It’s what dreams are made of for young football players, running out to 15,000 supporters at Hunter Stadium on Old Boys Day.
For 21-year-old Dylan Phythian, that was his first grade debut. On top of that he scored a try within 90 seconds of coming onto the field, and impressed everyone with his calm and composed approach to the game.
“It only kicked in that I was making my debut when I ran out onto the field and realised the atmosphere,” Phythian told Knights TV following the match.
“But it was a massive dream come true to play here, especially on Jezza’s (Jeremy Smith) last game and Old Boys Day.”
While Phythian is a fullback by trade and can play in the halves, he made his NRL debut as a dummy-half.
While he only played 29 minutes, he got his hands on the ball 33 times and made 10 tackles with 91 per cent accuracy, not to mention that try from short range.
“We didn’t get the win, but I got a meat pie and that always makes things better,” he said.
“I was just sort of cruising around, getting the feel of the game when I saw there was a bit of space on the right side.
“I just didn’t even think twice about passing to Mullo (Jarrod Mullen) or Hokko (Trent Hodkinson), and it turned out alright.”
Considering the size and strength of South Sydney’s pack, it was a big first assignment in the NRL for Phythian.
Also only several weeks back from injury, he acquitted himself well.
“It’s a lot more physical, definitely,” he said.
“Especially with the Burgess boys out there.
“And also the pace of it, especially with me not playing that much this year and my fitness not being where I want it to be.”
The Knights now prepare to face the St George Illawarra Dragons at Kogarah this Saturday to finish off the 2016 season.