Darkin's story: How a love of league saved my life

Emu Park fullback Malcolm Darkin in the rugby league game against Brothers at Browne Park.
Emu Park fullback Malcolm Darkin in the rugby league game against Brothers at Browne Park. Chris Ison ROK300717cleague2

RUGBY LEAGUE: The thought of training and playing rugby league saved Malcolm Darkin's life.

It got him out of the Woorabinda rat race and out of a life plagued by drugs and alcohol.

Growing up in an Aboriginal community saw him go through a lot, for some it is too much to handle.

At age 17, something clicked in Darkin - he saw a way out.

"Growing up as a kid in the community is very hard...,” he paused.

"I was mixed up in the wrong crowd, drugs, alcohol, all that bad stuff. It is very difficult to break out of.

"I would look forward to that bad stuff, but I stepped up and made that change.

"League changed my life, I would start to look forward to that and playing. I struggle to think how I would be without it (league).

"Now I have a family to look forward to, as well as footy.”

READ: Emu Park sets up showdown with Yeppoon Seagulls.

CHAMPION EFFORT: Emu Park ladies win league grand final.

READ: Emus embrace entertainer's tag.

Now at age 30, Darkin is arguably in the form of his life. The one-time CQ Capra, linked with the Emu Park Emus and has been a cog in the wheel in the club's dramatic rise to the top four.

Emu Park coach Cheyenne Motu.
Emu Park coach Cheyenne Motu. PAM MCKAY

But for coach Cheyenne Motu, Darkin's off-field efforts have been just as vital as his blistering ones on it.

"He is just a good person, a great player too,” Motu praised.

"He helps out so much with the kids and really mentors our young adults. He helps mould them into men.”

As for his on-field heroics?

"He is a try-scoring machine, he is ridiculous,” Motu said with a chuckle.

"He just knows where the line is. One on one he will beat his man, with a little shrug or burst of speed and he goes through.

Emu Park player Malcolm Darkin in the rugby league game against Brothers at Browne Park
Emu Park player Malcolm Darkin in the rugby league game against Brothers at Browne Park Chris Ison ROK300717cleague4

"Be it speed or evasion, he gets to the chalk.”

2017 RRL Top Tryscorers

  • Malcolm Darkin 20
  • Shaun Atkinson 19
  • Hayden Doyle 12
  • Jamie MInto 12
  • Samuel Smith 12
  • Byron Hassall 10
  • Darcy Davey 9
  • Dayn Richards 9
  • Dean Allen 9
  • Joseph Oakley 9
  • Liam Johnson 9
  • Ryan Wilson 9

No short of 20 times this year, Darkin has crossed the line, the most in Rockhampton A-grade Rugby League.

It is hard to fathom only a couple of seasons back, Darkin did his ACL. An injury that almost cost him his career.

"Being back after an ACL a few years ago, coming back from that injury and getting back to what I was,” Darkin, who was understudy to Cameron Munster at the Capras, said.

"It was a tough injury to take and it depressed me but I never gave up on my goals.

"Now I'm back I feel like I didn't lose anything. I am so happy with my form.

"It is such a relief, I haven't really lost any speed, well, maybe a little but that's only because I didn't have a proper pre-season.

"I am 30 now but I feel like I am playing like I did at 21.”

Darkin, who was instrumental in Fitzroy Gracemere Sharks glory days of the 2012 title, feels like his current club is on the cusp of a similar run.

With a scattering of Woorabinda talents, Darkin has no doubt about their chances.

The Emus season is on the line when they do battle with Yeppoon Seagulls in the knock-out final this weekend.

It is the battle of the Cap Coast, the competition benchmark verses the new kids on the block. It comes with a little brother verses big brother feel.

"I have strong belief in the team, coming into the club from where they were last year to now, we are going well,” the fullback/centre commented.

"Everyone is on the same page and we know we can knock them off. They've beat us and we beat them with only 12 players for the last 10 minutes.

"We have seven or eight players from Woorie, who I love playing alongside.”

Darkin and his mojo are back, and Rocky Rugby League is better off.

Topics:  browne park central queensland emu park emus qrl rockhampton rugby league

Businessman goes from Zika virus to Rocky courtroom

Bernie Gribble at The Fitzroy Hotel.

Sentence for Bernard Gribble after pleading guilty to choking ex

'Plane enthusiasts' dream': Massive military aircraft in Rocky right now

The Antonov 124-100, one of the largest aircraft in the world, lands at the Rockhampton Airport.

See one of eight of the incredible aircrafts operating in the world

BREAKING: Brazen CQ teen recaptured after dramatic escape

MAN HUNT: Police are still searching for a 17-year-old man who escaped custody in Emerald on Tuesday night.

The handcuffed 17 year old allegedly stole a car and sped away

Local Partners

Queensland's Sausage King the newest kid on Rocky block

New kid on the butcher's block snags coveted award just months after opening his business.

Get Set for Summer

Win One of Ten Prize Packs
Learn More

Painting a brighter future for koalas

WORTH SAVING: The Queensland Koala Crusaders' Community Crowdfunding Campaign aims to raise $30,000 towards the cost of planting 10,000 trees for koalas.

Queensland Koala Crusaders have launched a crowdfunding campaign

CQ animal rescue group struggle with abandoned pet surge

Thatcher the dog is the face up Capricorn Animal Aid's upcoming fundraiser ball. He is pictured with his foster carer Lailah Hinds and Capricorn Animal Aid's Juanita Peoples ahead of the major event.

Major fundraiser the only hope for hundreds of animals in need

MOVE REVIEW: Tower's too steep a climb for this fan

A POPULAR novel series has finally made it to the screen but it's not exactly the King of movies, according to reviewer Matthew Pearce

'Carnival of chaos': Mega Rocky event you can't miss

A massive night of entertainment is lined up for the Rockhampton Showgrounds next month.

Massive response to release of tickets for next month's spectacular

The Project will now be on six nights a week

The Project presenters Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar.

The Project is expanding with a Sunday night edition and a new host.

Click your fingers, tap your toes

Helen Peters, Elisabeth Wallis-Gaedtke, Evalee Sharples and Kemal Avunduk rehearse for Fascinating Rhythm, Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir's performance of hot jazz, sizzling samba, Latin beats and smooth swing sounds at Lake Kawana Community Centre on August 26-27.

Libby to set beat for Fascinating Rhythm this weekend

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in London

Margot, is that really you?

MARGOT Robbie looks completely unrecognisable as Queen Elizabeth I.

Game of Thrones: Season 7 finale predictions

Emilia Clarke in a scene from season 7 of Game of Thrones.

JON and Daenerys finally met. But what happens next?

Reese Witherspoon on being a ‘has-been’ at 36

Witherspoon’s career has never looked better but that didn’t stop people declaring her a “has-been”.

Reese on the ‘brutal’ article that called her a has-been at 36.

You'll be Sold On what's in this 72-page property magazine

Sold On

The ultimate guide to the world of real estate in our region.

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

Investors quick to snap up property in key growth corridor

High-profile commercial site sells at auction for $4.920m

Rocky in top-10 fastest growing areas for residential units

CBD FRAMEWORK: Artist impression of the $14 million combined residential and commercial high-rise on the corner of William and Bolsover streets, Rockhampton.

Development approvals align with bold inner-city living vision