New recruit and hooker Craig Garvey was rewarded with his first Bulldogs jersey last weekend due to a knee injury that will see Michael Lichaa sidelined for four weeks.
The 22-year-old arrived at Belmore looking for a fresh start and an opportunity to work alongside one of the best coach’s in the game.
After a gruelling pre-season, the Auckland Nines and an appearance in the Indigenous All Stars, the chance to wear the blue and white came earlier than expected.
“It’s unfortunate that Lichaa has been injured,” said Garvey. “I always wanted to work my way into the team if I was going to be here.
“You have to take your opportunities and hopefully I can push for a bench spot when he gets back.”
His first game at his new club will be remembered for the Kerrod Holland conversion after the full-time siren, but for Garvey, tackling himself into the ground for 80 minutes after making 64 tackles, is all he remembers.
“I’m very sore. I have a small pinch in my neck, but hopefully I can get the job done this week again in the middle.
“It would be nice to not make as many tackles and get some more running under my belt.”
Garvey will get another opportunity the week when the Bulldogs return to ANZ Stadium on Friday night for an encounter with arch rivals, the Parramatta Eels, who will be full of confidence after defeating the reigning premiers, but they will be minus Nathan Peats who has been ruled out with an elbow injury.
The Bulldogs have been outstanding on the road, after wins over the Sea Eagles and Panthers to start the season.
The players have shown a real commitment to one another over the past two weeks and bringing that form back home and performing in front of your loyal members and fans is what the playing group has spoken about.
“We definitely have spoken about our first home game. We want to come out of the blocks firing and giving our fans something to cheer about.
“Hopefully we get a good win over the Eels and keep this roll going.”
The Bulldogs have enjoyed plenty of success over the Eels in recent times winning nine of the past 10 matches and will be looking to make it three from three to being their 2016 campaign on Friday night - the first time since 2012.