Bromwich’s milestone match

Published 2:00pm 29 March 2023

Bromwich’s milestone match
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins’ NRL captain Jesse Bromwich will clock up 300 NRL games when he leads his side out against the Dragons on Saturday afternoon.

It will be a special game for him and his family, but also for Jack Bostock whose NRL career will officially kick off.

Bromwich spoke to the media after training about his longevity in the game, the chance moment that started it all and how to guide the young guns coming through his club.

“It means a hell of a lot to myself and my family – all the sacrifices that we’ve had to do for me to stay in this game for so long. My parents obviously growing up, driving us all over town and putting up with me and Ken playing all the time and injuring each other,” he said.

“I just feel super proud, super grateful to the Melbourne Storm for giving me a chance and really helping me become the person that I wanted to become and to the Redcliffe Dolphins for giving me an opportunity to come up here and try something different and do something really special for a different place and a different community.”

A highlight of his career, which has included premiership glory and playing for his country, has been to enjoy some of the big moments, playing alongside his brother Kenny.

“He got me my start right at the start there in Melbourne, I’m super grateful for that, to be able to play in the games that we’ve played together … some very big games and come up here and (there’s been) another couple of big games. It’s been awesome for our families. I really couldn’t put it into words what it means to me,” Bromwich said.

Bromwich’s milestone match

Special moment

Kenny put on a celebratory dinner for Jesse and his family last night at his home.

“He got the Weber out and bought some expensive steaks and stuff like that. He actually said a couple of words before our dinner too, which I thought was a really nice gesture. We don’t really do formal things like that, so for him to do that was really special and he bought be a really nice gift which I’m super grateful for,” Bromwich said.

It was Kenny who urged Jesse to join him at training when he was in town on holiday as a 19-year-old.

“I came down and he told me to put some boots on and come and train. I said, ‘nah, nah, no chance’. Then Brad Arthur came over to me, he was the coach of the (Melbourne Storm) 20s at the time, and he asked me if I wanted to have a run. I said, ‘Yeah, sweet’,” Bromwich recalls.

He trained that day and was asked to play that weekend. It was the last round of the season, but Bromwich put in a good preseason and made the under-20s side the following season.

In 2010, he made his NRL debut.

“For me, I wasn’t a player that was looked at really early. I never had a club … I was not 16 years old and signed to a manager or a club or anything like that. I didn’t really get a look-in until I was 19,” he explains.

|“I’m just super grateful I turned up at the right place at the right time. I know a lot of kids out there with talent don’t that opportunity. It was an opportunity … I took it with two hands and I ran with it as far as I could.|

“Don’t get me wrong, it was always a dream of mine to play in the NRL but when you’re 17 or 18 and you haven’t had a look … all your mates have been picked up and you haven’t had anything, it starts to dawn on you that it might not be for you. When I did get the opportunity, it was one that I really took.”

He credits his longevity to luck in avoiding serious injury and hard work.

Bromwich is also only the sixth New Zealand player to make the 300-game milestone – something he’s very proud of.

So, what does running out in Dolphins’ jersey on Saturday mean to him?

“It’s really special. I came up here looking for an opportunity to do something different and something new,” he explains.

“I know a lot of the guys from Melbourne who started the club off, the guys who were in the first team … the way they used to speak about what kind of an opportunity it was for them and how special it was … To be able to come up here and follow in the footsteps of some of my idols down there was something that I just couldn’t refuse.

“It’s been really enjoyable and the family are loving it up here too.”

Bromwich’s milestone match

Round five challenge

The Dolphins will face the first true test of their depth against the Dragons this weekend with halfback Sean O’Sullivan out for at least three months (ruptured pectoral muscle) and enforcer Felise Kaufusi still suspended.

All eyes will be on Anthony Milford, who made his debut for his new club last Friday night and has been working on his defence in his battle to make the top side.

Bromwich said it would be good to see Milford back in the team but he has a big assignment ahead in O’Sullivan’s absence.

The return of Jeremy Marshall-King this week will help Milford and Isaiya Katoa play at their best and Bromwich is excited to see what they can do against the Dragons.

“Issy’s coming off an elbow injury but as he plays more games, he’s going to get better and better. We can’t expect him to go out there and be a 200+ game halfback as a 19, 18-year-old kid,” he said when asked if Katoa would take on a more dominant role in directing the team.

“We need to give him the tools that are going to help him thrive in the position. A lot of it’s going to be on Hammer and Jeremy and other spine players to help him out and, where we can, the leadership players.

|“We want him to be a good first-grader for a long time. We don’t want to set him up for anything too silly.”|

Bromwich’s milestone match

Popular debutant

Another player hoping for a long career in the NRL is Jack Bostock who will make his debut against the side that probably would have signed him had the Dolphins not pounced.

Bostock will replace Tesi Niu on the wing after the Tongan international suffered damage to the medial collateral ligament in his knee last week.

It will be a special night for the 19-year-old Bostock, who grew up in Shellharbour, just 20 minutes’ drive away from WIN Stadium.

“He’s a real tall, athletic kid. He’s really eager to learn and really willing to work hard which are traits I find make the best first-graders,” Bromwich said.

“He’s going back home, playing his debut … it’s a pretty special time for him and his family. I’m very grateful to be a part of that but I don’t want to put too much pressure on him either. It’s his debut. I want him to go out there, have some fun, run the ball hard and make his tackles and hopefully we can put on a really good performance.”

So, how will his captain support him this weekend?

“I think just by putting confidence in him, so he’s able to go out there and back himself. For us, it’s just about putting confidence in our young guys and pushing them to go out there and play to their strengths,” Bromwich said.

“I heard him this morning talking about how many tickets he was chasing for this weekend. He must be very popular down that way. I think he said he needed about 50. Look out WIN Stadium.”

Kick-off is at 4.30pm on Saturday, April 1.


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