Storm's Duffie no longer Warriors NRL fan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm's Duffie no longer Warriors NRL fan

Melissa Woods 21/09/2011 01:36:32 PM Comments (0)

Playing the Warriors is always special for Melbourne winger Matt Duffie.

As the Storm prepare to tackle the Warriors in the NRL preliminary final on Saturday night, Duffie is expecting another memorable occasion at AAMI Park.

The 21-year-old, who has scored 20 tries in 31 games in the NRL, made his first-grade debut against the Warriors in round seven last year.

Growing up in New Zealand, Duffie was a big Warriors fan and dreamt of playing for them.

"I used to have season tickets and used to watch all of their games. I loved it," Duffie said.

"I still had a few Warriors jerseys here but I took it all back to my family the last time I went back to New Zealand."

The Storm picked up Duffie from under the noses of the Warriors, discovering him playing rugby union in Auckland.

"When you support a team, you want to play for them, but it was never really an option," said Duffie of Melbourne's recruitment.

"I never really got to the point where it was Warriors or Storm, it was Storm or nothing."

With an NRL grand final berth up for grabs, Duffie has the unenviable task of marking his former hero, powerhouse Manu Vatuvei.

"When he was starting his career, I was just a young kid watching him and used to love watching him play.

"I've played against him a few times and gone alright ... I'll just have to do my best," said Duffie, who made his Test debut for the Kiwis against Australia in May.

"He was back in form against the Tigers. I think the coach would have told him that when you're aggressive, you're at your best.

"The boys will help me out a lot. I don't think he's really a one-man job."

Melbourne's 18-14 loss to the Warriors this season in round seven is also a match that sticks in Duffie's mind as he described it as the worst of his NRL career.

The Storm back three were peppered with high balls, with Duffie among those to commit crucial errors which led to Warriors' tries.

"It was my worst game under the high ball and I've never forgotten that game and I want to make up for that," Duffie said.

"I wasn't very happy after the game and I wanted to make it right and, since then, I've been good under the high ball.

"Every day I've been practising and that's not going to change this week so, hopefully, I can keep that going."

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