South Sydney hero Cameron McInnes says he still has a lot more to learn in the NRL before becoming the club’s bona fide hooker.
McInnes came off the bench to score the match-winning try in his side’s gritty 14-12 win over Parramatta on Friday night.
His first try of the season came at the perfect time, handing the Rabbitohs just their second win in six games and lifting them to fifth spot on the NRL ladder.
“It was a bit of right place, right time,” McInnes told AAP of his match-winning effort.
“I had big George (Burgess) right outside me, so I think they all slid onto him and I just strolled through.”
Despite being named to start at hooker, the 21-year-old was shifted to the bench in favour of Warriors-bound Issac Luke pre-game.
However, a knee injury to second-rower Ben Lowe early in the first half forced coach Michael Maguire to use McInnes in the unfamiliar edge role.
“It depends on how the game pans out,” Maguire said.
“If Issac was showing any type of fatigue there, we’d change the number nine.
“But Issac did a great job for us tonight and Cameron was able to come on in the back row.
“Unfortunately we lost Benny Lowe there early in the game, so your interchange does change slightly but `Cammo’ being the team player he is, he’d play in the front row if he needed to.”
McInnes said he’s been working hard all season to play any role the team needed to.
“‘Madge’ said to me to just just be ready to go in any position,” he said.
“In the pre-season I did a lot of work in a lot of positions, trying to get that utility value as well.”
McInnes recently re-signed with the club for a further two seasons after Luke announced a shock move to the Warriors in 2016.
But the former Junior Kangaroo said he had a long way to go before establishing himself as a starting hooker.
“That’s my 14th game out there tonight and I’ve played half at hooker and half all over the place,” he said.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do as a hooker in the NRL.”