NELSON BAY coach Steve Dunstan has never been afraid of a challenge.A level III rugby league coach, he once applied for the NSW State of Origin job. It was 1998 and Dunstan was a member of the Knights coaching staff.But much to his disappointment, Tom Raudonikis was reappointed and the Blues went on to lose the series.Fast-forward 11 years and the man affectionately known as "Swede" is pushing the envelope again.After engrossing himself in rugby league for the past 28 years as a player and later as a coach, Dunstan has returned to his roots.Born in Hamilton, Waikato a breeding ground for All Blacks Dunstan was captain of his school's first XV."My love for rugby comes from a generation when a mouse was a rodent, not a computer gadget," said Dunstan, who is as well known for his one-liners as he is his coaching knowledge."It was a long time ago. I used to listen to it on the radio when I was a kid. It was during the days of Brian Lochore, Ian Kirkpatrick and Grant Batty."It was a different game back then."He also played rugby league in New Zealand and came to Australia in 1980 to play at Cronulla.Rugby league has been his passion ever since, but when a vacancy came up to switch codes at Nelson Bay, Dunstan typically threw everything into it."It was a good opportunity for me to move in a different direction and meet a new group of people," said Dunstan, who lives at Anna Bay and is general manager of Highway Ford in Maitland. "I have been lucky enough to come in when the ELVs [experimental law variations] have been introduced."I like the speed of the game. I lot of the boring aspects have gone it is a bit like rugby league in the frenetic way it is played."There may be similarities between the codes, but Dunstan understands to be successful he has a lot to learn about the 15-man game."Listening is power," he said."I have some great guys around me. Richie Gamble, Adam Wood are well respected and have a great knowledge of the game. "We have also picked up Casey Dunning, who has represented Canada and is the younger brother of Wallabies prop Matt Dunning,"Guys like that on the technical side of the game are a massive help."My strengths are things like professionalism, how to build up games, the fitness side of things, skills and man management."The Gropers opened the season with a 27-23 win over Southern Beaches, coming back from 23-5 down at half-time."The second half we stuck to the game plan and finished over the top of them, which was the impressive part," Dunstan said."I was proud of the way they came back."It shows we have a group of guys who won't give up, and that is why you coach."