LAM IN SIZZLING TOUCH
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
FORMER Queensland State Of Origin star Adrian Lam has plenty of fond memories of his time in rugby league's greatest gladiatorial encounters but returning to touch football with the South Queensland Sharks brings back a whole different set of recollections from his youth.
As a 20-year-old touch representative in 1991, Lam was a part of Australia's winning World Cup Open team and alongside him all those years ago were seven of his current Sharks teammates.
Now 36, the hands of time may mean that the current version of Adrian Lam no longer has the dazzling leg speed that people were used to seeing when he played for the Sydney Roosters but the creative mind is still sharp and the hands remain quick.
"Age is catching up to me now, I was warming up and I was thinking 'what am I doing here?'," he joked during yesterday's opening day of the Senior's NTL titles at the BCU International Stadium.
"I remember playing Men's Opens and thinking that the 35-year-olds were all old blokes and now I'm playing at the same stage, but it's fun. You have a look at the 35-year-olds now and they're still pretty quick, no-one carries any fat on them, they're all like whippets."
Stepping down from the pressures of top flight league, Lam admits that returning to the game he loved as a youngster has been a breath of fresh air.
"It's more enjoyable now, the boys had a go at me because I got a bit tired in the first game but I said to them 'it could be worse, I could have to tackle them as well'," he joked.
"They all had a bit of a laugh but it's good that it's not physical, it's still pretty tough but I don't get as nervous as what I used to."
Yesterday, Lam and his Sharks teammates recorded two impressive victories. An 11-0 drubbing over the Suns in the morning was followed by a resounding 11-2 win over the highly rated Sydney Mets, which left Lam confident about his team's chances for the rest of the tournament.
"We just beat the team that we played in the final last year which gives us a good indication of where we are and that we're going pretty good all round."