League: It's Storm all the way for talented teen

By Terry Maddaford

The Warriors did Matt Duffie a favour in missing out on the NRL grand final.

Come Sunday, the St Kentigern College seventh former would have been torn in deciding whether to back the Storm or the Warriors in league's big show.

Duffie, 18, can now throw his total support behind the Melbourne club which will soon become his second home. He is just weeks away from joining the Storm with his long-term goal a place in the club's top side. He has already spent time in a Storm training camp.

But, he admits, when the Warriors squared-off against the Storm in week one of the playoffs, he had mixed emotions before throwing his support behind Steve Price and his team.

Duffie expects no favours when he crosses the Tasman in early December.

The Auckland secondary schools fullback was spotted by the Storm scouts late last year. He was offered the chance to join the club and continue his studies in Melbourne this year but preferred to wait until after he finished seventh form at St Kentigern.

St Kentigern sports co-ordinator Martin Piaggi said Duffie is a "great kid.

Humble and unassuming".

Yet, put in him in a pair of football boots and he quickly shows out. At rugby or league.

"I played rugby at the Pakuranga club until I was 12 then I went to live in Christchurch where I played rugby on Saturday and league on Sunday," said Duffie who is the Auckland secondary schools senior high jump champion of champions and finished second in the 200m after winning both titles, also winning the long jump, triple jump and javelin at his school championships.

He played in the school's volleyball team and was asked to trial for the New Zealand secondary school team but did not have the time. He also plays in his school's premier touch team.

"I think now I enjoy league more," said Duffie who played his early rugby as a lock and flanker and has since played "everywhere". He says league is more combative.

Duffie said he had not had any offer from the Warriors but there had been recent interest from the Auckland Rugby Union.

- NZ Herald

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