TIM Bridge arrived at the Lank Bain Sporting Complex at Wauchope the weekend before last focused on playing a big match for Wingham’s under 18s in the Group Three Rugby League competition against Wauchope.
He was a member of the side that maintained a top three position on the ladder by beating the Blues. But that was just the start of his day.
“We were short of players for reserve grade so they asked me to back,’’ he explained.
“I started off the bench then they put me on after about 10 minutes.’’
Playing five-eighth, the 18-year-old estimates he was on the field for a touch over 40 minutes.
“They took me off with about 10 minutes to go,’’ he said.
Bridge thought it was time for a deserved shower. But that wasn’t the case.
The Tigers, hit by injury and unavailable players, were also struggling for numbers in firsts. So Bridge answered the call and started on the wing for the game against the unbeaten competition leaders and reigning premiers.
He scored a try in his first grade debut but there was no fairytale ending Wauchope winning 72-4.
Bridge’s elder brother, Matt is also a member of the Wingham first grade side and this was the first time they’d played a game together.
He said first grade was certainly tougher and faster than any match he’d been in before. Bridge admits running up a side containing up to six group representative was daunting, but he enjoyed the experience.
“Yeah it was good,’’ he said.
He’s a Wingham junior who started his footy in under sixes.
Originally a fullback Bridge switched to the halves three seasons ago and was a member of the Group Three under 18 representative team this year.
Bridge is confident Wingham can take out the under 18 premiership.
“But Taree City is definitely the team to beat,’’ he added.
He also plays touch and is a Northern Eagles under 18s representative while is summer he turns out for Wingham’s B-grade cricket team.
The last two years have been lean for the Tigers, but Bridge is confident there’s better days ahead.
“There are some good young players here,’’ he said.
“The club has a good future.’’
He’s unsure if he’ll be required for first grade again this year.
“It’ll depend on how we’re going for numbers,’’ he said.
“But if they need me I’ll play.’’