Black ‘ Knight’ de­nies dream de­but

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

AS far as de­buts go, this one could have gone bet­ter to script.

Not to worry for Tariq Sims, who played his first game of NRL footy on Satur­day night af­ter com­ing off the Cow­boys in­ter­change bench just be­fore half­time.

His brother Ash­ton was by his side for the big mo­ment and par­ents Peter and Jac­quie were in the stands watch­ing on, but de­spite Tariq’s best ef­forts the Cow­boys could not over­turn a 16-6 half­time deficit to earn back-to-back wins.

Nonethe­less the 21-year-old for­mer NYC player of the year said the sen­sa­tion of hav­ing his first run in an NRL game was one he’d never for­get.

‘‘ It was un­real, just run­ning out in front of the home crowd was un­be­liev­able,’’ Sims said.

‘‘ Then again it was sort of a scrappy game at the end but it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and I loved ev­ery minute of it.’’

‘‘ I felt that I was all right, I felt pretty good with the pace of the game.’’

Tariq and Ash­ton’s younger brother Korbin, 19, played in the game’s NYC cur­tain-raiser for the un­der-20 Knights.

The three brothers and their par­ents caught up for lunch fol­low­ing the Cow­boys’ train­ing session yes­ter­day for a fam­ily re­union of sorts be­fore Tariq and Ash­ton launched them­selves on what prom­ises to be a no-non­sense week of train­ing.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously the ef­fort that we put in ( against New­cas­tle) wasn’t good enough and we’re go­ing to have to turn things around if we’re go­ing to beat Mel­bourne up here,’’ Tariq said.

‘‘ We did have a bit of a slow week but we’ve got no ex­cuses, the ef­fort that we put in last night was un­ac­cept­able so we’re just go­ing to have to turn around and do it all again next week.’’

While big brother Ash­ton has of­fered plenty of ad­vice to Tariq through­out his ca­reer there was only so much he could pro­vide in the hours lead­ing up to Satur­day night’s match.

‘‘ I think he ( Ash­ton) was on the field in the sec­ond half and he gave me a few words of ad­vice just be­fore the game just to play the game and do what I do well,’’ Tariq said.

‘‘ It was just words of en­cour­age­ment and just to rip in and have a go.’’

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the call-up to the Cow­boys squad in mid­week, Sims said the sud­den­ness of his de­but had caught him by sur­prise.

‘‘ I’m just a late bloomer I sup­pose so it doesn’t faze me, as long as I’m play­ing footy do­ing what I do and love,’’ he said. ‘‘ Hope­fully I can stay in­jury free and es­tab­lish my­self in the NRL.’’

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