Matt Dufty defied foot pain to deliver a man-of-the-match display on his home debut and haul Warrington Wolves away from relegation danger.
Dufty, acquired from Canterbury Bulldogs last month, made an immediate impact at the Halliwell Jones Stadium but only after a frustrating – and ultimately relieving – first few weeks.
The Australian fullback suffered a foot injury in his first Super League game for the club away at Huddersfield Giants.
Dufty, 26, had previously experienced issues with the foot, and he remarkably discovered following a scan that he had an extra bone.
“It’s a strange one, it’s something from birth that he never knew about,” explained Warrington coach Daryl Powell.
Although he had to miss a match, it proved to be great news for Dufty.
“I think his knowledge of it is the most important thing because he hasn’t known what’s been giving him pain. For a player, that’s significant,” said Powell.
“In terms of managing it moving forward, we’ll get through that. For now it’s important getting him on the field and not worrying about the future too much.”
Dufty went on to play a key role in Warrington’s defeat of Toulouse Olympique last Thursday and was pleased with how he held up.
“At the start of the week I couldn’t walk on my foot,” he said after the match.
“Powelly didn’t put any pressure on me to play but I needed to for the team.
“We needled it up and it worked out well. It’s going to be sore tomorrow but it’s worth it.”
Now Powell is looking forward to unleashing the potential of a player with almost 100 NRL appearances.
The Warrington coach said: “He’s class in training in everything he does; his communication, his running game, in all areas. His understanding of the game.
“Everything we thought we were bringing him over for, he’s showing.”
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