Dragons coach defends Matt Dufty call despite fullback's superb game

Anthony Griffin admits he can understand why St George Illawarra fans might be questioning why on earth the NRL club has told Matt Dufty he's not wanted next year.

But it doesn't mean the coach will be changing his tune on the fullback's future.

Dufty was easily the Dragons' best in their dominant 52-24 win over Brisbane, setting up five tries and scoring a double himself.

It came just over a week after the 25-year-old was told by Dragons officials his contract would not be extended and he should look elsewhere.

Dufty believes that at his best he can be one of the top fullbacks in the NRL and ready to take it to the likes of James Tedesco and Ryan Papenhuyzen.

And almost every question from Dragons fans on Thursday night centred on how the club could be letting the local junior go.

But Griffin said the decision wasn't about one game.

"I can understand that, but there's a lot of things that go into that," Griffin said.

"It's not about one game or a performance.

"We need to enjoy tonight and it's been a tough month since the (loss to the) Storm."

Griffin stayed away from talk of a backflip when asked if Dufty's resurgence could prompt one.

"It was a very good performance by a lot of people," he said.

Dufty received huge applause when departing the ground on Thursday night, almost bringing the fleet-footed fullback to tears.

"I nearly teared up running up that tunnel after the game," Dufty admitted. "All the fans banging on the cage, it was pretty emotional and I was overwhelmed.

"I grew up in the St George area and played all my juniors here.

"I debuted here and I love playing at the Dragons. It was obviously very heartbreaking (being told to move on), it was a hard pill to swallow."

What Dufty's future holds is hard to decipher. Almost every club has their No.1 locked in for next season, with Brisbane having also declared they don't want to go outside to purchase a fullback.

Ironically, it would appear the Dragons are the best fit for him, given they are one of the few clubs without a settled fullback for 2022.

While on the pitch, Dufty has either set up or finished 59 percent of the Dragons' tries.

The fullback claimed he had not approached the club asking for big money, nor does he fully understand why they want to move him on.

"I let him (Griffin) have all the time in the world, I didn't ask for anything," Dufty said. "It was obviously a bit of a shock.

"Hook had just come into the club and at the start of the year he wanted me to play some footy.

"And that's what I thought I did. I thought I was playing pretty good.

"But it is what it is. It's not up to me. I just have to try and play some good footy for the rest of the year."

Dufty insisted however he was still on good terms with Griffin and there were no ill-feelings between them.