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Ex-Dragon out to prove a point

By David Beniuk 01/10/2010 03:57:28 PM Comments (0)

Boom Sydney Roosters centre Kane Linnett has a bigger point to prove than most in Sunday's NRL grand final against the club and coach who rejected him.

Wollongong boy Linnett found there was no contract on the table from St George Illawarra last year despite a promising under-20s stint.

Now, he'd like nothing more than to prove the Dragons and coach Wayne Bennett wrong.

"They just said probably (I'd) play down there for Shellharbour," the 21-year-old told AAP.

"It was really disappointing because I was down there for a couple of years and I felt I played some pretty consistent footy but, then again, they developed me pretty well."

The rangy three-quarter, who announced himself to the rugby league world with a 70m try assist against Parramatta in round 21, completed the 2009 pre-season with the Dragons' first grade squad before being dropped back to the 20s.

"I probably struggled a little bit for the first pre-season there ... and that really hit home," he said.

"I was really down and I just tried to work harder and keep my head up.

"It probably really helped me, him dropping me down and made me really want to work hard at my footy and try and prove him wrong."

Linnett did work hard but there was still not room for him at the joint venture club.

"(Bennett) said I was playing good but there's not really any chance there for me so I had to really move on," he said.

The Roosters and Canterbury came knocking and Linnett saw a better chance of cementing a first grade spot at the wooden-spooners.

"I just thought there was a lot of opportunity here, they didn't go very good last year and I might get a chance some way through the year," he said.

"It was time for me to go somewhere else and get away from home and just concentrate on my football a bit more.

"Sometimes you feel a bit too comfortable when you're at home."

The turning point this year came a week before his big game against the Eels, when he marked up on former Test star Israel Folau in a 34-30 win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

"I knew he was probably one of the best centres in the world so I just went out there and tried to focus on my defensive game and I had a couple of good runs too," Linnett said.

"I didn't get the better of him, he still scored a couple of tries, but I just felt like I had a really good defensive game.

"It gave me a bit more confidence in myself and it kind of made me feel like, if I keep working on my game, maybe a couple of years down the track I might be that good."

Linnett would have played more than his 12 games this season but for a knee injury, ironically suffered in his only first grade match so far against the Dragons.

This time, he'd like to show his hometown club they shouldn't have let him go.

"I would like to do that but I'm just trying to focus on my team and try and just focus on doing my job," he said.

"If I can do that and go out there and just play my normal game I might do a few good things."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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