Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by Dragonforlife, Aug 30, 2017.
Lomax’s preferred position is fullback.
Is that what he said or did he say is number 1 preference is to play first grade. I am on the record asying that I believe Lomax is our long term fullback. Right now I just hope he can win selection at right centre and if he has to be selected on the wing, then let it be the left wing outside Lafai.
I have just finished seeing some Dragons games on Fox, must be Dragons day on Fox today. I note that even in the first half of the season, when we were dominating the opposition forwards and winning games, our right edge was the main target by the opposition and most times, Aitken ran up in defence to cut of the opposition attack leaving Nightingale to defend on his pat Malone and space you could dirve a semi trailer through.
Selection of Aitken at right centre is madness.
Firstly, we all have no idea what McGregor is thinking re our backline and we can speculate 'till the cows come home.
Secondly, Nth Qld will go all out to secure Alex Johnson as their preferred fullback option unless one of the youngsters shines through in 2019.
If Bennett wants to keep Alex, there is no way the Cowboys will get him however, if Dufty wants out I see the Dragons letting him go mainly because they have Widdop/Norman this year, do not want to pay Dufty his asking price and have a whole season to identify someone from within or recruit externally. Our need for Dufty is not as urgent as that of the Cowboys.
Dufty on the outer at Dragons?
In a period of speculation before the Dragons signed Corey Norman and Gareth Widdop announced his 2020 departure to England, Matt Dufty is reported to have said in November that the Dragons’ staff had assured him he had the fullback spot locked down for the 2019 season.
Those assurances now appear to have been premature at best and Dufty’s current position at the Dragons remains unclear.
In 2018 Dufty’s speed in attack from fullback earned him a permanent position in the starting team in the season apart from one bench start in Round 24. With 26 appearances in all, injuries appeared to elude him and his attacking statistics were good, scoring 13 tries with nine line breaks and 16 tackle breaks.
Defence, however, is perceived by many as not being his forte and statistics this regard do not lie with only 109 tackles and vitally 39 missed tackles with a tackle efficiency of only 70.3%.
Dufty is signed with the Dragons until the end of 2019, but it is believed to not be a big-money contract and already the Cowboys and Sharks are rumoured to be interested in his services in 2019. The Dragons have been trying to get him to sign an extension of his contract until the end of 2021 as they see him as a long-term player, but Dufty has yet to commit and other clubs are still circling.
At this stage with 5/8 Widdop likely to move to fullback and Corey Norman the likely new 5/8, Dufty is left with no assurances that he will be playing NRL on a regular basis in 2019. Barring injury the only starting position likely to be available is on the wing, and if not that then Dufty may be considered as a bench back or he is back in ISP.
Dufty is believed to be unhappy with the options available to him and given past assurances which have proven false is believed unlikely to commit to a long-term contract with the Dragons at this stage.
With the trial matches fast approaching, and no announcement from coach Paul McGregor as to Dufty’s position there is a possibility that Dufty may sign a post-2019 deal with another club and then hope for an early release from his Dragons contract.
Personally, I cannot see Dufty simply spending the year in ISP in the hope or even on any assurances that the Dragons’ fullback position is his after Widdop’s departure in 2020.
This leaves Dragons coach Paul McGregor with either having to find Dufty an acceptable NRL position or it may be a case of the old saying that you cannot make a cake without breaking a few eggs, with Dufty being one of those eggs.
Does anyone on here believe that Mary would be looking to replace Dufty at fullback if Dufty has improved on his defence and positional play during the off-season. For goodness sakes, Mary is a conservative coach without a brain. He just sticks with players no matter what - take Aitken and Lafai as examples.
I'd say no official at the Dragons have said that the fullback position is Dufty's. It is more likely that they have said that Dufty's place in the top 30 squad is secure for 2019.
If Dufty moves on it will be Field who fills the void and if he performs well, and there are no better options available, Field will be our first grade fullback for 2020.
This reminds me very much of the Dugan mess. Dragon official's communications and their ability to speak frankly and honestly with players seems to be in need of improvement. Dufty should have been told he has time in ISP to improve during the 2019 season. That he would be first choice replacement for the fullback position and that if he addresses and improves on his skill shortages, he will get a long term contract from the Dragons. He deserves no more and no less.
The answer to your 1st question. No.
Paragraph 2...Probably but so they should, no one should be guaranteed a position
Paragraph 3...Field is a worser version of Dufty for fullback..backward step
Paragraph 4...We wont cause he will be snapped up by another club by the time we try your method. Roosters are 1 club that can get away with dropping a star like Mitchell (why would you want to leave a club of endless money) but that was also for disciplinary issues from training as well as perceived form on field.
