Rookie Bulldog sniffing for NRL start next year
TAUTALATASI Tasi joined the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs from the Ipswich Jets this season chasing his NRL dreams.
And while he hasn't got there yet, Tasi gained the experience of a lifetime being close to the Bulldogs' NRL squad on it's march to the grand final this season.
For the past week, Tautalatasi Tasi and his Salford Red Devils UK Superleague representative prop brother Lama have been back at the family home at Goodna.
It has been a rare and short-lived treat for their parents, with former Sydney Rooster Lama having since left to visit friends in Sydney before he returns to Salford.
Next week his little brother Tautalatasi will also head to Sydney to rejoin the Bulldogs.
He spent most of his time in the Dogs' under-20 team this season before playing the last two games in the club's NSW Cup side.
For Tasi it was a step in the right direction, though he rates the Queensland Cup a tougher competition than its southern counterpart.
"I'm glad I got a go in the last two games," he said.
"I thought it would be as physical and faster (than the Queensland Cup). But it gave me a feel of what next year will be like."
Tasi will be too old to play under-20s again but faces a tough task cracking the NRL squad after the Bulldogs' surge to this year's grand final.
"Hopefully I get a crack in the NRL," he said. "I'm ready for pre-season with the big boys."
Tasi was part of the squad that was used by Bulldogs coach Des Hasler to oppose the first grade team in training during the NRL semi-finals series.
That alone was an experience to savour for the former Ipswich Grammar School student.
"It's great how Dessy works and how he wants his play," Tasi said.
"It's exciting for me for next year. It was real intense.
"Des wants everything at 100 percent. If you stuff up, he'll go back to it till we get it right."