Townsville a hideout for mysterious Sims - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Townsville a hideout for mysterious Sims

David Beniuk 11/08/2011 07:07:00 PM Comments (0)

He's the mysterious Cowboy touted as a future State of Origin saviour for NSW but, for Tariq Sims, Townsville is the perfect hideout.

The emerging North Queensland enforcer has enjoyed a breakthrough NRL season that currently has him among the most feared forwards in the game.

The 21-year-old from Gerringong on the NSW south coast, who had previously been the added extra in a package deal with older brother Ashton, arrived at the Cowboys this season hoping for an NRL debut.

But the 2010 Toyota Cup player of the year has finally stepped out of Ashton's shadow to be spoken about as a possible Kangaroos bolter for the Four Nations.

"I love being a New South Welshman in Queensland," Sims told AAP this week.

"Everyone's mad about footy up here so they get behind you no matter what.

"We're a fair away from it all up here and I think that's a good thing because it doesn't give young blokes a big head.

"Consistency was probably my main goal this year and I'll let all that (representative) stuff look after itself when it comes time for that.

"I haven't really thought about it and no coaches or anyone's really been in contact with me or the club."

That's since Sims was part of Blues coach Ricky Stuart's emerging NSW squad in the pre-season and since he was invited to mingle with Origin stars during this year's campaign.

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin, whose side takes on Sims' Cowboys on Friday night, coached him at the Broncos as an emerging player.

"He's a great kid, he's got a great attitude and he's really been a go-to player for them this year with the ball and without it," Griffin said.

"Whether he is ready to go that (international) level, the next couple of months will tell that.

"I don't want to go putting pressure on him. He got that little bit of recognition during the Origin period, which was nice for him.

"But I don't want to go saying he's up to Test standard yet because this is his first seasonin first grade."

NRL diehards in NSW siting up late for the Nine Network's Queensland game on Friday night, or catching Fox Sports' Super Saturday, will have felt a combination of `ouch' and `thank God he's not a Queenslander' watching Sims' big hits.

The man himself, though, isn't flaunting the intimidator tag.

"I still get starstruck by all the players that I play against and play with," he said.

"If it gets labelled like that, I'll have to wear it.

"I just love playing footy."

His aggression may have been checked slightly by a two-match ban in June for a so-called "crusher" tackle on the Warriors' Krisnan Inu, although Sims denies applying strong pressure to the centre's neck.

But the 106kg forward's softer side has definitely been shown by his nomination for the NRL's Ken Stephen Medal for his work with kids with disabilities.

He also appears on the recently released Footy Ink calendar featuring the NRL's best tattoos, with a percentage of proceeds going to the McGrath Foundation.

Sims will be among the most sought after signatures when he comes off contract at the end of next year, but on Friday night he'll play against his former club in Test skipper Darren Lockyer's record-breaking 350th match at ANZ Stadium, testing himself against the players who mentored him.

"Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker were probably the two biggest influences on my career, and Ashton of course," he said.

"Sammy's running game and Corey Parker's work ethic on the field.

"I can't wait to go up against them and test myself and see how we fare."

The Footy Ink calendar is available at the website footysocial.com.au.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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