You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

For two years they set the Holden Cup alight together with try-scoring exploits based on speed and skill so it was fitting that Kalyn Ponga and Gideon Gela-Mosby both scored their maiden NRL tries just five minutes apart last weekend against the Titans.

When they burst onto the scene in 2015 they did so in very different fashion, Gela-Mosby a virtual unknown from the Torres Strait while Ponga came into the broader consciousness as talented kids do these days; via a YouTube video of his schoolboy rugby highlights that went viral.

Although 18 months his junior, Ponga's presence in the sheds for Gela Mosby's NRL debut was vital for the extremely shy 20-year-old and it was Ponga who provided the final pass before Gela-Mosby ducked and weave his way past three Titans tacklers to score in the 34th minute of his NRL career.

‌Ponga has seen it all before and insists there is much more where that came from.

"I've played a couple of years with Gideon now and I was just excited," Ponga said of Gela-Mosby's NRL debut.

"I was fortunate to be the one that gave him the ball and when I see him out there I get excited. He's obviously a talented little fella and I just couldn't be more proud for him."

When Gela-Mosby spoke with at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines he spoke of the need to improve his off-field habits in order to reach first grade but injuries to Antonio Winterstein, Justin O'Neill and Lachlan Coote created an opportunity after less than a month.

In just seven runs against the Titans he turned two into line breaks and ran for 96 metres, overcoming a severe case of nerves before taking the field.

"He was overwhelmed, I could tell," Ponga told

"I know what he's like and he was really nervous. Gideon is quiet but he can come out of his shell a little bit.

"Right before the game he was saying, 'Don't talk to me, I'm nervous'. That's the way he prepared and I thought he went out there and did a good job.

"Everyone's different. I know how Gideon plays and our combination has been there for a bit and I knew that if I said too much that it might get to him.

"I just let him do his thing and that's what he did."

At just 180 centimetres and 87 kilograms Gela-Mosby doesn't fit the mould of what the modern winger looks like but the speed that made him a schoolboy athletics sensation in North Queensland has always been his greatest asset.

In his first year of Holden Cup his 39 tries broke Ben Barba's record for most tries in an under-20s season by 11 and he began his first year of senior football with a double for the Northern Pride in Round 1 of the Intrust Super Cup.

He took little more than half an hour to register his first try in the NRL and Ponga has no doubt it will be the first of many.

"He showed his talents and skills," Ponga said, himself in only his fourth NRL game and scoring a slashing try just before half-time.

"There probably was a few people doubting him but I've played with him and I know how he plays and I wasn't surprised by what he did out there.

"He's still only young and that's probably the good thing. He's going to learn a lot over the next few years and I'm just excited to watch him really."


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners