Matt Dufty shares insight on how ‘brilliant’ Warrington Wolves coaches have produced his best form

Drew Darbyshire
Matt Dufty Sam Burgess Warrington Wolves Alamy

Matt Dufty (right) in action for Warrington Wolves in 2024

Warrington Wolves full-back Matt Dufty has been one of the best players in Super League so far this season: and the stats prove it.

The Australian speedster is leading the way in a number of Super League‘s statistic categories: metres made, carries and clean breaks. He is also in the top 10 for tries, assists and tackle busts.

It has been some start to 2024 for Dufty, who had endured a somewhat inconsistent 18 months in primrose and blue until this year: in his own words.

His speed and footwork is blistering to say the least, and he has posed a constant threat for opposition defences so far this term.

So what is his impressive turn in form down to?

“A few factors,” Dufty replied when asked the question by Love Rugby League.

“I’m probably not doing as many flashy things as I have over the last few seasons but Sammy (Burgess) has got all the confidence in the world in me and he is someone I really want to play for.

“We sat down and we went through ways I could best help the team, whether that’s a play-four carry to get a quick play-the-ball for the kickers or just getting involved more. The more I carry the ball, the more involved I am in the game.

“I think last year I went through stages were I’d do something good but then there’d be like 10 or 12 minutes were I didn’t do anything, so it was a bit few and far between.

“This year is probably not the flashiest I’ve played but definitely the most consistent. I’m always a part of the game in some aspect, even if it’s just carrying the ball and working for the team.

“I think this year putting the team first has really helped me, having a less selfish mindset, so when it’s not about me, it kind of becomes about me in a way. If I’m team-first then things seem to happen.”

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Matt Dufty thriving under the tutelage of Warrington Wolves head coach Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess Warrington Wolves Alamy
Warrington Wolves head coach Sam Burgess

During the interview ahead of Warrington‘s Challenge Cup semi-final against Huddersfield Giants, Dufty says he is reaping the rewards of working under Sam Burgess, who has enjoyed a strong start to his tenure as head coach of the Wire.

“He’s got a really good balance between getting what it’s like as a player and what the boys need, and being a coach and being serious,” Dufty said of Burgess. “I think he gets that balance. As long as we’re doing the work, he’s happy to coach us how he has been doing.

“The way he has grown as a coach and the way he is coaching us is really enjoyable to be a part of. I wake up and get excited to go to training. I’m the last one there, I just love hanging around (the place).

“I get on with him outside of football as well just as a mate, so he’s someone I really want to play for and I’ve got all the respect in the world for Sammy. Obviously he was one of the best players when he played but I think he’s got the ability to be one of the best coaches as well.”

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Martin Gleeson ‘really knows how to get the best out of me’

Martin Gleeson Warrington Wolves Alamy
Martin Gleeson is one of Sam Burgess’ assistants at Warrington Wolves

Dufty was also keen to highlight the influence of assistant coach Martin Gleeson, who arrived at the club towards the end of last season to help improve their attack, which Dufty has been a beneficiary of in 2024.

“When Glees came at the end of last year to help us, I think you saw I started to play good footy again,” Dufty told Love Rugby League. “He really just knows how to get the best out of me.

“Glees really breaks down the game, he’ll sometimes call me at nine o’clock at night saying ‘what about this play?’. He’s always on, and I think the energy he brings is infectious.

“You can tell how much he cares about the team and how much he wants to be a part of everything. I think he still wishes he could be out there playing! I think that’s just the passion he brings, it makes me excited to hear what he’s got to say.

“He’s been giving me little rev up speeches to me. I’ve got all the time in the world for Glees, he’s bringing the best out of me and George (Williams), he’s always having little huddles with us telling us what he’s thinking.”

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Wollongong native Dufty loving life in England

Matt Dufty Warrington Wolves Alamy
Matt Dufty scoring a try for Warrington Wolves in 2024

Dufty, who hails from Wollongong, is loving his time in England: so much so that he signed a two-year contract extension back in March, keeping him at the Halliwell Jones Stadium until the end of 2026.

“Obviously it’s a risky run coming over here, I don’t think you realise how big of a move it is until you get here,” Dufty admitted. “I think it can be a shock to players, (but) my partner is really supportive and as long as she’s happy, I’m happy.

“Sam and Warrington make it really easy to be over here, they really make you feel part of the club and part of the family – not just me but my partner as well.

“Obviously (with) Sammy coming over here, he’s made it really enjoyable and it’s somewhere I’m enjoying my football. If football is going well, then everything in life just seems to fall into place so I can’t complain at the moment.

“Obviously you do miss home and that’s normal but in the grand scheme of life you are only here for a couple of years – it’s not going to be forever – but whilst I’m here I’m going to give it my best shot.”

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