Brisbane Broncos forward Sam Thaiday is relishing his role as an impact player; with the versatile 30-year-old loving the different opportunities he is presented with when starting on Brisbane's bench.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett moved Thaiday to the bench at the start of the 2016 season due to the NRL reducing the interchanges from 10 to 8 and Thaiday's new role has been a key part of Brisbane's successful start to the season that sees them sitting top of the table after seven games.
Thaiday was thrown into the deep end on Saturday night - playing extended minutes off the bench due to an injury to second-row forward Alex Glenn early in the first half.
Glenn copped a stray knee from Newcastle Knights centre Sione Mata'utia and required urgent treatment to his hip flexor that forced him from the field.
Thaiday came on for Glenn, playing 57 minutes for the game. It was a big ask for Thaiday, who averaged just 43 minutes per game heading into the match, but the Brisbane veteran says he appreciated the extra workload, especially heading into the State of Origin period.
"That's what footy is all about, you have to wait for your opportunity," Thaiday said.
"I got a chance to go out there after about 10 minutes and that was really good to be able to play some longer minutes tonight. That'll only help me in the weeks coming up.
"What happened to Alex was a total accident. He got kneed in his hip joint and that's a very painful injury.
"He wasn't able to run so he came off and got some treatment for that, but to his credit, he showed his guts and determination by getting back out there."
Although quick to praise Glenn's toughness, Thaiday saved his biggest wrap for star five-eighth Anthony Milford.
Milford was Brisbane's best player in their 53-0 win over the Knights, scoring three tries and setting up one other.
"Milford was enjoying himself tonight. We pay better football as a team when Milford and Hunt are controlling the game with majority of the possession," Thaiday said.
"I think that showed tonight with how well they played and the final score is indicative of that."