NRL debut meant skipping state rep opportunity for Hoare’s
NORTH Queensland Cowboys prop Sam Hoare gave up a Maroons jersey but he has no regrets.
The Emmaus College graduate made his NRL debut with the Cowboys on Saturday evening against the St George-Illawarra Dragons at WIN Jubilee Stadium.
Originally selected in the Queensland Residents team that tackled New South Wales Residents at Suncorp Stadium last night, Hoare withdrew from the annual interstate match after he was named in the Cowboys team earlier in the week.
"It was taken out of my hands," 22-year-old Hoare said of the decision to play for the Cowboys.
"But I would have made the same decision. I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to make my NRL debut."
His parents, Mick and Jo Hoare, travelled down to Sydney to be in the stands as Sam donned the Cowboys strip for the first time while his older brother Jared tuned in from the United States.
The night didn't go to plan with the Dragons snatching a 27-24 win over the Cowboys.
On the back of three tries either side of the half-time break, the Cowboys took a 20-14 lead before the Dragons fought back to win.
Cowboys head coach Paul Green said Hoare and fellow debutants Ben Spina and Zac Santo stepped up in their first appearances for the club.
"They all did themselves really proud tonight," Green said.
"I was really proud of what they did out there and I'm proud of their effort.
"That's why I'm so disappointed that we're not sitting here talking about a great win for the club and a great win for those guys.
"Instead we're talking about a loss that was there for the taking for us."
Cowboys veteran and stand-in skipper Ashton Sims echoed Green's disappointment.
"I'm disappointed for those guys. It's the biggest night of their lives and some of us older guys made a couple of mistakes and we paid for it," he said.
Hoare said he'd received positive feedback from Green and the Cowboys' coaching staff and hoped he'd done enough to get another opportunity to pull on the Cowboys strip in the near future.
"I've spoken a bit with them (the coaching staff) and they seem happy with what I did. It would've been nice to get the win but it's still nice to finally get a crack," Hoare said.
"I'd like to think that after Saturday night I've put myself in good stead to get selected again.
"There's a few injuries in the forwards so hopefully I'll get another opportunity."