Clubs know what Dufty brings in attack and will back themselves to fix whatever is needed..if we dont
The media hype and vision around him killing it playing in ISP will be the story of the 1st few rounds based on your method...and then the contract negotiations saga...will he or wont he go here there and everywhere. Who is going to sign him.etc etc
Regardless of what Dufty might achieve playing ISP (if that is his destiny this year) none of it will / should count towards a contract as ISP form is not a proper indicator of what a player might deliver in 1st grade.
Only by playing 1st grade will the questions of any underlying deficiencies be resolved.
If he is not going to play 1st grade then he should be let go as in essence he will be playing 2nd fiddle to a bloke who would not get the fullback gig at any another top 8 club.
My last comment on this Matt Dufty thread.
Just think through that it appears the club and some posters on the forum want Matt D out of 1st grade. Then after another season in 2nd grade he will somehow be a much better player with all his perceived deficiencies vastly eradicated, now motivated in 2020 a new and better player. Boys and Gals that simply doesn’t make sense.
OT made a very sensible comment above. Playing 2nd grade after a 13 try breakout 2018 season of 1st grade will simply prove nothing. I don’t know if he is ‘a big head’ or arrogant or lazy know it all and therefore on the outer?
What I do know is that last season I saw that some of the 13 trys ( more than any other fullback I understand in the comp) are only capable of being scored by a handful of very talented players who not only see the opportunities but good luck to them; have been gifted blistering speed to achieve them.Matt Dufty’s long range trys also are not flukes. His intuition for opportunity and that blistering speed allows him to catch up and support when other players simply are not quick enough.BTW watching YouTube highlights he also sets up opportunities for others.
I do not think Matt is a ‘superstar’. That description belongs to Thurston/ Inglis/ Cam Smith. He is however an addition we have not seen at the Dragons for a long time and yet it seems quite a few Of the posters don’t think that much of him. Now it’s increasingly apparent that the club believes the team does need his type of contribution and a steadier stronger etc fullback is better overall. Good luck with that.
mat dufty will be very much a part of the team this year.. he may or may not play evry game, but he will have a role to play and dont worry about what he cant do, look at what he can do..
matt is a superstar in the makeing
It all comes down to professional attitude. Most professionals would be thoroughly ashamed of the performance against the Dogs and the Eels. This exhibition just highlighted other instances of poor defence and lack of confidence in taking the high ball. To a lesser extent being out of positions at key times in a game highlights another area of improvement that Dufty needs to address.
Dufty followed all this up in the off-season by demanding a 700k figure in a contract extension proposal. As a result SGI went for Hayne and then Norman with advice to Dufty that he will remain in the top 30 but needed to sort out some problems.
If Dufty did take that advice and worked on his problems during the off-season, then his position at fullback would not be at risk. If he arrogantly ignored that advice for any reason or has not yet managed to come up to standard, then he should realise a stint in ISP, where his deficiencies are less noticeable, is a good thing for his development. If he kills it in ISP as many say he will, then that is a formula for a great deal with his long term extension.
I have a young son - 11 years old - who plays rugby league for his local club and is usually selected to represent in district competitions. He is going through that stage where he is growing taller very quickly and as a result losing that solid shape. He was always the quickest in the team and the tallest which usually means selection in one of the wing spots however, because of his better than good passing and kicking game, he mostly was selected in the 6 jumper. Getting to the point, last season he dropped his head and was bitterly disapoionted when selected on the wing for round 1 until he felt the glory of scoring many more tries and receiving many pats on the back from his team mates.
I let him go through this process without much intervention. I gave him re-assurance that this move to the wing was good for his football development and as a result, he would have a better understanding of what wingers do during a game. I told him to look at this a an opportunity; who knows the versatility of being able to play a couple of positions may stand him in good stead for future rep selection.
This season he is still tall and slim but happy to return to training and looking forward to playing on the wing for the team.
Dufty's father only wants the best for his son however, Dufty himself would be better off with self development that results in him being the best he can be; a brilliant all round fullback with an un-matched turn of speed.
And here it is .. the underlying reason we havent managed to progress as a club since Bennett left. We are happy to overlook the deficiencies in players if they have just one redeeming quality.
Aitken is a strong runner - pick him - forget that he is defensively retarded and cannot set up his winger
Rein for 100+ games - strong from dummy half - forget that he has a sub standard passing game and is dumb as dogshit.
It is not the strengths in a player that opposition teams form a game plan to exploit, it is their weaknesses and dufty has plenty of them to exploit.
So far the only thing we have seen that dufty can do is exploit the broken defensive lines in bottom 8 teams .. That is not enough of a reason to suggest he will be anything other than a Quinlan/Reecey Simmons also ran.
