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'I've never felt anything like it': Roaring reception for Origin-like PDRL contest

Karel Dekker has never experienced the mighty roar of Cbus Super Stadium quite like he did on Saturday.

Sprinting down field to score the final four-pointer of the physical disability rugby league showdown between the Titans and Sydney, the two-try hero was buzzing from the crowd of just under 10,000 who came in early to watch the curtain-raiser clash to the derby against the Broncos.

"I've never felt anything like it. Watching other games, you see the professionals playing and you hear how the crowd goes, but hearing that for yourself, it certainly egged me on a bit," Dekker said.

"Even after a few falls, it really helped me to pick myself up."

On cue in front of the parochial Legion, the Titans romped home to a 26-0 victory against their fellow opponents from south of the border in the first interstate PDRL clash between the pair - something that has been three years in the making and faced many a hurdles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The boys who have been here from the start... it was so good to see how keen they were for today, which makes me even more amped up to play with them," Dekker said.

"It means a lot to them, so I put everything in as I want to help them and I know I look up to these boys as well."

Starring in the dominant performance, 29-year-old Dekker - affectionally known as Dex - never thought he'd be running out and playing on the big stage when he had a devastating motor bike accident on May 14, 2016.

"I have a brachial plexus injury, so I was in mobile accident and I ripped nerves off my spine and broke three ribs and punctured my lung, which put me in a coma," Dekker described.

"I can't remember the accident, but I was just lucky I guess. That was six years ago now."

Fast forward to 2022 and he might be pulling on a green and gold Australian jersey should he be selected from the clash that was a trial to head to the Rugby League World Cup.

"I'm hoping I'm selected, so fingers crossed," Dekker said.

"That's another reason I put myself forward because I was hoping after my accident to go to Paralympics because my whole family knows that I'm really keen on sport.

"I wasn't so much academic but I was more sporty growing up and I've always wanted to travel for sport.

"I value sport so much and when I was 14 playing for South Australia in rugby, I went to Perth and then also when I was wrestling for Queensland, I went to Perth as well.

"I've travelled for sports before, but to go to a different country and play for my country, it'll mean a lot."

The Australian PDRL side is expected to be named at the end of this month.

Gold Coast Titans 26 (Hudson Wicks 2, Karel Dekker 2, Andrew Carr, Stephen Hendry tries; Karel Dekker goal) defeated Sydney 0.

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.