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Jobe Murphy thrilled to be in big time at Bradford Bulls
Seven days ago, Jobe Murphy and a friend were walking through Huddersfield town centre.
The Bulls rookie was carrying a bag containing a watch when he bumped into assistant coach Lee St Hilaire.
Then the ribbing started.
“Lee claimed that I was spending money and walking around as a big-timer because I knew I was playing my first Super League game,” said Murphy with a huge smile.
“John Bateman phoned me at the same time, so he knew I’d seen Lee and started saying to all the lads I’d been taking the coaches for a coffee to get a game. It just carried on from there.”
The joking and banter aside, Murphy had much to celebrate after coming off the bench to make his Super League debut in last weekend’s home win over Castleford.
The 20-minute cameo marked the end of a tumultuous journey for the home-grown back-rower, who progressed through the ranks after joining the Bulls from amateur club Siddal.
Murphy’s 2012 campaign was wrecked by injuries after he sustained an ankle ligament tear which sidelined him for 12 weeks and then suffered a tendon rip in his right hand, putting him out of action for another two months.
After a fine pre-season, Murphy impressed in the friendlies against Dewsbury and Leeds and got his chance against Castleford after being 18th man for the opening two rounds.
The 20-year-old from Rastrick said: “The team to face Cas was named on Friday and I was delighted.
“I was itching to get on and must have warmed up about 50 times!
“It felt like a reward for all the hard work and I’m really grateful to Franny for putting his faith in me.
“I’ve made some big sacrifices because I really want to push on this season.
“Franny had told me I might be on the bench but I didn’t want to put anything on Twitter.
“The only person I told was my mum – I barely even mentioned it to my dad because I didn’t want to make a fool of myself if I wasn’t playing.
“My mum and dad were probably the proudest people in the stadium last Saturday.
“I have always followed Bradford since I was a youngster at Siddal, so to get out there and play a first-team game was unbelievable.
“All the lads were awesome and couldn’t have helped me enough.”
Significantly, Murphy was picked ahead of James Donaldson last week and he admitted: “I was made up with that because Donno is a proven Super League player. It obviously showed my training is paying off.”
Nevertheless, Murphy – by his own admission – has plenty to work on.
After entering the fray against Castleford, he conceded a number of penalties, one of which led to a try for Matt Diskin being chalked off.
“I got pinged three or four times but it was just a lack of composure and inexperience and I’ll learn from it,” explained Murphy.
“You can do as much training as you want but until you get out on the field, there is no substitute for it.
“Hopefully now I’ve made my debut I can just push on.
“People say it’s a relatively small squad but you’re still looking over your shoulder because there are players to come back.
“The team is getting picked on merit and if you’re in form you’re getting picked, regardless of how old you are.”
Murphy’s enthusiasm is obvious and he can expect to play some part against St Helens this weekend.
He said: “I’m prepared to put my body on the line for the team.
“I have respect for my opponents but I’m not going to stand back and I want to get in people’s faces. That’s just the way I play.
“They have been there and done it for about 12 years now, so hopefully I can take their advice on board and apply it into my game.”