They secured the most significant moves in their respective careers playing alongside each other, but this afternoon two former Burleigh Bears lined up on opposite sides of the field.
Jamal Forgarty and Cameron Cullen were, without doubt, central to the Intrust Super Cup success the Bears experienced in 2016 – the club’s first premiership in 12 seasons. With Forgarty at halfback and Cullen at five-eighth, the pair were among the best in the competition, with Fogarty topping the point-scorers’ list and Cullen earning five NRL games for the Titans. Unsurprisingly, both players caught the eye of NRL recruiters and were quickly snapped up by Sydney-based clubs: Fogarty by the Eels and Cullen by the Sea Eagles.
Cullen’s class was immediately clear in Blacktown’s opening game, setting up two tries and scoring a third in an effort that earned him an NRL selection in Round 2. Fogarty, meanwhile, had been adjusting to life at Wentworthville in the opening fortnight and in the teams’ Round 3 match-up, came out victorious.
“It’s good to get one up against ‘Cullo’,” Fogarty tells NSWRL.com.au. “Back home he always used to get it on top of me so it’s just good to get one back on him.
“We’ve had a rough start for the first two rounds – that’s on the back of our own performances – but today we sort of clicked into gear and the results showed.”
Fogarty is yet to experience the bright lights of the NRL and while regular Eels halfback Corey Norman sat out Round 3, it was Jeff Robson to get promoted this week. The 23-year-old knows improvement is needed before he’s next in line, which he hopes will come throughout the season.
“I’ve just got to fix up my own game before that opportunity comes and hopefully I can do that,” Fogarty says. “The consistency’s a big part and I’ve just got to keep working on it.
“As a half, you can’t duck in for 20 (minutes) and duck out for 20 – just little things like that and getting better polish on the ends of sets.”
Hailing from the Gold Coast Hinterland town of Beaudesert, the former Titans Holden Cup player is adjusting to life in Sydney while adjusting to the new set-up on the field as well.
“The move’s been really easy; all the blokes at Parramatta are legends and they’ve just made the move real comfortable,” Fogarty adds. “They always ask how the partner’s going and my two young ones which is a good thing.
“We’re absolutely enjoying our time at the moment.”
With the first win under the belt in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, Fogarty’s next task will be the Newcastle Knights as the Magpies travel to Toronto in search of another two competition points.