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The nutters are really running the asylum at the Dragons

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A Different Game': NRL Great Fires Off At Anthony Griffin's Dufty Back-Up Plan

Michael Ennis has cast major doubts over the Dragons' plans to fill Matt Dufty's vacancy next year at fullback with Cody Ramsey.

The retired NRL great joins the chorus of critics who have questioned Anthony Griffin's call to farewell Dufty at the end of the season in the wake of his world-class individual display against the Broncos.

In a call that has shocked not only the Dragons' faithful, Griffin sat down with Dufty last week to inform him he wasn't part of the club's future plans beyond this year, forcing the livewire fullback to find a new home for next season.

It quickly became the biggest talking point over the weekend, with Dufty responding in his return from a two-week injury layoff with seven try involvements – two tries and five assists – to guide the Red V to a 52-24 win over the Broncos.

After the match, Dufty, who has scored 44 tries in 77 games for the Dragons, admitted he was heartbroken by the decision and nearly teared up at the warm response from fans after his performance against the Broncos at Kogarah Oval. 

It's claimed the Dragons' reservations towards Dufty relate to his defence, specifically his ability to organise a defensive line and his positioning, while his size means he's often exposed on kick returns. 

But Ennis was stunned Griffin was willing to let Dufty leave given the attacking x-factor he possesses, as was on show against Brisbane.

“It astounds me to be honest,” Ennis said.

“We saw when he had a rib injury a couple of weeks ago and then back into the side on Thursday night and it just shows what he means to the footy side because they can’t score points without him.

“He is so classy with the footy. He has great speed.

“You look at some of the gun fullbacks in the competition, Tedesco and Papenhuyzen their speed is what sets them apart and gives them opportunities to create.

“Then they show their class with their ball playing ability and Dufty possesses that. Sure he is not the biggest guy out of the back-field to get their sets started. But when it gets down to the business end of the field he nails it and he makes the other players around him better.

“If they think that Cody Ramsey is their answer at fullback then I am completely watching a different game.”

In opting not to re-sign Dufty, Griffin revealed the club has high hopes for Cody Ramsey and Tyrell Sloan as the Dragons' future fullbacks.

Sloane, a 19-year-old who was elevated to the club's top 30 NRL squad this year, is considered one of the Dragons' best young prospects and was part of their 2019 SG Ball title-winning side.

While Ramsey has played the majority of the season on the left wing but filled in at fullback while Dufty was injured in the losses to the Sharks and Tigers recently.

Ramsey had an off night in the dominant win over Brisbane, committing four errors, but Griffin is a known fan of the 21-year-old speedster.

Ennis isn't seeing it, however.

“The worry for me is that they have some good young kids coming through that have been spoken about as potential replacements for Dufty,” Ennis said.

“They are talking about staying within, but the one that keeps being mentioned is Ramsey, who had four errors under the high-ball the other night.

“To me Cody Ramsey is a player that a coach can fall in love with over the summer because he works his butt off and he gives you everything he can and turns up every day with a great attitude and a coach says I want to coach him and I want him in the side.

“But when it gets down to the nitty gritty he just doesn’t have the skill level from what I’ve seen yet that Matt Dufty has.

“They can ill-afford to lose Dufty. You go and ask any of the St George players and I think deep down they would love to keep Matt Dufty.”


Edited by R L Winger
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Crazy . Replacing Dufty for Ramsey is like replacing Lachlan Coote for Johnny Vegas . Letting the Duftmeister go is one of the worst decisions since I decided to test out my new  thermos flask - which told me clearly it keeps hot things hot and  cold things cold - with two cups of coffee and a choc ice 

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  • Graham changed the title to The nutters are really running the asylum at the Dragons

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