Future NRL superstar Joseph Suaalii was outstanding in the North Sydney Bears’ pre-season trial against Canberra.
They all wanted to see Joseph Suaalii in his first game against grown men – and the Sydney Roosters wonder-kid didn’t disappoint with a two-try performance in a trial in Canberra.
The 17-year-old – who barely played a game last season due to COVID and contract disputes – could not have asked for a better debut.
Playing for Roosters’ feeder club North Sydney, Suaalii lived up to the hype – and then some, helping the Bears to an upset 26-18 win.
Canberra should have won this trial easily on paper – their team contained seasoned NRL players Corey Horsburgh, Emre Guler, Dunamis Lui, Ryan James, Tom Starling, Bailey Simonsson and Siliva Havili, while the Bears had a team largely of ‘no-names’.
The former rugby union schoolboy star didn’t have to wait long for his maiden try against the big boys – just 16 minutes and three touches.
A bomb was spilled by the defence, with ex-Warriors fullback Brad Abbey picking up the crumbs and shovelling the ball to Suaalii, who showed great strength to find his way to the tryline.
Suaalii saved his best for late in the game, stepping and showing great power to burst through three defenders from close range for his second.
Here’s a report card on the teenager’s debut.
ATTACK: Didn’t get many chances in open space but got the ball close to the line twice – and scored both times.
FOOTWORK: Showed good leg speed and strength to score both his tries.
DEFENCE: Saved a try early on and not afraid to put the shoulder in against the opposition forwards.
TOUGHNESS: Was served up a couple of hospital passes and hit hard, at one stage hobbling around the field on a sore ankle – but kept coming back for more until cramp forced him off late in the game.
MATURITY: Didn’t let all the attention get to him and didn’t fall into the trap of trying to over-play his hand. Waited for his chances out wide… and then took them.
OVERALL: For a kid with massive expectations on him, Suaalii handled the pressure well, doing his job and then some.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!