Past Brothers forward makes dash to play in today’s decider
LEAGUE: Past Brothers forward Mat Templeman has achieved a lot in his illustrious rugby league career, but today he is about to do something that even he hasn't been faced with before.
Templeman is returning from the US - after marching in the annual service in New York to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks on the city on September 11, 2001 - but by the time he arrives in Bundaberg today will have only five and a half hours to prepare for his first grand final in the BRL since 2015.
The Bundaberg firefighter marched with his New York Fire Department comrades as well as the New York Police Department.
He also played a game of rugby league in a memorial challenge between the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Police Service.
All up, 343 firefighters died during the 9/11 attacks on New York.
While Templeman has done something wonderful, it has hampered his preparations for today's final.
He has been named in the front row but doesn't arrive back in Bundaberg until 11am.
So he will be suffering plenty of jet lag as he prepares to help the side win its premiership since 2017.
"It (the New York commemorations) hits very close to home for him, being a firefighter and emergency services worker," said Matt's brother, Jason.
"He's a professional - he knows how to prepare himself and his body.
"I'm sure Mat will be ready and able to give his best to the team."
Jason said Matt's trip to New York wouldn't have been possible without Past Brothers supporting him throughout the process.
"For the club to give him the opportunity to not be here for the last couple of weeks but be still playing in a grand final, that's a tribute to the club," he said.
"Especially (coach) Steven Plath and the players, it's a credit to them."
Brothers play The Waves at 4.30pm today.