Veterans' Origin thrill

Liam Watson and Sean Jenkins played their part in helping NSW Police down Queensland during their annual clash in Brisbane. Picture: DAVID HALL

Liam Watson and Sean Jenkins played their part in helping NSW Police down Queensland during their annual clash in Brisbane. Picture: DAVID HALL

TWO of the best-known names in South Coast Rugby League, Liam Watson and Sean Jenkins have returned from appearing on the sport's biggest stage still buzzing from the experience.

The pair were part of the NSW Police team for their annual clash against Queensland as a lead-up game to the third State of Origin clash at Suncorp Stadium last Wednesday night.

The pair helped their state to a resounding 38-12 win, with Jenkins playing in the centres and Watson at fullback.

For Watson, who played with Warilla-Lake South Gorillas, Collegians and Western Suburbs, and is a detective senior constable at Wollongong, it was a tough night.

The veteran of 10 matches against the sworn enemy suffered a badly broken nose in the early stages, but returned late in the second half, helping finish the Queenslanders off with an intercept try.

"It was my 10th game for NSW and during that time we have had an 8-2 record, of which I am very proud," Watson said.

Jenkins, a constable at Hurstville, joined the police three years ago, and said playing for his state was a great honour.

"I played the first year I joined and was selected again last year but it clashed with my wedding, so it was great to get back in the side this year.

"I played in the centres, although I play mainly in the back-row for Albion Park-Oak Flats, but am happy to fit in wherever needed."

The pair smiled when asked about the atmosphere of playing on such a grand stage.

"We played at 4.30pm - I think we were the curtain- raiser to the curtain-raiser and there were only a few hundred people in the ground, but the team did get to be part of the guard of honour for the main game - and that was unbelievable in front of that massive crowd," Jenkins said.

"But without doubt my highlight has been playing for Australian Police in the World Cup in England as part of the Festival of World Cups in Leeds.

"I got to play lock during that series and we beat New Guinea 18-16 in the final."

The retiring Watson said the game at Suncorp seemed like a great way to bow out of the sport.

"I've played in both World Cups, Sunshine Coast 2008 and then Leeds, and am the only player from the Australian team to play in both World Cups, and I've finally finished all forms of rugby league now.

"I can't think of a better way to end my career playing my last game on Suncorp Stadium and scoring a try with my last touch of the ball.

"I'm nearly 34 and I'm not getting any younger."

Jenkins will play his 200th first grade game for his beloved Eagles in two weeks' time against Jamberoo Superoos.

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