A COME from behind win over Brisbane with his Cronulla team-mates, a pair of try assists and some praise from two league greats - Friday night was a good one for Will Kennedy.
Prior to running out for the 10th game of his NRL career at fullback for the Sharks - a game which formed part of the NRL's Indigenous round - the Bathurst rugby league talent spoke about his desire to make his family proud.
"It means a lot for myself and my family, I come from an Indigenous background. Watching my old man playing footy, he come from the country, that's probably a big thing," he said.
"I'm just trying to make my family proud."
Those members of his family who watched him in action at Suncorp Stadium on Friday no doubt felt pride as Kennedy played a role in the Sharks' 36-26 victory.
In the first half he made a try-saving ankle tap on centre Herbie Farnworth, cleaned up an in-goal grubber and took a bomb under pressure.
He also played a role in seeing the Sharks hit the lead just before the break, his pass helping put Jackson Ferris into a hole.
That 18-14 lead disappeared in the second half as the determined Broncos lifted, Kennedy and his Sharks finding themselves down by eight points heading into the final 10 minutes.
But the Sharks fought back with three tries to close out the game, Kennedy playing a role in the first of those. He took a Shaun Johnson cut-out pass, beat a defender then fired the ball on to the flying Sione Katoa.
Kennedy made 101 metres - 23 of which were post-contact - for the match off 13 runs. He broke three tackles and had two line break assists.
While Kennedy knows he still needs to work on his game, his efforts have attracted praise from two league greats in Peter Sterling and Jonathan Thurston.
"He's playing extremely well at fullback," Thurston said.
"Very, very quick, has got great balance as good athletes do and that's whether he's sweeping around the outside or running good lines through the middle," Sterling added.
"Rugby league is in his blood, his father Will Kennedy senior, better known as Bubba, played for Balmain in the 1990s and was the leading try-scorer for two of those years and his sister Kandy played in the NRLW competition."