There’s no denying the excitement that surrounds an NRL Finals series, just ask Sydney Roosters rookie dummy-half Sam Verrills.
Heading into his first NRL Preliminary Final in his first season playing in the top grade, Verrills returned to Roosters training on Monday morning with a smile from ear-to-ear at the prospect of playing on Saturday night.
Officially named to start at hooker on Tuesday afternoon, the dream comes closer to becoming a reality.
“I think it’s just exciting,” Verrills said of the week ahead.
“Even on our weekend off I watched both games and watched the Melbourne game closely on Saturday night.
“Now they’re on the way for a big one this week and I can’t wait.”
Verrills has spent the majority of the season training hard and biding his time, knowing that if he’s always giving 100% effort and dedication to improving his game then his opportunity will come.
Now set to make his ninth consecutive start for the Roosters, it’s safe to say the young hooker enters Saturday night full of confidence.
“I’m going into this week feeling good.
“Robbo’s given me some good opportunities this year and I’m ready to go again this week.
“These boys have really gotten around me this year and they’ve helped me out a lot.
“It’s an exciting time of the year to be playing footy and I can’t wait for it.”
Verrills always mentions and praises the players that play alongside him, both for their talents and their words of wisdom that help him through a game.
But when he was asked about his personal mindset heading into the match, Verrills had some wise words of his own when discussing what he needs to do this week.
“It’s important to have a clear mind and not to over-think it.
“You’ve got to think about your footy, but not over-think the plays or how you’re going to go into it.
“You want to have a clear mindset, know your role and be focused.
“We do that with some good video sessions and amazing coaching.”
He’s spent 2019 with an always ready mentality, and that doesn’t change heading into a must-win environment for the first time in his young NRL career.
“I’ve just been staying ready.
“I’ve got an opportunity to play, and I’ll be ready to go anyway that I’m needed.
“We’ve been building a fortress at the SCG this year and that mentality doesn’t change on Saturday night.
“It’s going to be a physical game and I’m stoked that I’ll be a part of it.”
Match: Roosters v Storm
Finals Week 3 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS