IT was a day most of his teammates would prefer to forget but Josh King will remember forever, and fondly.
The last time Newcastle Knights played Brisbane, in round seven last season, they copped a 53-0 hammering at Suncorp Stadium – the third-largest defeat in the club’s history.
But for King, it was the culmination of a childhood dream. At 21, the apprentice electrician from Singleton had made his NRL debut.
“As you can imagine, it’s a dream come true,’’ he said.
“It’s all the hours you put in, all the long days, to get towards the goal. For it all to come true, and to have my family there at Suncorp, one of the biggest grounds in the world, it was amaxing. Words can’t describe it.”
Asked if the scoreline took any gloss off the occasion, King replied: “Not really. I was that overwhelmed, I didn’t even look at the negative side of it. To lose by 50 points, it didn’t really matter to me, because I was that happy to be out there playing against that calibre of player.”
Fifteen months on, and with a further 18 games under his belt, the 105-kilogram prop has a more hardened mindset. As he prepares for his second clash with Brisbane, he is aiming for nothing less than a win.
“When I played my first game, I had no expectations on myself, but now I do.
“I’ve come along myself since then, and I know the team has as well. We’re all hoping for a bit better result this time. We don’t just want to be competitive, we want to be a winning side.’’
After learning his trade off the bench, King has spent the past three games in Newcastle’s starting team.