Joe Greenwood helped create a piece of history when he stepped off the substitutes’ bench for the first time during the Gold Coast Titans 18-32 home defeat at the hands of Sydney Roosters on Saturday night.
By running on for the second 40 minutes the former Saints’ forward and fellow Titans recruit and ex-Wigan Warriors Sarginson became the first Super League duo to make their debuts for the same club in the same game in the NRL era.
As a young kid at 23 years old this is what I wanted and it’s come so soon I have to keep pinching myselfNew NRL recruit Joe Greenwood
Before Greenwood and Sarginson, Wigan duo Steve Hampson and Andy Gregory made their Illawarra Steelers debut together in 1989.
“Wherever the coach wants me to play I’ll play and if he wants me to push out big minutes I’ll do my best to push out those big minutes and do what’s best for the team,” Greenwood told NRL.com.
The 23-year-old only landed in Australia on Monday of last week with his arrival on the Gold Coast from St Helens accelerated 12 months earlier than originally anticipated.
It brought the dream of an NRL debut into clear view and he said after the game that he was still coming to terms with the fact that he is now playing in the NRL.
“I have to keep pinching myself because this is like a dream,” said Greenwood, who ran for 48 metres and made 14 tackles in his first 40 minutes as a Titan.
“This is what I’ve always dreamed of as a kid, is actually playing in the NRL.
“It’s a big opportunity and the way league is going it’s just massive and it’s just growing and growing.
“As a young kid at 23 years old this is what I wanted and it’s come so soon I have to keep pinching myself.”
After 60 Super League appearances for St Helens, Greenwood admitted that the pace of the NRL was the biggest change but that spending the first 40 minutes watching from the sideline was the greater torture.
“I was just itching to get on,” Greenwood said.
“Those first 40 minutes were really slow and I was just waiting for the call, waiting for the call and then it came at half-time and I was just happy to get on and get some good minutes under my belt.
“It was a bit strange actually because the first 20 minutes [of the second half] went so quick and I looked up at the clock and the last 20 minutes were going slower and slower.
“It sometimes felt like the clock was adding on time.
“It’s good just to get straight into it and not waiting about. Your nerves are there at the start but now they’ve gone, straight in and it’s exciting.
“The crowd was unreal, the stadium’s unreal and it were great to just get the first game.”