Corey Norman still the forgetful St George Illawara Dragons dynamo

“He just said ‘what’s that’?” Matt Dufty revealed.

“You can’t help but laugh, because that’s Normy.”

That tale just about sums Norman up.

He may be the larrikin who draws laughs from everyone around him but, as Dufty points out, he is a match winner.

“He’s just a laid-back character who brings that relaxed feel, that relaxed vibe to the game,” Dufty said.

“You always know what Normy is going to bring.

“He is a match winner – he has proved that twice already this year – and I think he’s a person you want to play with.”

Norman’s match-winning feats have drawn the eyes of Queensland Origin coach Kevin Walters.

He is considering picking Norman as a utility and will also have a close eye on Ben Hunt when the pair line up against the Roosters in front of a near sell out at the SCG  on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s the happiest I’ve seen Benny,” Dufty said.

“When he feels like that, we all feel like that. He is one of the best halves in the comp when he is playing with confidence, and he is playing how everyone knows he can play.

“Watching Benny play lately has just been really good because he has been winning us games. Normy too. They have both been outstanding.

“They complement each other, and if anyone deserves to play Origin, they could partner each other.”

Dufty himself has taken the opportunity at fullback afforded to him by the Gareth Widdop injury.

He has cracked the 100 metres gained mark in all three starts since Widdop reinjured his shoulder against the Broncos and has been creating opportunities with his passing game, too.

“I played in the halves growing up and have always played touch footy, so my passing has always been pretty good,” Dufty said.

“Last year, Mary just told me to run first because at training I was always passing first.

“I think ‘run first’ was the thing I had in my head last year, but this year everything is coming together a bit better.

“I am making the right decision – whether I should run, whether I should pass – it’s feeling pretty good.”

Widdop has also played a part in mentoring Dufty as he begins rehabilitation on a shoulder the Dragons are hoping will heal before the finals.

“At training and before games he is always talking to me,” Dufty said.

“He’s a good mate of mine, so it’s good to have Gaz around and still mentoring me.”

Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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