Young gun puts his hand up for No. 1 jersey
EXCITEMENT is still coursing through Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, but now he says it is time to put his debut behind him and focus on getting the Cowboys back on a winning roll.
Gifted with blistering speed, as showcased in the Perth Nines, the 18-year-old was thrown into the deep end early in North Queensland's loss to the Warriors when Valentine Holmes suffered an ankle injury.
He was shifted to his natural position of fullback, and as opposed to showing off his pace he demonstrated his ball skills by laying on two tries.
It is something Tabuai-Fidow - who prefers to be called The Hammer instead of The Cheetah - said he has been working on throughout the his time in the Cowboys system.
While he was "pretty filthy" to have what would have been his first NRL try taken off him by the bunker, he said his cut out pass for Holmes to score in the corner, as well as a cover tackle to prevent a New Zealand try were what enabled him to settle into the contest.
With Holmes expected to miss this week's clash with Wests Tigers - along with stand in skipper Jordan McLean - the young gun has put his hand up to pull on the No. 1 jersey from kick off.
"It was probably something I've worked on, just getting my passes and skills up coming out the back," Tabuai-Fidow said.
"Through the pre-season I just kept practising and practising my ball skills out the back, and the pass I did to Val was probably the thing that gave me (the biggest) boost.
"I was on the wing for the whole week leading up to my debut and when I got chucked into fullback the first couple of minutes I was there I was pretty nervous.
"But I just got back into the groove of it, it's my normal position so I went into what I have to do."
Communication will be a key factor in the Cowboys ability to turn around the defensive lapses on last play that plagued them in the 37-26 loss, according to Tabuai-Fidow.
While the result did not go the way he hoped for a debut, the adrenaline is still very much present - still revelling in the moment he pulled on the jersey.
The flyer said his time at the Perth Nines helped him adjust to the speed and intensity of the game.
"I'm still buzzing now, it's just unreal I got to make my debut on the weekend - it's been a dream for me coming up through my younger ages," Tabuai-Fidow said.
"The first 10 minutes it was pretty quick for me, I sort of felt it there, but as the game went on I got into the groove of how fast it is and what's expected.
"I gave (my family) a ring after the game and they were pretty happy with how I played. I was pretty happy as well, they were just over the moon I got to make my debut."
Originally published as Young gun puts his hand up for No. 1 jersey