Tom Opacic hungry for more finals following bittersweet end to 2022

Josh McAllister
Tom Opacic Hull KR News Images

Photo: James Heaton/News Images

Hull KR new recruit Tom Opacic is hungry for more finals following his stellar 2022 season with Parramatta Eels before seeing his season cut short due to injury. 

The centre began the year in Parramatta’s New South Wales Cup side but was called into the NRL squad for round two, going on to make 19 appearances in the season.

He was a part of the squad that finished fourth in the NRL ladder and featured in the club’s opening two play-off matches against Penrith and Canberra.

However, his season was cut short with a hamstring injury that saw him ruled out of the preliminary final victory over North Queensland Cowboys and ultimately the NRL Grand Final against the Panthers.

That bittersweet involvement has left the 28-year-old motivated for more following his move to Super League under Hull KR boss Willie Peters. 

Tom Opacic hungry for more finals

“In the semi-finals, I torn my hamstring,” Opacic told Love Rugby League.

“I missed out on the Grand Final which was really disappointing. But I guess it just makes me want to get to that stage again even more.

“You can tell the difference between a season game and the play-offs. It’s so much more intense and it’s just where you want to be. But you’ve got to do the hard work to get there.”

Opacic started at centre in Hull KR’s first pre-season friendly against Featherstone, losing 28-0 to their Championship opponents.

However, the club turned it around two weeks after with a dominant 26-4 performance over Leeds. Opacic crossed for his first try and won the man of the match on home soil.

Opacic admits it took him a while to settle into his new life in England. But he is now raring to go with their Super League opening game against Wigan this Saturday. 

“It’s a huge change”

“Everything is new. It took me a while to find my feet, but now it’s sweet and I’m good to go,” Opacic said.

“It’s a huge change. Probably some people play it down, but everything is new and it does take a while to get used to things. 

“Willie (Peters) coming over was one of the main things that got me here. It would have been hard to move over without getting tips off him and knowing he has experience over here. It helped a lot.

“We had some good conversations. I liked the things he said and the ambitions he has of what he can do and what we can do as a club moving forward.

“I always thought it would be fun to come over and try my hand over here. It probably come up earlier than I thought it was, and I was happy to take it.

“The last two seasons in the NRL were probably the best in my career, so it was a good time to come over and be in good form.”

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