NRL Rd 1 - Cowboys v Bulldogs
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 13: Matt Dufty of the Bulldogs makes a break during the round one NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Qld Country Bank Stadium, on March 13, 2022, in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

The Warrington Wolves kicked off their new era following the arrival of livewire fullback Matt Dufty from the Canterbury Bulldogs, but despite a promising early start it ended in disappointment for the custodian and his new teammates.

Dufty set up the opening try of the contest and looked lively in the first half as the Wolves raced away to an early lead, causing constant headaches for the defence with his speed and playing with freedom as Warrington chased just their second away win of the year.

But it wasn’t to be, with the Wolves conceding two tries while Joe Bullock was in the sin bin and a further four-pointer in the 70th minute to surrender the lead and two competition points.

In worse news for the Wolves – who were without half George Williams – Duty spent most of the second half limping before being taken off towards the end of the match.

“I thought (Dufty) looked really sharp,” said Wolves coach Daryl Powell.

“I think we could’ve gotten him a little more ball in the first half but he’s got an injury. He’ll get a scan on Monday – he was limping around in the second half.

“It’s a foot injury. Fingers crossed it’s not a bad one.”

Despite the unfortunate end, the early signs have Powell excited about what Dufty can bring to the league.

“He looked sharp, dangerous. He’s very quick and beats people. He’s an exciting player, I think he’ll be an outstanding Warrington player."

Dufty played 94 games at NRL level, scoring 45 tries.