Warrington Wolves: Sam Burgess & George Williams wax lyrical about overseas star following Challenge Cup semi-final triumph

Ben Olawumi
Matt Dufty, Sam Burgess, George Williams

Warrington Wolves' Matt Dufty (main image), head coach Sam Burgess (top circle) & vice-captain George Williams (bottom circle)

Warrington Wolves boss Sam Burgess & acting captain George Williams both sung the praises of Australian ace Matt Dufty following their Challenge Cup semi-final triumph on Sunday afternoon.

Dufty scored a brace of tries as the Wolves booked a trip to Wembley for the first time since 2019, one of seven different scorers at the Totally Wicked Stadium as they swept aside Huddersfield Giants in the last-four tie with a resounding 46-10 victory.

It’s the latest in a long line of strong showings from the full-back this year, currently the only man in Super League to have made over 2,000 metres over the opening 11 rounds of the league season.

Warrington Wolves: Sam Burgess & George Williams wax lyrical about overseas star Matt Dufty following Challenge Cup semi-final triumph

As well as his own brace, New South Wales native Dufty also made the break through Huddersfield’s line which teed up winger Matty Ashton for a walkover unchallenged, the headline act of a number of notable actions in attack.

But for all of that work going forward, it was the Australian’s actions in limiting the Giants to just 10 points which pleased boss Burgess the most.

Post-match in St Helens, Burgess said: “You’ve got to give Dufts (Matt Dufty) credit. We see him do some brilliant things, and we took some nice tries, but he’s working so hard off the ball.

“The cameras don’t necessarily pick it up, but the players certainly respect what he’s doing for us and for them out the back.

“He’s making more of those (one-on-one) tackles than he misses now, and to me they’re more important than scoring them (tries).”

Williams hails team-mate Dufty: ‘I love playing with him’

Dufty – who received the BBC’s man of the match award on Sunday – arrived at Warrington in July 2022 having been granted an early release from his contract by NRL outfit Canterbury Bulldogs.

Almost exactly a year to the day earlier, playmaker Williams had been snapped up by the Wolves having also been allowed an early release from a contract Down Under, parting company with Canberra Raiders and returning home to England.

Times have rarely been this good since the pair have played together, and touching on how Dufty is very much a ‘confidence player’, Williams detailed just how much he’s enjoying seeing his team-mate excel this season.

The Wire’s vice-captain – taking the lead out on the field over the last few weeks in the absence of official club captain Stefan Ratchford – added: “I think Sam nailed it (on Dufty).

“Throughout his career, he’s always scored tries that nobody else can, but now it’s all about the effort areas and what he’s doing for the team.

“He doesn’t want to let the team down, and he’s good to watch, isn’t he?! I love playing with him, especially when he comes alive.

“As a team, we’re enjoying seeing him making the one-on-ones, taking the high balls and putting his body where it hurts.

“He’s pleasing to watch, he’s easy to watch and I’ll give Sam a big rap because he got him on side straight away.

“He’s a confidence player Dufts, and Sam just believed in him. He worked hard in pre-season, and it’s paying off now.”