Passionate New South Welshman Bryce Cartwright will have one of the best seats in the house for Holden State of Origin II on Wednesday night. Not bad for your second ever time watching a game live.
The nephew of eight-time Blues representative John Cartwright revealed to NRL.com that a love of watching the traditional interstate battle at home with family meant he has only ever witnessed one game from the stands.
It was a memorable one though: a nine-year-old Cartwright was in the stands at ANZ Stadium (then Telstra Stadium) in 2004 when Blues five-eighth Shaun Timmins kicked a famous field goal in a 9-8 win.
Sitting just metres from where the ball landed was a life changing moment for young Cartwright, who this week took a big step towards emulating his idols and one day striding out in a sky blue jersey by taking part in his first ever Origin camp as a development player.
"I've only ever watched one Origin game live so it'll be good to see another one," Cartwright told NRL.com.
"I watch it at home with the family a lot. The last one was when Shaun Timmins kicked the field goal. I was right behind the posts when that happened and it's the last and only Origin game I've been to.
"The ball fell two or three seats down from us so that was pretty special, I'll never forget that moment.
"It made me think it'd be awesome to be out there one day. I've always wanted that and this [being picked to join Blues camp as a development player] is a step in that direction at the moment."
Cartwright wasn't too sure what to expect from the week in camp but was looking to soak up as much as possible before following in the footsteps of recent development players such as Dylan Walker, Tyson Frizell, Josh Jackson and clubmate Matt Moylan in making the jump from squad member to game-day player in the near future.
"I'm stoked to be here and had a lot of fun getting to know the boys," Cartwright said.
"There have been a few of the boys who have done it before, it's a good stepping stone for myself and [fellow development player] Jack Bird who I'm rooming with as well."
Asked what he was hoping to take with him from the week, he said: "just to prepare with the boys and see how they prepare for a game. Go up to Brisbane with them and be in the sheds before a game and watch the game as well."
The Blues will be hoping to enjoy the same success as last time Cartwright was watching live as they look to force the series to a decider in Sydney in three weeks' time.
This article first appeared on NRL.com
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