Hoffman: "I forgot what it felt like to win."
You can forgive Josh Hoffman for not knowing the team song.
Match: Magpies vs Panthers
Round 7 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium
It had been 324 days since he had reason to celebrate at the end of the 80 minutes.
"I forgot what it felt like to win," Hoffman jokes to his Wentworthville teammates – exhausted – taking a well-deserved breather in the ANZ Stadium dressing rooms.
On a drought-breaking day for the club – a day where the Eels opened their NRL accounts in 2018 with a 44-10 win over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Hoffman turned in a brilliant performance for the Magpies in their 16-14 triumph over Penrith Panthers.
The two-point win over the 2017 ISP premiers proving a relief both for the Magpies, and for Hoffman himself, who took out the 'players' player' honours in his first Intrust Super Premiership NSW outing since Round 24 of of last season.
"Absolutely, it was a relief. I was just looking to get back here (to the Intrust Super Premiership NSW) and to put in a consistent performance," Hoffman tells NSWRL.com.au.
"Missing out on playing last week (for the Parramatta Eels), I'm the first to admit I was down on form myself. It was ugly and gritty but it was just good to come away with the two points.
"There's a great bunch of boys here. Everyone's fighting for a spot, everyone wants to play in the NRL. It's my job to come here and to do my bit for the team... Hopefully I'm back in that (Eels) team soon."
And if his efforts in Round 7 are anything to go by, Hoffman may not need to wait long for an NRL recall.
Providing a spark at the back, Hoffman ran for 147 metres from his 15 carries – making five tackle busts, with one line-break to his credit also.
Alongside Hoffman, fellow Eels regulars Kane Evans and Cameron King added an extra dimension to the Magpies squad which has, at times, struggled in 2018.
"You can see what those two do out there on the field, they're professionals in what they do," Hoffman says of Evans and King.
"Us (NRL) guys do this week in, week out. That's our job when we come back to this level, to help these younger boys and to make their games easier.
"Getting away with a win, yeah it's definitely a bit of a relief to (the Magpies), but also to us other boys who've been doing it tough up in (first) grade.
"There's sure to be a lot of smiling faces around the club."