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Alick's next goal NRL after dream Kumuls debut

Jacob Alick's first game wearing Papua New Guinea colours couldn't have gone any better for the International debutant, starring with sterling performance in his side's 24-14 win over Fiji in Sydney on Saturday.

Despite not having played in first grade yet in his fledgling rugby league career, the 23-year-old Titan took the opportunity on the big stage like a duck to water, arguably one of the best for the Kumuls in their epic contest against the Bati in the weekend's Pacific Test match.

The Gold Coast forward played 64 minutes at lock, making 165 metres - 63 of those post-contact, two tackle breaks and had a hand in 45 tackles to help his nation to a stirring victory.

He'll now return to the Burleigh Bears to continue to grow as a player after his maiden Kumuls experience, with the hope of working hard for a shot in the NRL in the not too distant future.

"My recent conversations (about an NRL debut) with Justin have been really good," Alick said.

"He's been saying to me to obviously not try and rush things and I don't think that I'm just going to walk straight into first grade.

"Obviously, you've got to work really hard and that's something I've tried to do.

"I'll go back to Burleigh, build some combinations with a few of the boys back there and I think just enjoy my footy. Justin's a big 'enjoy your footy' coach.

"I think I bring a lot to the attacking side. It's obviously defence I'm working on in my game to take to the next level, but he's been really good in telling me just to back myself which I think I've done in in the first 10 weeks of the comp."

The young and upcoming back-rower couldn't be any more perfectly poised to continuing growing, training everyday in the Titans' top 30 squad before going back and playing under the ever-experienced guise of Rick Stone who is at the helm of the Bears.

Sitting comfortably first in the Hostplus Cup, currently five points clear of the rest of the pack, the experience around Alick in the Burleigh bears line-up has made a huge difference to his career progression in such a short amount of time.

"The names I could rattle off... they've been there for years building a great culture down there," Alick said.

"Sam Coster, Pat Politoni, Hayden Schwass are just some the names that drive all the culture there and it's just been so easy for myself to go back there. They've treated me like I've been there for years.

"To be honest, all they know is winning. They've been in the top four of the comp the last ten or so years. didn't like just being at the top of the Comp top for over a year for the last 10 or so years.

"All they demand is success and I think everyone comes in knowing that you've got to do your job and you got to win and it brushes off on everyone."

But whilst the NRL newcomer is thankful and really enjoys his time at Pizzey Park each and every week in the lower grade, the end goal is to make the Titans top 17, especially now with an International cap under his belt.

"I'd be silly not to say that I've been dreaming it for so long," Alick said.

"I'm so close now, but yet still feels an arm reach away, but I am pushing for it.

"I'll just keep trying to do what I do at Burleigh and then obviously go to the next level."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.