HE was a spectator when Melbourne became premiers and world champions but winger Matt Duffie isn’t about to watch on while others benefit from team-mate Cooper Cronk’s sky-scraping bombs.
A shoulder injury followed by a failed lower grade comeback blighted the New Zealand Test star’s 2012 and he had to be content with a good ticket to the grand final as his mates scaled the heights once more.
The 22-year-old took the setback in his stride, returning strongly from a shoulder reconstruction in the pre-season – until a hamstring injury meant he missed the plane to England for the October 22 game against Leeds.
“I tried to convince them at the last minute to take me but they did a lot of training over there and I wouldn’t have been able to run until late in the week,” Duffy tells Rugby League Week.
“In one trial I didn’t make a tackle – probably missed a few. But in the other the shoulder got a really good workout, there were some big hits and it’s fine.”
Which means the former schoolboy basketball champion is ready to start chasing halfback Cronk’s kicks again.
“I shouted to Cooper (on Sunday) ‘hey, kick one to me, I’m ready’ – but he didn’t get around to it,” Duffie smiled.
Cronk and Duffie line up against another deadly bombing combination of North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston and Ashley Graham on Saturday night at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK