Yesterday, for the first time since 2018, Jackson Hastings pulled on an NRL jersey as he made his first appearance for the Wests Tigers in a trial match against Sydney Roosters.
The halfback enjoyed a brilliant stint in Super League guiding the Salford Red Devils to a first ever Grand Final whilst also picking up the Man of Steel award in 2019.
After that, he joined Wigan helping the Warriors return to the top of the league and the Grand Final in 2020. They ended that season a bounce of the ball away from Super League glory but in 2021 things stalled for the Warriors. Their disappointing 8-0 play-off defeat to Leeds proved to be Hastings’ last in Super League before joining Wests alongside fellow Wigan star Oliver Gildart.
Wests met Sydney yesterday in Hastings’ first appearance for the club and despite falling 8-0 behind, the Tigers went on to win 16-8 on the back of a solid defensive display. Both Gildart and Hastings shone in the victory as the Tigers proved that they may be a serious contender for the play-offs in 2022.
After the game, Hastings took to Twitter to express his pride at playing for the Tigers for the first time as he prepares to give the NRL another crack: “Really enjoyed my first hit out at the Wests Tigers felt a huge sense of gratitude being back out there albeit a trial game. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather, atmosphere was great.”
Really enjoyed my first hit out at the @WestsTigers felt a huge sense of gratitude being back out there albeit a trial game. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather, atmosphere was great. 🐯 pic.twitter.com/bTv9C8EnaC
— Jackson Hastings (@JackoHastings) February 26, 2022
Hastings and Gildart weren’t the only ex-Super League stars to figure in the game with Kevin Naiqama scoring his first try for the Sydney Roosters in the game against his former club. Naiqama no doubt joins the Roosters full of confidence after being awarded the Harry Sunderland Award last season when his two tries guided St Helens to a third consecutive title.