It was certainly a debut to remember in the NRL from John Bateman as he led from the front in the Canberra Raiders’ 21-0 victory against Gold Coast Titans.
The England international’s stats were impressive as his 80-minute performance produced 155 run metres from 19 runs, 53 post contact metres, 36 tackles and five tackle breaks.
His competitive nature, which we have become accustomed to in Super League, wasn’t lost either as he toyed with the Titans players and got well and truly stuck in.
And all that didn’t go unnoticed as NRL fans and numerous media outlets Down Under raved about his first hit out for the green machine.
Here are just some of the responses from the Aussies to Bateman’s debut:
— samuel bayliss (@bartrim13) March 17, 2019
— Scott Hazlewood (@scotthazlewood) March 17, 2019
Sterling ‘day-boo’ in green for John Bateman. Most tackles and metres gained for his side. Along with countless pens won being his usual awkward scallywag self! Gives something for NRL coaches to ponder.
— Jack Sutherland (@JackSuth17) March 17, 2019
— Caden Helmers (@cadenhelmers) March 17, 2019
— Eazy E (@Evo1810) March 17, 2019
John Bateman looks at ease in the NRL. Raiders on to a good one here. #NRLtitansraiders
— Travis Meyn (@travismeyn) March 17, 2019
“I TOLD YOU ALL JOHN BATEMAN WAS A STAR AND NO ONE WANTED TO LISTEN. HE’S THE ATTACK DOG IN THE MIDDLE OUR DEFENCE HAS NEEDED FOR YEARS. I THINK WE ARE GOING TO WIN IT ALL”
“Sir this is a McDonalds drive thru”
— Sezer’s Palace (@jackkcronin) March 17, 2019
John Bateman for The Raiders will be serious contender for Best Buy of the year. Also, I didn’t realise it was Coaches only in the post match press conference. It’s so much better.
— Steven Hulthen (@raidersteve81) March 19, 2019
"He and @Birdman_013 are probably the two most competitive blokes I've come across in my career. They're the type of blokes you want to play with."@RaidersCanberra half Aidan Sezer on why @johnbateman1 will be an @NRL sensation, via @NRLcom.https://t.co/BacRZl6fCc
— Tony Webeck (@TonyWebeck) March 17, 2019