Although his time on the field was a short yet sweet 11 minutes, Sydney Roosters prop Daniel Fifita earned his first-grade debut for the tri-colours jersey last weekend in their Round 12 NRL match against the Gold Coast Titans.
Fifita learnt quickly about the speed and intensity the NRL level has to offer when he took the field, and compared his experience to playing in the Jersey Flegg and Canterbury Cup NSW competitions.
“It’s much faster out there,” he told RoostersTV. “Still have improvements to do but I’ll get there.
“(It was) a dream come true for me but it felt good to be out there.”
Fifita recounted the heartfelt moment when Roosters coach Trent Robinson told him he would be making his debut.
“I found out on Thursday just before we did field, Robbo came up to me and shook my hand and said ‘Congratulations,’ and I said, ‘What for?’ he said ‘You’re ready to play NRL,’ and I was stoked, actually speechless,” he said.
“Inside I was so happy and ready to debut.”
Fifita made eight appearances for the North Sydney Bears last year in the Canterbury Cup NSW competition, with a remarkable 95.5% tackle efficiency.
He will continue to be a vital part of the squad, with captain Boyd Cordner, Angus Crighton and twins Brett and Josh Morris all battling injuries, while the seasons of Victor Radley and Sam Verrils are over.