Stand-in Bulldogs five-eighth Moses Mbye says while he was disappointed to miss the 17 for Round 1 he's more than happy with the fill-in role he plays at the club.
Mbye helped the Bulldogs to a 32-12 win over the injury-hit Eels on Friday night, including setting up the first try of the night with a cut-out pass to winger Curtis Rona.
The disappointment of missing the final 17 in Round 1 had already been tempered by Mbye's understanding that coach Des Hasler was always likely to go with four forward on the bench if possible.
"I sort of expected it, there's no point kicking stones –you can kick stones but it's not going to help your performance. I went out in Reggies [reserve grade] and ripped in, fate showed and I'm in the team this week. I’ll just keep plugging away and see what happens when [Reynolds is] back."
He said his job against the Eels was just to provide a little bit of direction, and help the side through its sets and get in a grind. "I think we achieved that and I'm really happy with the performance of the team," he added.
Mbye spent the entire off-season training with the first grade squad in the halves, preparing for an exact eventuality such as Reynolds' arm injury, and Mbye said the squad hadn't missed a beat despite also replacing fullback Sam Perrett with Brett Morris and hooker Michael Ennis with Michael Lichaa at the end of 2014.
"From the outside it looks like a new-look team but us boys have been together for years now. The day-in day-out pre seasons are gruelling, there's a lot of bonding in our team, we all get together often on weekends, we're a really tight-knit bunch of fellas. It's new on the outside but on the inside we know each other's games inside out," he said.
Of the uncertain nature of his reserve playmaker/utility role, Mbye said he can't see himself leaving the club in search of other opportunities any time soon.
"I'm happy at the club, in my eyes it's the best club in the NRL, they're awesome with my family, they've really looked after me since moving down from Queensland. Going forward this is a great family club, great morals and this is the club I want to be at for sure," he said.
"For now I am [happy filling in]. Definitely for now. In saying that, it's one of those things that can change overnight but for now I'm happy with what I'm doing."
It makes it even more important to take the opportunities when they present themselves, such as the one currently in front of him replacing Reynolds and the one he got to play in the 2014 Grand Final for the suspended Ennis.
"It's a good opportunity, these opportunities don't come around too often so when they do you have to be ready to take them with two hands and to have a go at it," he said.
"I was very lucky there to jump in for a grand final spot, blokes have been playing for 12-plus years and haven't played a grand final so I was lucky enough to play in a grand final. It wasn't the result we wanted but it was a great experience."