Less than 24 hours after making his NRL debut at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, Manly's Tom Wright was again lacing his boots.
Match: Sea Eagles v Knights
Round 10 -
Venue: HE Laybutt Field
Making the mad dash down the M4 motorway after landing at Sydney Airport on Sunday afternoon, Wright found himself back in Blacktown – and ready to turn out in the Workers Sea Eagles' Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash against Newcastle.
Playing only six minutes in the Sea Eagles hard-fought, 38-24 NRL win over the Broncos, the 20-year-old prodigy says he was desperate to see more game time in Round 10.
"I wanted to play. I asked if I could play again today. [Blacktown] had a bye last week, going two weeks without a game can be pretty annoying at times," Wright tells NSWRL.com.au.
"But [to debut] was outstanding. To make my NRL debut at such an iconic venue like Suncorp Stadium, there was quite a few people there for the double-header. It was an unreal experience.
"I was full of emotion throughout the week. Trent (Manly Sea Eagles' coach, Barrett) had told me earlier in the week that I was in the mix [for a debut]. So, I just put my head down and got stuck into training."
The much-needed 14-point win was the Sea Eagles first NRL success since Round 4, and the two competition points couldn't have come at a better time for the club.
Having endured what first grade coach Barrett described as 'a tough month' – a period with a host of challenges, both on and off the field – Wright says he was more than happy to feature in the Intrust Super Premiership on the back of a drought-breaking NRL win.
"It's a good bunch of lads here, we all get on really well. Whether it's the guys in the top squad, or the guys that train out here part-time," Wright says.
"We all have a really good friendship. We all get along like a house on fire... there's nothing better than coming back and playing with the [Blacktown] boys when I get an opportunity."
Wright – alongside maligned half Jackson Hastings – did their all to see the Blacktown Workers to a win, though fell short against a resilient Newcastle outfit.
"Jackson has been really good, ever since he's come back from playing in the NRL side, he's come back with plenty of energy. He's played a lot of NRL in his time for a young kid," Wright says.
"Every time he comes back, I know that everyone who is around him in our side takes his advice on board. It's a pleasure to have him in this team. His talk is through the roof, having him here can only benefit those who are around him."
"Today, we went away from what was working for us, what was working in the first half. We got ourselves into a bit of an arm wrestle, and we couldn't come out of it strong enough to get back to what was successful.
"We've got the game plan and we've got the mind-set that will hold up in any game. We just lost it there in that second-half."