You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
A Man for the Fans: Blake Taaffe

Win, lose or draw, one thing new Bulldogs recruit Blake Taaffe makes sure to do after every game is walk over and make time for the fans.

It’s a ritual he did at South Sydney and something he wants to continue at Belmore. He’ll hear their feedback, good or bad, and take it with him going into the following training week.

For Taaffe, who was once a fan in the stands himself, he understands the importance of the rugby league community with his parents driving him for two hours every weekend as a child to play the game.

“I grew up in La Perouse then moved to Central Coast when I was six years old but Dad used to drive me down for five years to still keep playing for La Parouse so I could play with my cousins.

“I’m forever in debt for them. The whole family were Souths supporters but they’re all Bulldogs now and have made it pretty clear. Without the supporter base and family support, we’re nothing.

“Walking over to fans after every game is something I’ve done coming through the juniors to now. I’m keen to get to know the fans and meet faces who will become familiar as time goes on.

I like to listen to what they say regardless of how they feel. It’s the game we’re in and what we deal with, but I’ll always be around to say thank you for coming.

Taaffe plans to do similar this weekend and reunite with some old friends when he takes on his former Rabbitohs teammates tomorrow in the Good Friday clash. A clash he described will be “good fun” after a five-year stint in red and green.

Taaffe celebrates a try with the fans.
Taaffe celebrates a try with the fans.

The 24-year-old has had the match pencilled in since the draw release in November with the battle against great mate Cody Walker an exciting challenge.

“I did a lot of work with Cody and still talk to him regularly,” Taaffe said.

“From learning as much as I can from Cody in the last five years to going out there and showing him what I’ve learned, it’s the game I’ve been most pumped for all off-season.”

While Taaffe’s time in the blue and white is new, his partnership with Matt Burton and Stephen Crichton is familiar and continues to blossom.

The trio all represented NSW’s under-20s side in 2019 with Taaffe partnering Burton in the halves.

“Originally they picked two other halves and before Matt and I both got called up late,” he said.

“We were both quiet but built a good relationship after that.

“He excelled at the Panthers and then we played each other in the 2021 grand final. Hopefully, we can call it even and win one here so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

Taaffe’s experience playing in the 2021 decider has given him the confidence to be a mainstay in the NRL.

“I’ve been in the shadows for a bit as a fringe player so my main goal is to cement a starting spot,” he said.

“This is the club that will take me to the next level.  We’re going in the right direction.”

Taaffe has been named to start against his former side tomorrow. The Annual Good Friday clash will kick off at 4:05pm tomorrow, Friday March 29th at Accor Stadium.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.