Everyone is still talking about Alex Twal getting the monkey off his back last Saturday night at Campbelltown Stadium by scoring his first ever try after more than 100 NRL games for Wests Tigers.
The crowd of almost 9,000 did appreciate Twal’s breakthrough giving him a standing ovation.
And while he’s been a bit of a cult figure with some Tigers fans, Twal’s effort took second place to the focus on 18 year old Tallyn Da Silva who was making his debut.
On a night when there was little else for fans to celebrate – Melbourne Storm were brutally clinical in winning the game 28-6 – Da Silva, pictured above with the ball in his hands, gave home fans something to cheer about.
A local junior from Campbelltown, his debut saw scores of East Campbelltown Eagles former players and fans on the southern hill make a huge noise when he ran on the field as an interchange in the first half.
Before the game, head coach Tim Sheens told the media Da Silva was a kid with a lot of potential.
He wasn’t kidding.
Da Sylva immediately stood out for both his calm at dummy half and impressive leg speed when he tried to run the ball himself.
The Storm defence was an unbreakable wall for the entire 80 minutes, but this young man managed to have them scrambling a little to contain him.
That is why despite a season in which the Wests Tigers have managed to win just three games, Da Sylva represents a more successful future for the club.
Tim Sheens is slowly but surely building a team that will deliver the on field results every fan craves.
But the wily old coach knows Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same goes for a footy team that can win premierships.
With the pathways in South Western Sydney starting to produce some very talented youngsters such as Da Silva, success is not too far away for Wests Tigers.
Hopefully next season, when the club finally reverts to the original formula of playing six home games each at Campbelltown and Leichhardt, there will be plenty of wins to celebrate.
- The Wests Tigers will have their final bye this round, and return to action against the Cowboys in Townsville for round 18 on Saturday, July 1.