Wicks impresses in NRL comeback NRL
DANNY Wicks burst back onto the NRL scene with an eye-catching display off the bench for the beaten Parramatta Eels.
In a night largely to forget for Parramatta, who lost 32-12 to the Bulldogs, it was a performance to savour from Wicks. The slimmed-down prop made 16 tackles and carried the ball strongly 15 times for 147 metres - second highest for the Eels.
Wicks had waited five long years to come back to the NRL and was forced to wait a little longer with Eels coach Brad Arthur repeatedly forced to change tactics and twice had Wicks on the sideline with the interchange card in his hand before being held back.
Wicks, 29, was finally released onto ANZ Stadium 10 minutes before half-time.
"The boys didn't get the result we wanted, but I suppose in a nutshell, it is good to be back," Wicks told reporters after the game.
"I'm happy, very emotional; I have changed my life and it is for the better.
"I felt fresh out there, I've been training for a long time and I was good to go.
"The biggest change is the wrestle; you can't wrestle any more so it makes the game a little bit quicker.
"When you are 20 kilos lighter you can keep up a bit easier than before too."
Eels coach Brad Arthur was rapt with Wicks' effort.
"I thought he was great," Arthur said. "He carried the ball strongly with good leg speed and, defensively, he kept filling the space for us.
"He probably got more minutes because of the circumstances than planned, and I thought he did okay."
GOLD Coast's hapless start to 2015 continued, going down 40-nil to Penrith Panthers on Saturday night.
Yamba's Luke Douglas was one of the better performed Titans, leading the tackle count with 40 and his 93 metres was third highest.
After being overlooked for round one, Grafton's Anthony Don played wing for the Titans.