NRL star’s brutally honest admission after BBQ debacle

Matt Dufty was one of the attendees at Paul Vaughan’s infamous BBQ, and as a result of his troubles, copped a one-game suspension as punishment along with a fine.

But sitting on the sidelines and feeling completely helpless during his side’s loss to Manly last Friday seemed to trump all of the NRL-sanctioned punishments.

“Last week was obviously very disappointing for me personally,” Dufty said.

“Sitting on the bench was one of the hardest games I’ve had to sit out and watch. We had a pretty disrupted week with everything that went on and moving to Queensland.

Dufty attended the infamous BBQ hosted by Paul Vaughan. Picture: Matt King / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“I really thought I owed it to the club and to everyone associated with us as well – fans, mum and dad, all the players – just to get out there and play.

“Sitting on the bench and losing the game like we did, I thought we tried our hardest but we just didn’t execute when we needed to.

“I just really wanted to play, so I can’t wait to get out there and give it my best.”

All players in attendance at Vaughan’s house broke not only the league’s biosecurity rules, but also the NSW Government’s stay-at-home order to curb the growing Covid-19 exposure throughout Sydney and its extended regions.

Unsurprisingly, Dragons coach Anthony Griffin was left frustrated about the whole saga.

But Dufty believes there’s no better time to right their wrongs.

“He’s spoken to us individually about how disappointed he is, not just as a coach but as a friend to us all as well,” Dufty said.

“We owe it to him and we owe it to everyone else in the team to give our best.

“We still got a shot of playing finals, we’re still in the eight.

Dufty spoke about the need to put things right for the fans before the end of the season. Picture: Matt King / Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“If we can win a few of these games in the next few weeks, then we put ourselves in a really good position to play finals.”

Dufty has been with the Dragons since his early teens, but 2021 will be his last season at Kogarah as he joins the Canterbury Bulldogs from next season.

For the 25-year-old, knowing where he’ll be playing footy next season is a major relief.

“You can say there’s a massive weight off my shoulders now,” Dufty said.

“I just want to come out and finish my time at the Dragons on a high.

“They’ve given me so much since I was a 13-year-old kid. I love the Dragons and I love the organisation.

“I feel like I owe it to everyone, not just the coaches and the players, but to the fans and my family and all the St George juniors, to put my best foot forward and finish strong.”

Having served his one-game suspension for attending the BBQ, Dufty was thrust back into the starting line-up at fullback for the Dragons’ clash against the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.

With just four points separating the seventh-placed Dragons from the Cowboys in 14th, every single player in the Red V jersey will need to put their best foot forward for the remaining seven games if they are to put a grin back on the face of coach Griffin.

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