Broncos winger shines in unexpected debut
The Broncos' latest debutant Jonus Pearson says he never expected to be selected for Brisbane this year, and the 21-year-old admits he was shocked with the game day call-up that saw him replace injured teammate Lachlan Maranta on the Broncos' right wing.
Maranta may now find it hard to work his way back into Brisbane's backline after Pearson enjoyed a dream debut on Friday night.
Pearson was a standout, with his two tries helping the Broncos record a huge 22-point victory over the Parramatta Eels at Suncorp Stadium.
A graduate of Brisbane's Holden Cup side, Pearson said he thought he would be playing for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup this week.
"I didn't expect to make my NRL debut this year," Pearson said.
"I thought I was going to be playing Queensland Cup for the Redcliffe Dolphins for the whole season. My NRL selection was unexpected but great.
"I was playing for the Yeppoon Seagulls not long ago so it has all kind of escalated pretty quickly.
"Playing with the likes of Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday is a real honour. Running out with those Queensland boys is so surreal."
It certainly won't be the last time Pearson takes the field with his childhood heroes, and the young gun is hoping coach Wayne Bennett shows faith and selects him for Thursday night's match with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
That match will again be at Suncorp Stadium, a place where Pearson is quickly becoming a crowd favourite.
After scoring Brisbane's first try against the Eels, every touch from Pearson was met with raucous applause, and this only escalated when he doubled his tally late in the match.
Pearson was humbled by the reception he received throughout his introduction to first grade football.
"It was just unbelievable. Running out onto Lang Park was something else. The crowd went ballistic and that was a great feeling for me," he said.
"This is what I dreamt of when I was a little boy so it was a dream come true.
"Playing NRL for the Broncos is an honour. It felt so good to cross the line twice.
"I didn't get overwhelmed because I knew I had to do my best for the team.
"Hopefully I'm selected again for the next game because now I've had a taste of it I want more.
"Hopefully Wayne will pick me because I loved doing my best out there."
Pearson is likely to be selected to face the Bulldogs with New Zealand international Jordan Kahu likely to be sidelined for another week and the extent of Lachlan Maranta's hip injury not yet known.
It will be a tougher test for the Broncos winger, but after Friday's performance Brisbane officials are confident he will be up to the task.