Kane helps Wallabies win
YAMBA product Kane Douglas enjoyed a stellar Wallaby debut, as he helped lead Australia to a 23-19 victory over Argentina on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old lock would've been playing for Southern Districts in the Shute Shield grand final in Sydney.
Instead, he ran out onto Skilled Park in front of 22,278 fans in the green and gold of Australia.
Playing alongside captain Nathan Sharpe, Douglas stamped his authority early with a series of bone-jarring hits.
Douglas never looked out of place in the side, seemingly stepping up to the biggest rugby arena with ease.
You could never guess it by his performance, but Douglas said it was the most nervous he'd ever felt before a game.
"That was the toughest footy I've ever played," the 2.01m lock said.
"They're a bunch of big, physical guys - it definitely wasn't easy.
"I was pretty nervous before the game but the boys helped settle it down."
The Wallabies applied plenty of pressure in the first half, but were consistently let down at the last moment.
"Radike (Samo) should've got that try in the corner but he put it down," Douglas said.
"Sharpie should've scored as well but he was held up.
"If they got those it would have been a completely different game."
Douglas said that even though they trailed at the break, they were composed enough to know the job they had to do.
"Robbie (Deans, Wallabies coach) was pretty relaxed at half time," Douglas said.
"He knew we could get the job done and we showed a bit of ticker to get across the line."
Argentina went on to open a 19-6 lead midway through the second half, as they threatened to cause a boilover.
In response, the Wallabies hit top gear in the final 20 minutes, scoring 17 unanswered points to escape Skilled Park with the win.
A 60th minute try to Pat McCabe started the run of points, as Australia clawed their way back into the contest.
Another converted try to Digby Ioane in the 69th minute put the Wallabies ahead 20-19, a lead they defended until a 79th penalty to Kurtley Beale sealed the result.
The Wallabies were happy to get away with the win, as they rued several chances in the first half that should have been converted to points. "We applied most of the pressure in the first half and probably should've been further ahead," Douglas said.
"We looked pretty good in patches and we'll work on getting more consistency."
Douglas looked like a veteran in his first Test, a performance that had some commentators calling "the first of many."
It's a bit difficult to convince him of that, as he keeps his focus on the next game.
"I'm never guaranteed a spot," Douglas said.
"Siti's (injured Wallaby lock Sitaleki Timani) coming back soon and he's been in some good form.
"I just need to keep working hard on training and improving my game."
Douglas had plenty of hometown support at the game, as family and former teammates made the trip up the Pacific Highway for the game.
"It was great to have family there - it really gave me a lift," he said.
"There were plenty of old Buccaneers there as well which made it even better. It's great to have the support from everyone."