Bulldogs' Young Pup Has His Day
Presented his debut jersey from arguably the club's finest ever number seven, incoming Canterbury-Bankstown halfback Matt Frawley wasted little time in showing his NRL credentials in the Bulldogs' 10-7, Round 5 win over the Brisbane Broncos.
The Bulldogs put aside a week of drama – highlighted no more so than by Steve 'Turvey' Mortimer's pre-game showing in the sheds – to turn in an inspired performance against the Brisbane side, scoring a three-point success over the highly-touted Premiership heavyweights.
"[Frawley] was everything that we thought he would be, to make a debut like that, it'll be a game that he will remember for a long while," said Bulldogs coach Des Hasler post-match.
Trailing by seven points at the end of a wretched first-half, Frawley and the Bulldogs set about turning the tide in torrid conditions – those which resembled the rain-sodden affairs more often seen in Mortimer’s era.
Twice denied the night’s opening points in the first-half, Frawley’s halves partner Josh Reynolds found joy at the third time of trying, as he took on the tiring Broncos defence to slide in adjacent to the uprights in the 47th minute.
Fullback Brad Abbey followed suit soon after crossing for his first NRL try, and sending Hasler’s men out by the final 10-7 scoreline.
Reflecting on the confidence-boosting win, Bulldogs captain James Graham was quick to echo the sentiments of his coach.
"I thought he did really well for his debut game, I think he was outstanding," Graham said.
"[Halfback] is right up there with the most difficult positions to play. To be honest, he's been banging down on the door for two years now."
Frawley's inclusion into the Bulldogs' NRL side caps a memorable month for the club's Intrust Super Premiership NSW stocks, following the Round 3 NRL debuts of Abbey, and fellow back Marcelo Montoya.
"We've got a lot of lads that haven't had the opportunity to play in the first team yet, but I've known that Matt's been ready to play (NRL) for a long time now, since he's been in our system," Graham added.
"Every time we've trained with him, he's been great. He didn't surprise me, I knew he was going to perform that way."