SPECIAL MOMENT: Harry Grant scored his first NRL try on debut with the Wests Tigers on Saturday night. Picture: Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
SPECIAL MOMENT: Harry Grant scored his first NRL try on debut with the Wests Tigers on Saturday night. Picture: Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Harry’s dream debut with Tigers

RUGBY LEAGUE: Yeppoon’s Harry Grant enjoyed a dream debut with the Wests Tigers, scoring his first NRL try in the team’s 12-point win over the Cronulla Sharks at the weekend.

The 22-year-old hooker scored the first points of the game in just the fourth minute off the back of some slick lead-up work from halfback Luke Brooks.

The Tigers scored five tries to two in their 28-16 win at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night, with Grant’s performance drawing plenty of plaudits from league commentators.

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He made the move from the Melbourne Storm to the Sydney-based club in March this year on a historic loan deal designed to give him more regular game time at NRL level.

He has previously played two games for the Storm but Cameron Smith has a mortgage on the No.9 jersey at the club, which also has Kiwi rake Brandon Smith in its ranks.

Terry Hansen, who coached Grant in his two years playing firsts for St Brendan’s College, said it was great to see the modest young star shine at the top level.

Harry Grant and his Wests Tigers teammates after their Round 3 win over the Cronulla Sharks at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Harry Grant and his Wests Tigers teammates after their Round 3 win over the Cronulla Sharks at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“The fact that he can now run out and play first grade for another club, that’s where I think the loan deal can work,” he said.

“If he sits down in Melbourne behind Cameron Smith for another 12 months, that’s another 12 months that he’s not playing NRL.

“Most fairly astute judges believe that he is an NRL player – and he proved that last night, didn’t he?”

Hansen said he recognised immediately that Grant had the competitive edge.

“What I look for in footy players is the way they’re prepared to compete,” he said.

“You can have the best athletes in the world but they’re still not going to be as good as the kid who is an absolute competitor - and that’s what Harry is.”

Hansen can understand the hype around Grant, and believes he is destined to wear the prized Maroon jersey.

“All things being equal, I can see no reason why Harry won’t play State of Origin.

“As far as young nines go, the cupboard is pretty bare so I’m sure the Queensland selectors have him right in their sights.

“I rate him very highly.

“He’s a great human being, he comes from a great family, he’s really humble and he’s a hard worker.

“He’s one of those kids who will never forget where he comes from.”