Wakefield debutant Danny Cowling says he will never get a feeling like the one he experienced at the full-time hooter after playing his part in a stunning 33-32 victory over St Helens.
The academy product came into the side to replace the suspended Dean Collis in the right centre position and impressed the Wildcats faithful after some big tackles helped his team mates force the winning drop goal by half-back Paul Sykes.
It was the 20 year-old’s first taste of Super League after impressing at Doncaster on dual-registration this season and he says yesterday was one day he will never forget.
“To win on my debut, in the way we did, and against the opponents we played is an unreal feeling and a feeling I’ll never get again,” he said after the game.
“You only ever get one debut and that was it, it was a real good feeling.
“That’s what you play for. Obviously I’m out on duel-reg and enjoying it there but really this is what you play for and this is what you want to be playing Super League and to be playing first team, so to finally get the chance it’s one that I’ve hopefully grasped.”
The former Featherstone Lions man actually endured a nightmare start with Tony Puletua scoring after Francis Meli broke clear down Cowling’s side of the pitch but he then went onto drag Chris Flannery into touch and force a knock on from Lee Gaskell in the closing minutes and without those crucial tackles it would have been hard to see a Wildcats victory.
“You can’t say, but they were big tackles at the time in the game and how Saints were playing at the time so I’m just glad to have pulled them off and not made another mistake like I did in the first minute.
“I couldn’t have wished for a worse start really, all the nerves and with it being my debut I was buzzing but after that hopefully I made my mark on the game and a few big tackles there, hopefully I made up for that and the coach will be impressed.
“Playing with Flannery and Meli on your side and people that have came from State of Origin’s and the NRL, to play against them is a massive achievement personally and to win against players like that is an even bigger achievement.”
The Rapid Solicitors Stadium erupted when Sykes successfully kicked the drop goal with fans and players alike punching the air with the one pointer giving Trinity their fourth successive victory and confirming a bid for the final play-off place. Cowling says he had a mixture of feelings as the ball left Sykes’ boot.
“It was more nerves to be honest, I was more bothered about getting my breath back!
“I was shattered towards the end but when the final whistle went and we were walking back it was unreal, it was a real big buzz.
“The boys dug in at the end and Saints got a bit of a roll on towards the end there and it could have gone one way or the other but we had the belief in ourselves and belief in the players around us that we could do it. We just needed the ball and to get in the right positions and that’s what we did.”
The atmosphere inside the home of the Wildcats was arguably the best of 2012 as the home supporters sensed a crucial victory and the young centre admits the fans made a massive difference after playing in front of the biggest crowd of his career.
“It was something I’ll never feel again, all of the hype about your debut and it’s all there but to hear the fans singing like they did and they did that all the way through the game. They were amazing and they got me through and helped me.
“As for my debut, hopefully I’ve shown enough there and shown that I can perform at this level so I am hoping it’s the first of many.”
Cowling was the latest player to graduate from the Wildcats academy and make their debut under Richard Agar with the head coach putting faith in the clubs youngsters and this could not be possible without Club 1873, the Wildcats lottery.
Club 1873 was set-up last year aiming to pump money into the clubs well renowned academy structure to attract and more importantly retain stars of the future. For just £2 a week supporters are entered into daily draws with £250 being won every week whilst supporters will know their money goes to safeguarding the future of the club.
If you are interested in signing up to Club 1873 and helping the club nurture youngsters into first team regulars then please contact Lianne Orrell by emailing her at email@example.com, call her on 01924 211611 or alternatively signing up at either of our retail outlets at the Ridings Centre or Rapid Solicitors Stadium Box Office.
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