The club needs to set its aim a little higher.
Agree with you WepnutV.
I was watching a replay of a Dragons day game on fox.
Newcastle dropped the ball in attack on our 20 meter line, Hunt picked it up and gave it Lomax. Lomax offloaded to Dufty burnt poor old Newcastle and scored. Later in the game, Dufty dropped a sitter.
The problem is to be competitive you need Defence and Attack. Out of the players you mentioned there was only one notable defender and he has left the Dragons to play for Newcastle.
We have Widdop for 2019 only. He has a turn of speed and is OK in defence.
We have two new big fast wingers who's defence is unknown to us at this stage however, I'm sure the coaching staff have a good idea about their defensive capabilities.
And then we have Lomax, possibly our best centre at the Club right now who's skill may not be displayed because of coaching staff incompetence.
Sorry to say that I still see the halves as being Norman and Hunt. Widdop at fullback will see the season out providing his shoulder is OK.
When it comes to Dufty and Field, they are two young players, who have blistering speed, a good pass but need to improve on their defensive technique.
In 2020 I see Dufty, Field and Lomax all in the running for the fullback position. It maybe our coach in 2020 can turn Dufty/Field into a winger by instructing them to move away from the sideline and select Lomax at right centre after Aitken again makes a mess of his opportunities in 2019.
Agree especially re need for speed Possm.
Field was needed in the semis as Xfactor as per Mary’s selection of him - and he must be in the 17 this year if that selection logic is still current.
Brought on earlier he could’ve won that semi for us.
And Dufty must start too - and given his chance to keep the spot that is legitimately his atm.
If it’s good enough for Waterboy to tell Pereira that his spot is his to lose, then that should also apply to Lomax, Dufty & Field - 3 gifted players who on that night almost had us home.
Aitken was sensibly out of that team, so I can’t see a problem with axing Lafai & inserting Norman, who could rotate between 5/8 & centre with Widdop.
Injuries may well resolve this backline logjam anyway, but we need Dufty if we’re to win this year.
Robson on bench & one of your 2 fast wingers Possm to Pereira’s wing if they surpass him in preseason & trials.
This is the point that most forget. ISP is a game that only represents a percentage of the defensive rigours of NRL. When watching the games, defense is often second string and rarely at the same standard. At this stage, putting Dufty back in ISP achieves nothing to improve his deficiencies. Skills wise he is more likely to improve in the NRL.
Your second point is probably more pertinent and would likely be more along the lines of why you may drop him back. Players need to have the right attitude and be in the right head space before they can perform adequately on the field within a team. Prime example is Lomax. I am lead to believe that for the first half of last season, he wasn't in the right head space to be able to make the transition to NRL. Skill set was good but just not quite there mentally. This could also be the case with Dufty - thrust into the position but just not quite prepared for a full season mentally or physically. He even stated that towards the end of the season he was feeling fatigued and didn't have it in his legs to see out the season on the same high he started with.
By the way, a $700k asking price is only speculation. I've heard that it was nowhere near that figure.
so many things i want to say ...
13 try breakout season - yes he had a full season and scored 13 tries. But still the rate he scored against full strength top 8 sides is down. He scored 2 tries against full strength top 8 sides. Round 5 vs Bunnies and the last try in the destruction of the broncos. His ability to exploit a broken/weakened defensive line is not in question .. The assumption that he will get that frequently though is unlikely.
Instincts - again, confusing speed with instinct is a massive miss. Quinlan had the better instinct but not the speed to go with it. The easiest measure on this is his line breaks off forwards. The vast majority of his line breaks are either self driven ie running around in a fractured line or set piece blocks plays of Widdop. The number of times blokes like Sims/Friz/DB were tackled at the line without support from him was massive. He knows where to be in a set piece but rarely is putting himself in the right position otherwise. The kick chase vs the eels was an exception to this but was that off him or was it widdop calling the play? Whose instincts came to the fore.
He is a player that will get you close to the 8 but he is not a player that will win you that tough close game against a full strength team. He is too easy for smart teams to contain/exploit.
What ISP will teach him and what he needs is this
1. Attacking and contesting the bomb
2. Supporting the forwards looking for the offloads
3. Tackling opposition players one on one
He will get all that in ISP.
Yep totally agree with this.
Dufty to ISP achieves nothing for his game other than scoring a shitload of tries.
This is the big dilemma, if Dufty is in our future then what to do. If hes not then he needs to he told now, NQ are on the hunt for a fb.
Our backline seems to be the hottest debate at present with just about all positions bar half back having various players placed in them.
But this is McGregor and who knows who will play where under his leadership.
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