St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Matt Dufty needs to work on his defence during his stint in the Canterbury Cup NSW if he is to have any chance of breaking back into the NRL team, according to True Blue Jamie Soward.
Dufty paid the price for the Dragons four-match losing streak after being omitted from the squad with young gun Zac Lomax taking his spot. The Dragons No.1 was subsequently named in the Canterbury Cup NSW team to face the Newtown Jets in Wollongong on Sunday.
Dufty has provided moments of attacking brilliance this season, most notably his brilliant solo try against the Sydney Roosters at the SCG on Anzac Day, but he struggled in defence during the heavy loss to the Newcastle Knights after missing four tackles while another two were ineffective.
“The Dragons are like the Panthers,” Soward told nswrl.com.au.
“They’ve really struggled to find back three consistency this year, Matt Dufty as well.
“Zac Lomax going into that preferred spot and we’ve all heard the raps on him. Hopefully he’ll be able to settle into that position and play a full 80 minutes. I think it’s bene frustrating for him and Euan Aitken being off the bench one week and only playing 50 minutes.
“Matt Dufty needs to go down and work on some things, defensively as well, and then try and get back in that squad but Zac Lomax huge chance this week.
Soward also said the addition of Dufty to the Dragons line-up in the Canterbury Cup NSW should ensure they have too much firepower for the Jets on Sunday.
“I think the Jets last week while they had a big week were disappointing in some of their defensive errors towards the back end of that game,” Soward said.
“The Dragons will go with plenty of confidence, they’re rolling.
“Darren Nicholls has had a couple of games under his belt since coming back from injury so I expect the Dragons to go and do a job on Newtown.”