Nine months of frustration are finally over for Tariq Sims after the blockbusting forward helped inspire the North Queensland Cowboys’ come-from-behind 28-24 NRL trial win over the Brisbane Broncos in Mount Isa on Saturday.
Teammate Robert Lui was also rewarded for his patience, playing his first match for North Queensland since last year’s opening round.
Sims relished the run against the Broncos in the Queensland outpost in his first hit-out since suffering an horrific double lower-leg fracture in round 11 last year.
It was identical to the freak fracture Sims suffered in 2011.
Sims tried to make up for lost time on Saturday in three damaging bursts, sparking a Cowboys outfit that scored four tries to one to over-run a 20-6 halftime deficit.
The matchwinner came in the dying minutes when prop Ricky Thorby stormed over after a smart dummy half play by Blake Leary.
Lui also did his best to exorcise his demons with a return to remember.
The former Wests Tigers star ended a long exile stemming from a domestic assault charge.
Lui was sacked by Wests Tigers after being charged with assaulting his partner following a Mad Monday drinking session in 2011.
He was stood down by the NRL last year after pleading guilty to the offence in court.
Lui is now vying for the halfback jersey at North Queensland with incumbent No.7 Michael Morgan who put in a stirring effort as stand-in captain.
The highlight was a solo try on quarter-time from a clever chip and chase.
Coach Neil Henry is expected to run the rule over Lui and Morgan again in their next trial against the Dragons at Cairns next weekend.