Exciting debut for Rocky rep in NRL Touch opener
TOUCH: Rockhampton's Cooper Marshall scored on debut for the North Queensland Cowboys in the opening round of the NRL Touch Premiership at the weekend.
The 17-year-old crossed in the second half of a hard-fought clash with the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
The Cowboys, which boasts a large Rockhampton contingent, ended up winning 7-5.
The team is captained by Rockhampton's Dave Zanette and also includes Malcolm Kenny, Damon Moore, Jack Hughes, Jayden Benbow and Brayden Hegarty.
Marshall said it felt "awesome” to be involved in the country's premier touch competition, and playing at ANZ Stadium was incredible.
He said the game was incredibly fast and the shortened field made for a different style of play.
"We didn't get off to the best start, with the Eels scoring against us early,” he said.
"We scored not long after and then got up by a few more tries. We then stayed ahead of them for the rest of the game.
"Scoring a try was a good confidence booster for me considering it was my first game.”
Marshall was selected for the Cowboys after impressing with the CQ Bulls at the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour.
"I'd just got home when the Cowboys coach Phil Gyemore rang,” he said.
"He said he liked the way I played at the NTL and I would be selected in the Cowboys top 15.
"I was very excited, and at first I didn't really believe it because I'd never really made any teams like that before.
"It was quite a good feeling because I'd been working hard to maintain my fitness and improve my game and it had finally paid off.”
Marshall started playing touch when he was seven.
He quickly found his position in the middle, where he loves doing the hard yards.
His superior fitness, never-say-die attitude and hunger for hard work have helped elevate his career.
Marshall cannot wait for the Cowboys' next game against the Newcastle Knights on June 8 in Townsville.
"The Knights will be a strong side so we'll have to train hard to beat them,” he said.
"Now I've made it, I'd definitely like to stay in the Cowboys team. That would be great for me.”