St George Illawarra Dragons centre Dylan Farrell is elated to start his career with a win following the 44-24 win over Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Sunday.
The Culburra Dolphins junior believes the squad learnt a lot from their early defensive lapse during the first 20 minutes of the opening stanza which saw the home side concede two unanswered converted tries.
The 22-year-old is hoping the team can build on this momentum ahead of the away trip to face the New Zealand Warriors at Eden park, Auckland on Saturday.
“This was definitely the best way to start out the NRL season,” said Farrell.
“We didn’t have the best run in trials with such a fresh squad and new structures but we came together after the slow start to show what we can do.
“Every one was really positive at training last week and we turned it around to take the win.
“It was very hot playing out there and the boys did a massive job to overcome the Tigers.
“It was great to see all the Red V Members and fans out there supporting us too.
“Even though we didn’t go too well in trials we had plenty of supporters out there backing us with signs and well wishes.
“It’s going to be a tough game over there against the Warriors; it’s always tough going over to New Zealand to play but we’ll prepare well and take out the win.
“It’s awesome to be wearing the Red V; most of the players I looked up to when I was younger still play in the team like Brett Morris, Ben Creagh and Jason Nightingale so it’s a massive honour to be able to play with them now.”
Fellow Dragons centre Gerard Beale was similar in his enthusiasm following the win on Sunday.
The New Zealand international admitted he was pleased with young fullback Adam Quinlan’s performance after he stepped in for a sidelined Josh Dugan.
“It’s really great to get off to a good start in Round 1 for this season and this was the first step in being a well playing team this year,” said Beale.
“In the first 15 minutes we were on the back foot but we held composure and didn’t panic; we used everything we’ve been practicing to our advantage.
“Adam Quinlan stepped up and played well for us today and he’s got a big future ahead.
“I’m quite happy with the way I played and it was good to get a view on what I need to work on to improve.
“We can take a lot of confidence from today and build on it for next week when we go to New Zealand.
“Everyone played really well today, but Tyson Frizell and Gareth Widdop definitely stepped up and had a few plays that changed the momentum of the game for us.
“Everyone has a pretty big personality at the club this year but Widdop and Witt seem to be among the strongest in the dressing room.
“They are both really good assets to the team; Witt has a lot of experience to bring to the side and Widdop does also but he’s still really young.”