Carlin Anderson starts ISC Comeback at the Scene of Setback

Thursday, March 2, 2017



THE last time Carlin Anderson stepped on to Brisbane’s Bishop Park he suffered a facial injury ranked among the worst that doctors had ever seen in rugby league.

His season at the Brisbane Broncos ground to a heartbreaking halt, just when he was forcing his way into the NRL fold.

On Sunday he returns to Bishop Park for the first time since that horrific day when his Townsville Blackhawks take on Norths Devils in Round 1 of the Intrust Super Cup.

“I think it is fate,” Anderson said.

“I swear everything with my footy is always fate, something always links up to something else.

“I think it’s good that it’s happening in Round 1 because I can get it out of the way.

“I just want to get that first run out of the way, be confident and show what I can offer because I haven’t been able to do that over the past year and I feel like I have lot to prove.”

Anderson’s jaw was shattered into two pieces in June last year when playing for Broncos’ feeder team Ipswich against Norths, which resulted in him leaving Bishop Park in an ambulance while chomping on a piece of foam to keep his jaw stable.

He suffered another jaw injury seven weeks later when making his ISC return against the PNG Hunters, ending his season, and the Broncos did not renew his one-year NRL deal.

The Blackhawks knew only too well what Anderson was capable of, however, being on the end of his match-breaking skills during the Blackhawks’ 2015 grand final loss to Ipswich.

Soon enough he was brought to Townsville, where he has won the Blackhawks’ fullback position for Round 1 after a gruelling pre-season showdown with fellow No. 1 contender Paul Byrnes.

And as fate would have it, Anderson will play outside former junior representative teammate and current Blackhawks five-eighth Kyle Laybutt.

The pair played at state carnivals together in cricket and rugby league while Anderson was a junior in Gympie and Laybutt was going through the ranks in Bundaberg.

“We’d catch up about twice a year to go away for cricket and what not, so he’s an old mate,” Anderson said.

“He’s always been a good player and I can sort of read what he wants, so playing outside him again could lead to something amazing.”

Anderson insists he is only getting starting with his footy career despite last year’s setback, and having won an ISC premiership at the age of 19, he already knows what it takes to reach the top.

His long-term goal is securing another NRL deal, but his 2017 goal is helping the Blackhawks secure a maiden premiership.

“If we all gel and stick together I think we’ll go very well,” Anderson said.