Holland buoyed by second shot
This time 12 months ago Kerrod Holland was likely to be seen working in roofs installing kitchen lights. This Monday night he'll make his second ever appearance in the NRL following his match-winning effort back in March.
Holland made his NRL debut in Round 2 and etched his name into the record books when he kicked a conversion after the siren to secure the Bulldogs an 18-16 victory over Penrith.
It was a far cry from the year prior with his influential efforts for the Newcastle Knights in their NSW Cup premiership victory not enough to secure a full-time contract at the club.
"I didn't really realise what sort of impact it would have. When I got home [after my debut] I obviously couldn't sleep. My phone was just going crazy," Holland said of his debut.
"Just getting recognise down the street and stuff too. I was having coffee the next morning and the lady who was serving knew who I was. Things like that have changed."
The Singleton Greyhounds junior's debut was slightly dampened when he found himself back in reserve grade the very next week, once Chase Stanley had returned from a hamstring injury.
Sadly Stanley's hamstring returned last week in his 100th NRL game, with the veteran set to miss the next two to four weeks.
While it presents another chance in the NRL for Holland, the 23-year-old was saddened by Stanley's plight.
"[After my debut coach Des Hasler] let me know that I didn't do anything wrong. He just said Chase deserved his spot and deserved his opportunity once he was fit and ready to go, which just so happened to be the next week," Holland said.
"It's not something you want to see happen to one of your teammates. He's worked so hard and he's been plagued by injuries his whole career so it's disappointing for him.
"But it's just another opportunity for me. If I can string a few together and keep some form it would be good."
Holland is hoping it's an opportunity that sets him up for bigger and better things.
"It's nice to be back. You really miss it after having that first little taste in the NRL. I just wanted more," Holland said.
"It was hard to take when I [lost my spot] but it's part and parcel of playing footy. Especially when you're coming through, every time you get an opportunity you just have to try and make it your own."