Acclaimed North Queensland Cowboys talent, Jeremiah Nanai has had a freakish rookie season, but with the new challenge of finals football on the horizon, he'll be looking to draw on the experience of his teammates.
Speaking on SEN's Sportsday NSW, Nanai commented, “It’s a lot different now, it’s getting more serious and I’m going to be expecting a lot for this weekend’s clash against the Sharks.
“Personally for myself, I haven’t played the Sharks yet and it will be a very good opportunity to put myself out there to give it a crack against those ‘Sharky’ boys, I’m excited and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”
Nanai's sensational try-scoring form throughout the early part of the 2022 season earnt him a place in Billy Slater's Maroons squad back in May. Nanai played in all three Origin matches including an 80-minute performance in the decider.
That Origin experience has served to bolster the skilful second-rower in the run to the finals.
“It’s helped a lot during the season ongoing, I’ve learnt a lot from more experienced backrowers like Felise (Kaufusi) and Kurt (Capewell),” Nanai continued.
“They gave me tips and advice, I took it on and it was the best advice they gave me. I put it back in at club level, it’s been awesome and I’m very grateful for Origin."
Nanai is also looking to lean heavily on the wisdom of some veteran players at the Cowboys who have tasted finals football before.
“Those boys know what finals is, they’ve been in that moment and for us young boys, with it only being our first finals series we have to stick together and listen to them.
“They’re going to lead us, we just have to work as a team and keep doing what we have been doing throughout the season.”
The Cowboys will march out against the Cronulla Sharks at PointsBet Stadium, both eager to write a new chapter in their modern-day finals feud.