Jack Welsby wants Grand Final heroics to be just one of a number of highlightsMarch 25, 2021
SUPER LEAGUE 2021 – STARTS TOMORROW
JACK Welsby is already the ‘King of St Helens’ after sealing his place in Super League folklore – and he has seen his big moment enough times.
For parents Jen and Ste have it on tape and cannot stop watching it over and over.
As the hooter went at last year’s Grand Final, the drama was only just starting with the scores with Wigan locked at 4-4.
When Tommy Makinson’s drop goal attempt bounced off the post, just about everyone said, ‘Golden point extra time it is then.’
All apart from Welsby. As the ball then hopped up off the turf and back over the try line, the centre charged through and touched it down.
Everyone in Hull’s KCOM Stadium, players, coaches and media, and every fan watching said the same three words – what the f***.
But Welsby, a Wiganer himself, is set on making that one of a number of career defining moments.
He said: “I think they’ve watched it about 300 times on telly. Every time I come down the stairs, they’re sat in front of the telly watching it on the couch.
“Mum’s always recorded my games since I was little. She loves watching it back and she’s always been a Saints fan – me and my dad were Wigan fans.
“It was pretty mad, wasn’t it? It’s a bit of a blur to be honest but I don’t think about it as much now, unless it’s a laugh or it’s brought up in training.
“When I try a drop goal, they tell me to chase it. Tommy says it was an assist and he meant it and Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s always banging on with his general nonsense.
“It was such a big moment but the game deserved it because of how intense it was.
“My only regret is I wish we could’ve done it properly with the fans but had it been at Old Trafford, it might not have been a try with the in goal areas there.
“But it’s not changed my life much. Covid has meant I’ve hardly seen anyone. The only time anyone has said anything is when I’ve been in Asda in St Helens when I’m on my way home!”
Even after Welsby’s moment of fame, rugby league typically moved on with its usual question, ‘What next?’
Saints are going for a three-peat and if anything have strengthened by bringing in the likes of Joel Thompson, Sione Mata'utia and Agnatius Paasi.
But Wigan also have a big name ‘import’ of their own after John Bateman returned from a stellar stint in the NRL.
Leeds brought in big names like Zane Tetevano while Warrington tempted Aussie legend Greg Inglis out of a retirement that was not brought on by physical reasons.
Huddersfield invested after tempting coach Ian Watson from Salford while perennial under-achievers Hull FC hope boss Brett Hodgson and star signing Josh Reynolds can get them to the top.
Catalans Dragons still boast a host of big names while Salford look to have more strength in depth under Richard Marshall, ditto Hull KR.
Then there is the fight at the bottom. Can Leigh, brought up to replace Toronto, stay up?
Welsby, however, is just pressing on with a trophy hunt now he is no longer a teenager.
The 20-year-old added: “I’ve spoken to the coaches here and said, ‘That can’t define my career.’ I definitely don’t want that to be the end, it’s only really the start of what I can achieve.
“I want it to be only one of the highlights on my highlight reel. I want to be remembered for many special moments.”
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