Breakout star Bird loving super start
Boom youngster Jack Bird has declared he is loving every minute in first grade, having exploded out of the blocks in the first three games of his NRL career.
Bird, who recently turned 20, debuted off the bench in the Cronulla Sharks' devastating Round 4 loss to the Titans but has since starred at five-eighth in impressive back-to-back victories.
Last week against the Roosters he scored his team's first try, set up the second and then crossed for the match-winner, and this week he was at it again, scoring the first and having a hand in the second moments later.
Those performances have brought the youngster a wave of attention in Cronulla, which Bird appears to be riding high on for the moment.
"This is what I live for I guess," Bird told NRL.com.
"I love every moment, especially here at the Sharks. They're a good bunch of blokes and I'm enjoying every part of my footy career so far."
The playmaker has been praised for his fearless running style, blistering speed and willingness in defence and has found no shortage in support from his experienced teammates in learning the ropes at NRL level.
"I've got [Luke] Lewis on my right edge so he helps me out with a lot of stuff and I talk with Gal [Paul Gallen] a lot as well during the week," he said.
"He tells me what I have to do to improve my game and, you know, it's working out. To play alongside them it's a real honour because they've been through it all."
Bird is also benefiting from his partnership with a smart and experienced playmaker in halves partner Jeff Robson.
"I just let Jeff do what he wants to do, I let him steer the team around a bit and I just work off the back of that and it's obviously working at the moment."
Described by his coach Shane Flanagan as "just a [natural] footy player", Bird has no issue slotting in anywhere on the park for the good of his team but says he is enjoying holding down the five-eighth position.
"I think when I was young I played every position so I played a bit of fullback, five-eighth, centre and lock.
"I played everywhere on the park but I do like five-eighth and I'm enjoying it so far."
After Friday night's victory against the Knights, the Sharks' first home win in 349 days, Bird was pleased his side finally gave fans something to cheer about at home.
"We really showed up tonight and backed up from last week and you know it's good to get a win here at home," he said.
"I think it's been 10 rounds since we got a win here so to get this win at Shark Park, it's a really good feeling.
"They were undefeated until last week and they came out thinking that they could get the job done.
"But we just stuck to the way we were playing last week and we got over the top of them so it was a really good win for us boys."