Scintillating St George Illawarra fullback Matt Dufty is only going to get better, coach Paul McGregor insists after he took another dynamic step in his progression as a quality custodian.
In just his 10th game in the NRL the 22-year-old showed why McGregor has shown faith in him at the back with his three scintillating tries, speed and game awareness a highlight in the 54-8 Telstra Premiership thrashing of the Gold Coast Titans in Toowoomba.
McGregor said Dufty handled himself with aplomb under difficult circumstances the previous week but was able to showcase his all-round game against the Titans in a game that suited his undoubted natural talents.
"Through the week I thought Duff was up for a big game," McGregor said.
"He's certainly getting the boys' trust which is important for a young man and the more first grade he plays the more he'll improve.
"He got our splits right in defence and he's obviously very quick. Put him in that space and he knows how to finish.
"He is learning his trade and I think Duff had a real tough task last week [in the 20-16 win over Cronulla] and handled it really well under difficult conditions to what we saw today.
"Today was a nice open game of footy played in good weather on a fast field and that suits that style of player."
It is not often that a side can put 50 points on an opponent particularly after having just 10 on the board in the 30th minute, but the Dragons were able to put their foot on the floor and defend with gusto at the same time to secure top spot on the NRL ladder.
"It is great for our for-and-against and the nice thing there was that they only scored eight as well," McGregor said.
"We had a golden day and we defended OK, and certainly our kick/chase can improve going forward, but the boys have certainly done enough to enjoy that."