Father-son kicking session aids Roosters

Ed Jackson |

A father-son afternoon goalkicking clinic in the hours before the NRL clash with Brisbane has paid off handsomely for Sydney Roosters young gun Sam Walker.

Back in his south-east Queensland, Walker could be found at the home ground of rugby union club GPS in Brisbane’s western suburbs kicking goals under the eye of father and former NRL player Ben Walker as he prepared for Friday’s Suncorp Stadium clash.

The practice proved serendipitous as Walker kicked a crucial conversion from just inside the sideline to put the Roosters ahead 18-16 in the 74th minute.

With his family cheering in the stands, Walker then set up what proved to be the matchwinner for Sitili Tupouniua three minutes later as the Roosters held out a fast-finishing Broncos to claim a 24-20 win.

“Before the game I went for a kick with the old man today, just a couple of hours before the game,” Walker said.

“Not much to do so I went had a goalkick and we had two kicks from that exact spot.

“I nailed them both so when I was lining the kick up it was really cool to just take a step back and think about that.”

Walker’s impressive performance, which also included a try following some nifty footwork by Angus Crichton, was not the first time the 19-year-old has come up big in clutch moments for the Roosters in south-east Queensland.

Twice in his 2021 Dally M rookie of the year season, Walker kicked match-winning field goals against Gold Coast in his home state, including a 77th-minute effort in week one of the finals in Townsville.

“Before the season starts I sort of pencil in those games where we come back home to Queensland,” Walker said.

“I love Queensland.

“I’m obviously from here, so to be able to come back here and play and to have those moments here, makes it even more special.”

But Walker denies having a point to prove against Brisbane, having knocked back the Broncos two years ago to move to Bondi and join the Roosters.

“I made a decision a couple of years ago to come to the Roosters and definitely haven’t looked back once at all,” he said.

“I’m really happy at this club … it’s just sort of another game of footy for me. I don’t really think too much into it.”