definitely deserved the break and we’re all back ready to rip and tear for Monday.”