BYSON Goodwin is old enough to remember the death of the Perth Reds and young enough to hope for some involvement when the West Coast Pirates finally get admission to the NRL.
The South Sydney centre enjoyed redemption on a couple of levels during the 30-13 win over the Warriors at nib Stadium on Sunday.
Opposite number Konrad Hurrell treated him like roadkill during a brutal run to the tryline in the first half, but Goodwin bounced back to score two late tries, the first of which put the Rabbitohs ahead for the final time.
But it was also a triumphant homecoming for a 27-year-old who used to be the Western Reds’ ballboy.
When the Reds were wound up in 1998, “I was still in Perth. I was here til I was 16, i was here for a while after the Reds were finished.
“I played league here my whole life. I never wanted to give it up. I never wanted to play AFL, I played two games in highschool and that was it. I just love league.”
NRL officials hope to have three premiership matches in Perth next year but expansion has been put on hold until the end of next season.
NRL chief executive David Smith was in the West Australian capital last week but missed the fantastic atmosphere among 20,221 fans on match day because he had already moved on to England for the Festival of World Cups.
Goodwin says a return to the premiership “would be fantastic. The crowd and the support here was awesome.
“League would have a lot of support if they put a team back here. Hopefully they do.
“You never say never but maybe by the time they get a team here, I’ll be finished up.”
Souths were confident at halftime they had the Warriors’ measure, Goodwin said, despite being 13-6 down. “Our confidence is good but our feet are on the ground,” he commented.
“We’re not getting carried away.”
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK