Bench just the start for Frawley
Matt Frawley says his current goal is to cement a spot on Canterbury's bench, but if he continues to produce the sort of football we've seen from him over the past fortnight, Bulldogs coach Des Hasler might be forced to find a spot for him somewhere in the run-on side.
The 22-year-old made his NRL debut last week as cover for the suspended Moses Mbye and manufactured a crucial win for the Bulldogs through his kicking game.
His form against the Broncos was good enough to earn him a spot on the bench on Friday night against Newcastle, with Frawley thrust into the game midway through the first half after fullback Brad Abbey (head knock) was taken from the field.
The reshuffle saw Frawley come on at halfback, pushing Mbye to centre and Brett Morris to fullback, with Canterbury piling on five tries with that formation.
Frawley played a key role in his side's 22-12 win, scoring a sizzling solo try one minute into the second half before he turned provider to set up Josh Morris with a perfectly thrown cut-out pass.
"I'm just trying to enjoy the moment and not get carried away," Frawley said after the game.
"It's only been two games – everyone's been pretty quick to judge – but it's only been two games so I've got to remain focused and try to enjoy it.
"I didn't really know what was going on [with the game plan tonight]. I just had to be prepared to come on in the 50th minute, 60th minute or whenever it was.
"I feel comfortable in the team. The boys are awesome. We've got a simple structure and I've just got to do my role. I was a little bit filthy on myself for a couple of options that I took so it's something to work on."
Frawley – who spent a bit of time at hooker while playing NYC for the Raiders – said moving back to dummy-half wasn't something he was likely to do at the Bulldogs, with his long-term goal nailing down a spot in the starting side in the halves.
"My first goal for me is just to cement that bench spot. If I can cement that bench spot then I'd be stoked. That's the number one goal for me and we'll see where that takes me," he said.
"Everyone wants to be in the starting team so I'd probably want to eventually start in the team. To do that, I've got to nail this bench role."
Having endured relentless rainfall in Sydney over the past month, Frawley took full advantage of the dry track to play some footy, highlighted by his solo try early in the second half.
"I was on the treadmill," he joked.
"I felt like I'd gone 100 but I probably only ran about 20 metres. I saw Moses on my outside and I sort of just backed myself, but if there was another five metres to go then I'd probably have been mowed down. I was glad when I got over."
Bulldogs skipper James Graham praised the rookie for his stellar start to life as a first-grader.
"That try just out of half-time was sensational," Graham said. "He organised us around the park really, really well. It's crazy to think it's only his second game tonight."