Melbourne Storm Coach Craig Bellamy has lauded the efforts of Matt Duffie, who played a key role in yesterday’s 36-14 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at AAMI Park.
Speaking at Sunday's post-match press conference, Bellamy praised the winger who made his maiden appearance at AAMI Park for this season since returning from injury three weeks ago.
“I sort of made the comment in the box when I saw his name up on the big banner, that he’s getting more admiration than the U.S president,” joked Bellamy.
“But I didn’t realise that he hadn’t actually played at AAMI Park since the injury."
Bellamy paid tribute to the agility of Duffie who scored two tries in Storm’s come-from-behind victory.
“It was a big thing for him to come back and we all know what he’s been through and that’s been well documented,” Bellamy said.
“I thought he played strong in all the other areas of the game as well. It’s great that he’s back and playing as well as he is.
“Cameron made a bit of a presentation to him yesterday, about his resilience, his toughness and his perseverance, so it was always going to be a bit moving for him to come back and play his first game at AAMI Park.”
Storm captain Cameron Smith highlighted the importance of Duffie’s return to first grade football, while also acknowledging the 24-year old's excellent form for Storm feeder club Easts Tigers in the Intrust Super Cup.
“It was a pleasing moment for himself and the rest of the boys,” said Smith.
“He’s been in quite good form for our reserve grade team, but there’s nothing like crossing the line in the NRL.
“He’s been stronger each week he’s played and that’s a great thing for our side.”
The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club.