It was a stroke of good fortune two years ago which saved the Dragons from losing a restless heir to their No.1 throne – and now Matt Dufty has revealed how serious the Warriors were about poaching one of the NRL's most exciting young guns.
On the eve of an unlikely top-of-the-table clash with the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night, the jet-heeled Dufty has told of how unsure he was about his standing at St George Illawarra as an injured and off-contract under 20s star that he mulled a move across the Tasman.
And instead of potentially coming back to haunt the Dragons in the match of the round at Mt Smart Stadium, Dufty has been a revelation for the unbeaten table-topping Red V, who have surged into premiership favouritism as they chase a seventh straight win to start the season.
"It was a couple of years ago and I was coming off an injury," Dufty said. "I was off contract at the Dragons and they hadn't talked to me. My manager said we'll talk around and the Warriors showed a lot of interest. I thought it was a realistic thing, but Mary [Paul McGregor] and Benny Hornby came up to me and said, 'there's no way we're letting you go'. It's probably the best thing that has happened.
"I was a bit worried and I didn't know if the Dragons wanted me or not. I was still in my 20s and your career is definitely not set in stone then. I didn't know what to think, but it obviously all worked out in the end."