When James Pattinson retires from the game, after 22 years in the NRL, he will no doubt go down as one of the greatest forwards ever to pull on the blue, red and white. He was a dominant figure in the game, scoring over 100 tries in all but one season, and still holds the record for most points scored in a game. He will also leave an important legacy as one of the greatest try scoresrs of all time. He scored more than 50 tries in a season six times, and more than 30 in four other seasons. With over 300 career touchdowns, he is one of the greatest attacking weapons the game has ever seen.
His incredible playing career will come to an end next year, when he turns 38. With age finally catching up with him, Pattinson is looking forward to the next stage of his life, which will see him as a coach or a mentor. While he was extremely successful during his playing days, coach James Stacey, who managed Pattinson during his final years in the NRL, is not looking for him to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. “I’ve had a lot of success with a lot of the boys he was with in the NRL. They’ve all had good careers too, and that’s credit to James, he prepared them well,” Stacey said. “I think his mindset will be to try and help the younger blokes reach their potential, which I think he’ll do really well at.”
While his immediate future will be in coaching, it is not yet clear what role he will play. According to Stacey, he will need to decide whether he wants to be an assistant coach or a mentor to the next generation of Bulldogs players.
Bulldogs Comeback From 10-Point Deficit
It was not exactly the way James Pattinson or the other spectators wished to see his last game. The Bulldogs were down 10 points to the Panthers in the final quarter, with just over 10 minutes left to play. A team-mate, Ben Barba, was sent off after a dangerous tackle on James McKellar, and the Panthers took full advantage of the man advantage.
However, the home team pulled off a sensational comeback to win 15-10. The Bulldogs scored three straight tries to get within 10 points, with the last try coming from an opportunistic Barba, who ran unopposed down the right wing.
“When we got the 10-pointer, I wasn’t too sure what was going to happen because the last time we’d been down this point was the 2012 elimination final against Canberra,” Pattinson said. “But I didn’t actually think they were going to come back this time. I thought they were going to kick some points, keep the ball and give the fullback an opportunity to cross the line.”
Coach James Stacey was obviously delighted with the comeback, but he admits it was far from perfect. “We definitely made a lot of errors, but they kept coming back at us. That’s what makes this game so great. If you make a mistake, the other team doesn’t capitalise on it. They kept coming back at us and eventually wore us down.”
However, the coach was quick to point out that his side did a lot of things right. “I think we made a lot of good choices with the ball in hand and didn’t do anything stupid. We kept the scoreboard ticking over with quick rugby, and the defensive structures were spot on all night.”
James Pattinson is a name which will continue to be mentioned in rugby league circles for many years to come. In a 22-year career, he scored over 100 tries and kicked more than 500 goals. Few forwards can match his combination of speed and strength. While his incredible physical skills will come to an end, with age finally catching up with him, his incredible record and try-scoring prowess will live on.
His record as one of the greatest try scorers in the game is undeniable, and he will join an exclusive group of forwards which includes the great Fred Jones and Harry Burrows. He will also leave an important legacy as one of the greatest attacking weapons the game has ever seen. He scored more than 50 tries in a season six times, and more than 30 in four other seasons. With over 300 career touchdowns, he is one of the greatest attacking weapons the game has ever seen.
Why Are Bulldogs Fans The Most Loyal In The Game?
One thing which stood out during James Pattinson’s final season was how much his fans stuck by him. Given his incredible record, it was not a great surprise to see support for the veteran winger in the stands for every match. In fact, his final season was the best on-field performance of his career, and even his biggest critics admitted his form was excellent. While most former NRL players fade into obscurity after their careers end, James Pattinson’s star will continue to burn bright, for many years to come.