Not a part of the plans of the Penrith Panthers moving forward, Luke Walsh was forced to look elsewhere and eventually settled in England, signing with St Helens.
With some fans expecting big things and others not knowing what to expect, Walsh would have left a smile on the faces of all St Helens fans, as he produced a stellar match on debut to help guide the Saints to a crushing 38-8 win over the Warrington Wolves.
Scoring a try and kicking seven goals in the win, Walsh praised the entire side for the effort and said he is still getting used to some of the conditions.
“It was a good performance by everyone I thought,” Walsh said.
“The second half was a little bit scrappy, so there is something to work on next week.
“Our defence was good in the first half and the boys dug deep in the second half, it’s a good win.
“I enjoyed myself. I’m still getting used to the weather and the ground conditions. For my first go, it was good… It’s very different from back home, I’m enjoying it.”
Despite the big opening win, St Helens coach Nathan Brown knows he has to keep his players grounded and focused on the next game.
“Warrington as a team have been so successful for so long so to get the result was pleasing,” Brown said.
“We’re really rapped with what the guys did but we’re certainly not going to get carried away. It’s a good start but it’s about consistently doing well.”
He was also quick to praise Walsh’s efforts and knows what he can offer the team moving forward.
“He had a lot of good contributions for us, built on the back of some of the forwards’ work,” said Brown.
“I thought our game management in the second half was actually quite poor but it’s clear to see what Walshy can bring to the team.”
The game was a shocking one for Warrington, considering they have made the grand final the past two seasons and for coach Tony Smith, it was his side’s kicking game that disappointed him.
“Our kicking game was right up there with one of the worst we’ve had for a while,” said Smith.
“We got out-kicked, that’s for sure, and around the ruck area we weren’t great.
“I thought in the first half both teams competed pretty well and there was not much between us. They were good when they had the ball and we troubled them when we had the ball.
He was quick to praise St Helens, though, well aware that they were the superior side.
“In the second half they were way better than us. There was too much panic from us. We were chasing the game instead of having patience. It was a bit of a kick in the backside for us,” said Smith.
“I thought Saints were terrific. They got on a roll and did all the little things well.”